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Strike It Rich silver bracelet and earrings

Hit the mother lode with this matching bracelet and earrings set composed of sterling-silver coins, carnelian gemstones, and silver coils.

Light plays along and reflects off the silver coins and coils sported by this fashionable duo. Carnelian gemstone beads—distant cousins of clear chalcedony (a type of quartz)—are tucked away in the wire coils, bringing a hint of color to the bracelet and earrings. Casual yet classy, you’ll enjoy the jingle-jangle of this set wherever you go.

The techniques below show how to make a bracelet 8 1⁄4 inches (21cm) long. (To tailor the fit to your wrist, adjust the length of the wrapped-loop connectors or the number or size of the jump rings you use.) Use the same techniques to create coordinating earrings, or extrapolate to make a matching necklace.

SUPPLIES

bracelet

  • 1-inch (2.5cm), 22-gauge, sterling-silver coins
  • 1 3⁄4-inch (1.9cm), 22-gauge, sterling-silver coin
  • 16-gauge, dead-soft, sterling-silver, round wire
  • Assorted jump rings
  • Silver toggle clasp
  • 2 8–10mm flat silver spacer beads
  • 18-gauge, half-hard, sterling-silver, round wire
  • 1 8mm round semiprecious gemstone bead (or bead of choice)
  • large fine-silver plated ceramic bead (or bead of choice) 

 TOOLS

  • Steel bench block
  • Ruler
  • Center punch
  • Chasing hammer
  • Drill (with #46 bit)
  • Needle files
  • Roundnose pliers
  • Flatnose pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Stamping tool
  • Dapping block
  • Rawhide, wood, or plastic mallet
  • Thin mandrel
  • Liver of sulfur (optional)
  • Tumbler with stainless-steel shot and burnishing compound (optional)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Strike It Rich bracelet Step 1
PHOTO 1
Strike It Rich bracelet Step 2
PHOTO 2

Prepare the coins
 
Take two 1-inch (2.5cm) and one 3⁄4-inch (1.9cm) sterling-silver coins and pierce two holes in each coin; position the holes at opposite ends of the coins. (These are the pilot holes for the wires to thread through when you connect the pieces.) (PHOTO 1)
 
To pierce, place the coin on a steel bench block. Rest the tip of a center punch 1⁄8 inch (3.17mm) from the edge of the coin and tap with the flat end of a chasing hammer until you dimple the metal, which will guide the drill bit. Drill holes using an electric drill with a #46 bit and file until smooth.
 
Stamp the coins
 
Place each coin on a steel bench block, holding the stamping tool above the desired position with your recessive hand. With your dominant hand, firmly tap the tool with the flat edge of a chasing hammer until an impression is made. (PHOTO 2)
Strike It Rich bracelet Step 3
PHOTO 3

Mold the shape

Calculate the placement of each coin in your design and carefully create slight curves in the coins depending on where they will lie on your wrist. Create the curves using a dapping block and a rawhide, wood, or plastic mallet.

Tap lightly or you’ll mar the stamped images. (PHOTO 3)

Strike It Rich bracelet Step 4
PHOTO 4

Connect the first piece

Connect four jump rings to one end of a toggle clasp.

Loop a 4-inch (10.2cm) piece of 16-gauge, dead-soft, round wire onto the bottom jump ring (PHOTO 4). 

Strike It Rich bracelet Step 5
PHOTO 5
Strike It Rich bracelet Step 6
PHOTO 6

Wrap that end of the wire twice around the stem of the wire (PHOTO 5). This is a wrapped-loop connector. Bring the other end up through the 3⁄4-inch (1.9cm) coin and a spacer bead, and use roundnose and flatnose pliers to create a coil. Press the coil snugly against the spacer bead to make sure it is secure (PHOTO 6).

Strike It Rich bracelet Step 7
PHOTO 7

Add the wire-wrapped bead.

Use an 8-inch (20.3cm) piece of 22-gauge, half-hard wire to loop through the other hole in the 3⁄4-inch (1.9cm) coin from the previous step. Wrap the wire around the stem a few times and slide an 8mm bead onto the other end of the wire. Using flatnose pliers, continue making several wraps around the top third of the bead to crown it. With the wire that extends out through the bottom of the bead, make a wrapped-loop connector around two jump rings. Bring the tail of the wire that crowned the bead down to the bottom and wrap it around the bottom stem several times. Cut any excess wire and tuck in the ends (PHOTO 7)

 

FOR THE REST OF THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE BRACELET AND MATCHING EARRINGS, DOWNLOAD THE FREE PDF!

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