Wednesday, September 17, 2008
When I was about 14 my parents came home from a vacation from Europe with all these cool coins. I had to find a way to wear them, so I rummaged around in my mom's old 'dress up' jewelry box (items she donated to us girls to wear for playtime) and found this fantastic, hugely long silver necklace like they wore in the 70s. It had double links and a heavy feel.
So I took it downstairs and frankensteined it into a bracelet at my dad's greasy workbench in the garage. I chopped it off to bracelet length and re-attached the clasp. I'm sure my method left a lot to be desired, and I knew absolute beans about making jewelry, but the end result looked and functioned like a bracelet and I was quite proud of myself.
I had to ask my Dad to drill tiny holes in all the coins and he obliged. Then I attached them all to the bracelet using additional rings I cut off the leftover chain. I remember a lot of perspiring, finger pinching, and muttered epithets during the construction (all I had was Dad's needlenose pliers and industrial sized wire snips), but I was so happy with the result. I wore it a lot.
And if I say so myself, this bracelet still rocks, 24 years later. I don't know what they made costume jewelry out of way back when, but this stuff never tarnishes. I recently re-discovered the bracelet (and the rest of the necklace, can you say Pack Rat?) in the depths of my jewelry box. It has a very cheerful clinkety clinkey sound when you wear it.
If you have a collection of coins sitting around doing nothing, I'm sure you could do a much better job of putting one together than I did, if you have some basic jewelry-making tools (and skills). I still know beans about jewelry making, but it's on the list.
Anyone know of a good introductory book on jewelry making, with pictures? We are talking BASIC here.