Rings are usually associated with money and how much they cost, but Susanne Phillips is changing all that with her incredible efforts.
Susanne, 42, from County Wexford in Ireland, set up Celtic Coin Craft in 2016, and now creates rings from all sorts of coins for a living.
But it started off as a hobby.
“I first saw a photo of a coin ring online several years ago”, Susanne told the Press Association. “I was fascinated by it. I couldn’t figure out how it had been made.
“After extensive online research I learned how these coin rings were crafted and I got some basic tools so that I could try to make one for myself. I really enjoyed the process of making the ring and spent hours in my shed making dozens more rings using a rawhide hammer and ring mandrel.
“Over the next year, I raided the savings to buy more specialised tools and I honed the craft. Tapping away for hours using the hammer and mandrel was replaced by a more controlled process resulting in even better rings.”
Susanne set the business up initially to appeal to Irish people abroad, saying: “There has been so much emigration from Ireland I thought Irish ex-pats and people with Irish roots would really like to have an Irish coin ring.”
Meanwhile, old coins or newer commemorative coins are the usual materials for Susanne’s jewellery due to their silver content, but how does the process work?
“The first step involved in making a coin ring is to make a hole dead centre in the coin,” said Susanne. “I then press the coin in a die to start giving it a ring shape.
“The coin has to be heated (annealed) several times during the ring-making process.
“Once the ring starts to take shape I use a jeweller’s ring stretcher tool to get it to the correct size. More dies are used after this step for final shaping.
“The ring is then polished and a patina created if required. The patina helps the coin’s details stand out on the ring.”
The idea of having a ring made from an important year appears to have struck a chord with plenty of customers, but does Susanne have plans to diversify in the future?
“Currently I only make coin rings, but I hope to get into making other items from coins in the future when I get time.”
To see more of Susanne’s work, visit Celtic Coin Craft.