Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Neat Old Foreign Coin Ring

Today I added a really neat coin ring to the shop.  I made it from an old British Half Penny coin. The material is bronze, and as you can see from the pictures, it made a unique and beautiful ring. The date is clearly seen on the outside of the band as the year 1933.

On January 5, 1933, work on the Golden Gate Bridge began and just one day later, on January 6, famous bank robber Clyde Barrow shot and killed Tarrant County Deputy Sheriff Malcolm Davis. Towards the end of 1933, the great Black Blizzard snowstorm-duststorm raged from South Dakota to the Atlantic.

Check out this latest addition to the coin rings I have on hand, and are available for immediate delivery.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Newly Revised Shop Page

My Ross Coin Rings website has a newly revised Shop page. Each coin ring that is in stock and available for immediate delivery is listed separately with a photo, a short description and a Buy Now button. Shipping is free within the USA. This revised page should make it a lot easier to browse what I have in stock and place an order while you are on that page.

Although I have a good variety of my in-stock coin rings listed, there are still a few that are not listed yet.  I'm working on completing this page. In the meantime, if you want something that is not listed yet, contact me by Email and I will let you know if I have it on hand or could make it for you.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Nevada US State Quarter Coin Ring

This US State Quarter commemorating Nevada statehood in the year 1864 was recently transformed by me into this beautiful coin ring.  Although it appears large in the photos, this coin ring was purposely crafted to be a Size 4, thereby giving me the opportunity to exhibit large portions of the elegant engraving embodied on the surface of this particular coin.

This ring is currently available for immediate shipment from my website at Ross Coin Rings, and even if it is too small to fit your finger, it could always be put on a small chain and worn as a
stylish pendant. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sacajawea Dollar Coin Ring

Delivered this custom made coin ring to the customer this morning. It was sized 9-3/4, and fit perfectly.  Part of the enjoyment I get from making coin rings is seeing a satisfied customer receive their ring.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Not All Coin Rings Are Quality Products

It is interesting to me when I see so many "wanna-be" coin ring makers attempting to peddle their initial products to the public. Seems just about every hobbyist that views the typical YouTube instructional video decides they will capitalize on the hobby by quickly hammering out a ring and selling it on eBay. Unfortunately, it is really not that simple to produce a quality piece of jewelry that will exhibit the true mark of an artistic craftsman.

Here is just one example (picture) of what I am talking about. The typical hobbyist, armed only with a plastic hammer, a ring mandrel and a flat file, can generally hammer the edges of a quarter over the tapered mandrel in a matter of a few minutes. Then they file some of the sharp corners with a rasp file and Presto! their ring is ready for the auction block on eBay. This is hardly the work of a true artistic craftsman; and it definitely shows.

Of all the many coin ring makers today, there are really only a very few artistic craftsmen that take pride in the time and effort that goes into each piece they create. In addition the recipient/customer can easily appreciate the work that resulted in a beautiful and elegant piece of handcrafted jewelry, and themselves are proud to wear and show it off.

Certainly, a handsomely crafted coin ring requires a wide range of hand tools; not just a hammer, a mandrel and a file. But more importantly, a quality crafted coin ring is really the culmination of a great deal of time and experience, not just a tool set. The time expended in order to hone artistic skills is usually measured in years, not minutes or days. Of course natural talent plays an important role in the development of any artistic endeavor. For me personally, my interest in expressing myself artistically started to emerge when I was in grade school. And, looking back over all the intervening years, the bulk of my endeavors centered around crafts and hobbies involving some form of artistic expression.

Each coin ring I produce involves a great deal of time and concentration because it must first satisfy my own high standards for quality, beauty and elegance. Only then am I confident that it will be representative as a coin ring crafted by me... Ross of Ross Coin Rings.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

US Washington Bicentennial Quarter Coin Ring

The Bicentennial Quarters are still in circulation, but are getting a little more scarce everyday. This particular quarter makes a very nice coin ring. I have shaped the coin so the "United States of America" is on the outside of the ring. However, by carefully crafting this coin, I also preserved the details on the inside of the band where the date "1776-1976" is clearly visible and intact. The antique finish highlights the raised letters and details of the coin while leaving the background a bit darker for contrast.

This coin ring is a Size 8-1/4 and is currently available for immediate purchase at my Ross Coin Rings website.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Coin Ring crafted from 1 Piso

This coin was a Rupublika Ng Pilipinas 1 Piso coin. Material is nickel and I crafted it into a size 7 ring.

 There are more photos of this ring and several others I have made in the Gallery on my website. Check them out and let me know your comments.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

What do Coin Rings and the NSA have in common?

NSA are the initials for a government organization known as the National Security Agency.  They are located on the edge of Ft. Geo G. Meade in Maryland. The National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) is home to America's codemakers and codebreakers. By its very nature, what NSA/CSS does as a key member of the Intelligence Community requires a high degree of confidentiality. The NSA could easily be thought of as the most secret government organization in all the USA.

Probably you are not seeing any obvious links between the NSA and the "art" of crafting coin rings.  Well, when I first got interested in learning how to make a ring from a coin - I had no idea that I was about to enter a world of "black art" and closely guarded secrets, similar at least in nature to the NSA.

Nevertheless, as I probed the Internet to learn what knowledge was available to me; it did not take me long to figure out that only a small handful of coin ring makers actually know the secret  "guarded fabrication techniques" - and NONE of them were divulging any of their special techniques, tools and methods.  Similar I guess to the way craftsmen at craft shows guard and protect their methods and designs. Now, of course if you look on YouTube, you will find a nice selection of videos, wherein it "appears" the authors are explaining how to make a ring from a piece of currency.  In ALL the videos I've seen; they all plainly describe what I would call The Hammer and Mandrel Technique. Further, the unsuspecting novice has not a clue that what they are being taught is really a very primitive and basic method; quite common knowledge throughout the Internet, and has been for several years.

And, if the novice follows this "common" technique (to the letter), their resultant coin rings will come out looking like 95% of the coin rings you see for sale on Etsy, Ebay and other sites on the Internet.  However, the other 5% of the coin rings, made by that handful of coin ring makers, that know the secret "guarded fabrication techniques", look NOTHING like the other 95%.  Their coin rings look beautiful, most have a rounded or domed shape and are perfectly finished. While the other 95% have been made with the "hammer and mandrel technique", and come out having a definite cone or wedge shape (such as the one pictured here), they retain details on the outside but very few on the inside and a finish that is only mediocre at best. Naturally, most of the 95% would like to know the secrets used by the 5%. And therein lies the problem (for the 95%) - the 5% ain't talking; kind of like the folks that work for the NSA.

Now for most of the 95%, they still turn out their "kind" of coin rings. They sell a few now and again, but they also end up giving them away. Then there are a few of us, new to the craft, that are determined to learn the secret techniques (and tools), either from someone who leaks them to us, or merely by our own trials and errors. You see, to a few of us determined individuals, finding out that "hidden information" is keeping us from turning out a more admirable product is like pouring gasoline on a fire. It just makes us all that much more determined and resolute in our quest for "the holy grail" - so to speak. And, no matter which way we learn the "secrets"; it is hard-fought for information, hence we become part of the 5%, with our lips sealed, and the saga continues. 

It is interesting really to see the lengths that some will go to in order to keep their secrets from becoming known. I'm pretty sure I could never stoop this low but here is just one example that I know of, and I'm sure there are others. One of the "senior" members of that 5% group actually puts out instructional videos (YouTube) and other information on his blog. When a novice finds this information, and views the videos, they truly believe what they are being told. They follow the instructions to the letter, because the coin rings this fellow sells are beautiful. Yet, when they follow the instructions and the videos, they always end up with a sub-standard result; kind of like the one pictured above. Do you know why they can never get the "beautiful" result?  It is quite simple really; this particular maker holds back his secret techniques, tools and methods. All he really gives out is the same old Hammer and Mandrel Technique. That way, no matter how closely the novice follows his instructions - they can NEVER produce anything but a sub-standard coin ring.  Thus, that senior member of the 5% has protected his secret for all time. That is kind of an extreme case of protecting the secret techniques and tools.  But, I suppose it is cheaper than applying for a US Patent.

Some of the others belonging to the 5% merely get on discussion boards, or post video instructions where they pretend to give out some information, but in reality they are not sharing anything that cannot be found in hundreds of other places on the Internet, and are really excerpts, bits and pieces of the Hammer and Mandrel Technique.   Or, sometimes I've seen them just taunt the novice coin ring maker by showing them some really beautiful coin rings and then brag that they know the "secrets" and they are not giving them up.

Well, now you know what Coin Rings and the NSA have in common.  They are both very secret organizations.  So, in reading this particular posting, did you discern which group (5% or 95%) I am in?  Well, certainly I started out in the 95% group - but today I could be in the 5% group. I can't really divulge any more than that.... sorry... <grin>.


Friday, September 12, 2014

New Addition to my Stock On Hand

Yesterday I finished up a nice US Statehood Quarter (Clad) for the State of New Mexico. I think the details of this particular coin are quite distinctive. The Size is 5-1/2.

You can find this ring along with the others I have on hand at my new website.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Ross Coin Rings Website Now Online

After working almost all day yesterday, the RossCoinRings.com website is up and running. Just a few little tweaks perhaps, but I would say it is now about 98% completed.  At least all the major pages are indexed and seem to be running smoothly.

With that chore out of the way, now I can get back to actually making more coin rings, and building up the stock on-hand.

I want to thank everyone that have recently shown an interest in my coin rings, including those I spoke with yesterday at breakfast. If you will visit my website, you will find the latest photographs of some of my rings, as well as an opportunity to contact me with what you are interested in.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Coin Ring from US Dollar

My latest project was to make a size 10.5 coin ring from a US Sacajawea One Dollar coin. This was my first attempt at a coin larger than a US Quarter, and of a slightly different material. Although this ring proved to be a bit more of a challenge than the quarter ones I've been making, I was satisfied with the result. Also, instead of finishing it with a high gloss shine, I opted to give it an antique appearance where only the highlights are shiny.

Friday, September 5, 2014

New Website Construction

The new Ross Coin Rings website is currently under construction. Once it is completed, it will contain a listing of available coin rings, as well as information and details about ordering your own Ross Coin Ring. Click on the link above to view what is there so far, and bookmark the Ross Coin Rings site.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Illinois State Quarter

Recently completed this ring for a local customer.  These clad State Quarters actually make a very beautiful ring.