Q.  What is coin jewelry?

A.  It is wearable art that has a coin or coin motif. It’s the ultimate combination of the sculptor’s art and intrinsic value combined with the jeweler’s design and craftsmanship.  Coin jewelry has been worn by both women and men, famous and not famous, for centuries as an adornment that is symbolic of wealth, beauty and history.  Fine coin jewelry is made with precious metals.  Some coin jewelry is made from non-precious metals and can include other materials like acrylic, leather & wood.

 Q.  What should I be looking for when buying coin jewelry?

A.  First and foremost is beauty.  You should respond to the design like you would respond to any other fashionable purchase.  After that you should look at the quality.  Be wary of items where the shank on a ring is too thin, where it’s not symmetrical or the finish lacks sparkle.  Also look to make sure that the coin is held securely in the mounting.

 Q.  Where can I buy coin jewelry?

A.  Fine jewelers, coin dealers and on the internet.  Email us for some store recommendations in your area.

 Q.  Who are the leading designers of gold, silver & platinum coin jewelry?

1)     Wideband

2)     Bulgari

3)     Richard Korwin

 Q.  What makes them the leaders?

A.  Their creativity, original design, technical expertise, high quality components and superior construction and finish.  They are the best in class for coin jewelry.

 Q.  What metals are typically used in coin jewelry?

A.  Most coin jewelry is made from 14K Gold or Sterling Silver.  However, it can be made from Platinum, Palladium, Sterling Silver, 10K gold, 18K gold, 22K gold and even 24K gold on rare occasions.  It is also made from combinations of precious metals, such as 18K & Platinum or 18K & Sterling Silver. 

Q.  What makes a piece better quality coin jewelry?

A.  Quality Coin Jewelry has superior design, construction and finish.  A quality piece will have these characteristics:


1)     The design should be symmetrical and have proper balance.

2)     The coin should be set in a die-struck bezel which protects the coin and adds a clean bright edge around it for beauty. The coin can also be set in “U” shaped wire called “channel wire.” However, this does not apply to ancient or shipwreck coins in high quality coin jewelry, where the settings are individually made to fit their irregular shape. 

3)     The piece should be composed of multiple parts for durability, strength and beauty, which requires the skill of a master craftsman to put together. Lower quality coin jewelry is made from one-piece castings, which don’t require professional skill to manufacture.  Its purpose is to make the piece cheaper, not to add value.

4)     Superior finish, which includes: high gloss polishing, smooth surfaces, gemstones that are set level and uniform, no blemishes on the surface and the back of the piece polished as well.

5)     None of the parts should be too thin or rough.  Thin metal creates sharp edges or becomes worn out after a short period of time.  In that case, the coin may not be held securely and there is a greater chance it could fall out and get lost.  Rough edges will snag clothing.

6)     The findings (parts like clasps and cuff link backs) should be strong and work nearly flawlessly.

Q.  What makes quality coin jewelry more expensive?

A.  There are four main factors that affect the price:

1)     The materials used

2)     The weight of the materials

3)     An original design copyrighted to that designer or company

4)     The construction type & technique


Let’s take the classic rope edge coin frame pendant as an example.  There are two basic types: one uses handmade rope, the other uses a cast rope. If made properly both can be pretty but the handmade version can be twice the price. This is why:

 Genuine handmade solid gold rope is woven one link at a time by a master chain maker.  The narrower the finished size of the chain the longer it takes to weave, increasing the price of the chain.  Once the chain is made it must be put around a die-struck bezel or around “U” shaped wire, called “channel” wire. Then it needs to be woven closed so it becomes “endless.” Afterwards, it is carefully wrapped around the channel wire, soldered together in 6-8 locations and then has a small side screw put at the top to open and close the pendant so the jeweler can insert the coin.  Doing all of this and making sure that the coin fits snugly and securely adds to the price of the finished piece.  One note: not all screw tops are equal.  We hear many stories of the coin falling out of a screw top pendant.  For the screw top to function properly the threading must be tapped instead of rolled. This allows the screw to grip the inside of the tubing so it holds together under most circumstances.  Wideband is the only company that uses tapped threading on all of their screw top designs.

 The cast version of rope chain, on the other hand, starts with a casting of the rope from a mold that is the right size for the coin.  It is then put around the bezel or the channel wire, soldered together and finished.  Although a master craftsman can make sure that it is symmetrical and properly assembled, it requires less time, materials and labor to finish the piece. Therefore it will cost less to make it this way.

The other cast version, and the cheapest, is when the piece is made from a casting where all of the parts are in one mold commonly called a one- piece casting.  Once the item is cast all that is needed is to clean it, polish it and set the coin.  It requires little skill and doesn’t meet the requirements of a quality product.  This method is the least secure for the coin too.

 Q.  Does putting my coin into jewelry damage my coin?

A.   A coin is considered “damaged” when it gets scratched, bent, filed, polished or drilled.  High quality brands go through painstaking steps to protect the coin’s integrity and condition.  The use of die-struck bezels and “U” shaped channel wire help to protect the coin during the setting process and while it’s being worn.  

If your concern is whether the coin loses its value that will depend upon the rarity of the coin.  To the coin purist, touching coins with your fingers leaves oils on it and can harm the coins value.  It that sense coin jewelry does diminish the rarity value of a coin not the intrinsic value.

It is not suggested that rare collector-grade coins be set into coin jewelry.  “Collector grade” coins are coins with a grade of MS60 (MS=Mint State)or higher or ones with rare dates or both.  But sentimental value can easily compel people to set them into jewelry anyway and that will always outweigh the material and rarity value. 

What is lost in rarity value is gained in the aesthetic, artistic, sentimental and emotional value that it gives to the owner and the giver.

Q.  How can I or should I clean my coin and jewelry?

A.  In general, cleaning coins is not recommended.  The toning and aging characteristics on coins can be important depending upon the rarity of the coin.  For new collectors, cleaning common coins may be beneficial because they are in the mainstream of commerce.  If you really want to clean a coin go to this site for complete cleaning instructions.


If the coin is in jewelry, you can clean the piece with a simple jewelry cleaner, an ultrasonic cleaner, or warm soapy water and a cool rinse but don’t use any brush or abrasive that will leave marks on the coin or the jewelry.  However, ancient coins either in or out of jewelry should NOT be cleaned. Cleaning ancient coins generally ruins the patina and can seriously damage the coin along with its value. Take it to a reputable jeweler and let him take care of it for you.

 Q.  How can I be sure I’m getting a genuine coin when I buy coin jewelry?

A.  You must ask the store where you are buying it if they guarantee the coin to be genuine and authentic, and without any damage or solder on the coin.  You can also ask the store to note it on the sales receipt. Reputable stores have no issue with this. The best brands should provide a Certificate of Authenticity.

 Q.  What makes coin jewelry valuable? 

          A.    Coin jewelry is valuable because it’s the perfect fusion of art & treasure.   It marries sentiment and beauty with everlasting value in part due to the high purity of the gold, silver or platinum in the coin.  Most coins are a minimum of 90% pure.


 If you have any questions that have not been answered to your satisfaction please write to us to help solve your concerns.

Sites That Might Interest You:
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Franklin Mint is a not for profit web site.  Its purpose ti help guide consumers with pertinent information when purchasing coin jewelry.  We hope this site has been informative and useful for your needs.

Your Source for Accurate unbiased information about Coin Jewelry past & present.

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