Bezel setting coins in metal protects valuable coins and allows the coin owner to enjoy the beauty of the coin as jewellery. Metal bezel-set coins can be used as charms and incorporated as a jewellery component. Wear your metal bezel-set coin as a pendant, pair it to make earrings, or add the metal bezel-set coin as a charm on a bracelet.
Measure the coin you want to use for your metal coin bezel.
Use your jewellery saw to cut 26-gauge bezel wire to the size needed to fit around the outside of the coin you plan to use for your project.
Wrap the bezel wire around the coin to check the fit. The bezel wire should be snug when wrapped around the coin. If the fit is correct, the ends of the bezel wire should touch and be flush against each other. There should be no overlap of bezel wire.
Solder the bezel wire. Put the soldered bezel wire into an acid pickle bath using copper tongs to remove oxidation formed when soldering. Take the bezel wire out of the pickle and rinse the soldered bezel wire in a mixture of 237 ml (1 cup) of water and 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.
Check the bezel wire again for fit and adjust as needed until the bezel wire fits well around the coin. Cut out a piece of 20-gauge sheet metal to use as a backing for the bezel. The backing should be round and slightly larger than the coin. Center the bezel wire so that there is an attractive, even lip around the bezel wire. Solder the centred bezel wire to the 20-gauge sheet metal backing. Pickle and rinse the piece again. Use 220-grit wet/dry sand paper to remove any excess solder or tool marks caused during fabrication.
Polish the bezel setting using 400, 600 and then 800-grit wet/dry sandpaper. Sand until the bezel setting has a high polish.
Set the coin in the finished bezel setting. Use a burnisher to push the bezel wire over the coin and then smooth out the bezel wire.
Always take fire safety precautions when using a torch. Wear eye protection when fabricating metal.
Things you need
- Jewellery saw & blade
- 26-gauge bezel wire
- 20-gauge sheet metal sheet
- Soldering torch and equipment
- Acid pickle and pickle pot
- Copper tongs
- Bicarbonate of soda and water
- Sandpaper (220, 400, 600 and 800-grit wet/dry)