Coin Jewelry can be divided into two major categories: whole coins and cut coins. This article will seek to give the origin of and details about both types.
Whole coin jewelry has most likely been around since coins were first invented. It is thought that Egyptians would decorate their soldiers with medals similar to coins of their day. And, as long as soldiers and civilians have been traveling, the coins of other nations have been a great souvenir to take back home. Travelers would have coins finished whole or with added engravings to be used as necklaces and rings.
The other type of coin jewelry is commonly referred to as cut coins. Coin cutting was probably first seen in the 1600’s when men would pierce and cut coins to impress their lovers. Since that time cutting coins has become a serious form of craftsmanship that is currently producing some truly unique pieces of jewelry. When cutting coins, craftsman start with a whole coin and then pierce the coin with small holes. A very fine tooth jeweler’s saw is then inserted into these holes and worked until the main figure of the coin is released. This allows the central figure of the coin to be featured and seen by itself. The coins can then be left in its base metal or covered in gold or silver or, often times, both. The two-tone finish allows the intricacies of both the coin and the craftsmanship to be shown. From here the coin can be taken to it final form as a pendant, earrings, tie tacks, money clips or rings.
Whether it is whole or cut, coin jewelry is becoming quite popular. Many people purchase them to be used as a beautiful accessory, as a show of national pride or as a collection item specifically fit to their hobby or interests. To be worn especially as an accessory, there are lovely butterfly, delicate flowers, and bold suns, all worn as pendants or earrings. One of the most popular pieces is a stunning coin from Barbados, the ten dollar coin with features Neptune with a trident in his hand. When people want to purchase something to show their national pride, the Irish and Polish coins are popular and, of course, any of the American coins, with the new state quarters being a unique way to show state pride. Finally, there are a huge number of coins for those with particular interests or hobbies. Whether it is cats or dogs, panda bears or any type of sport, there is a coin that will match most any interest. These are just a few of the vast number of coins that are available in cut coin jewelry.
So whether it is a whole coin or one designed by a craftsman with intricate, beautiful details, coin jewelry is a very unique and a true art form.