Pendants - Coin or Cabochon

Free instructions for making a coin or cabochon pendant out of jewelry wire for a necklace or earrings

Mounting a Coin Cabochon Pendant jewelry wire shapped on WigJig jewelry tools.Making A Coin Pendant showing two Coin Cabochons made using WigJig jewelry making tools to shape jewelry wire.
In this project, we will show you the steps and the peg pattern to mount a nickel to make a coin pendant.  These instructions can be easily modified to allow you to mount almost any size coin.  In fact, these same instructions can be modified to mount a cabochon gemstone as long as the cabochon is essentially flat on one side.   

 

Jewelry Making Supplies

Jewelry Making Tools Required

  • Fifteen inches of 22 gauge round,preferably half hard jewelry wire,
  • Coin or Cabochon. 
  • Commercial chain to turn pendant into a necklace or commercial ear wire finding to make earrings. 

Jewelry Making Skills Required:

Step-by-step instructions for making a coin cabochon using jewelry wire and WigJig jewelry tools:

FInished, mounted Coin Pendant made of jewelry wire using WigJig jewelry making tools.Step 1:  For mounting the nickel shown at right, we will use about 9 or 10 inches of 22 gauge jewelry wire.  We recommend that you start this project with inexpensive practice wire and after you have successfully made the project once or twice, and measured the amount of wire you used, then you would cut your good jewelry wire.  When selecting your good jewelry wire, 22 gauge 1/2 hard wire will work best.  Begin this project by measuring and straightening a length of 22 gauge practice wire at least 9 inches long.  You will find it is easier to straighten the wire using your nylon jaw pliers, prior to cutting because the remainder of the wire provides a handle to use while straightening the wire.  If you are mounting a coin or cabochon that is larger than an nickel, you will need to use more wire.  You will learn the length of wire required while making your component out of practice wire by measuring how much practice wire you started with an how much is left over at the end.  Your goal when you cut your good jewelry wire is to have about 1/2 inch of wire left over at the end.  Step 3 to Making a Coin Pendant Jewelry Making TechniqueFinally, we made this piece using round wire.  Ultimately, an advanced wire worker would use square wire.  (Unless you are advanced, we would recommend using round wire.  It will be easier to use.) 

Step 2:  Using your flush cutter, cut the segment of straight wire 9 inches long. 

Step 3:  See the picture at right.  You will need six regular pegs when making this pattern with the WigJig Centaur jewelry tool.  When using the WigJig Delphi jewelry tool, peg 1 can be eliminated and you can just hold the beginning segment of about 1 1/2 inches of wire in position as if peg 1 were there (with the Delphi, there won't be room for peg 1).  With the Olympus Lite or Olympus jewelry tools, you will need to separate pegs 2 and 3, and pegs 5 and 6 by 1 1/4 inches.  This will be four empty holes between these pairs of pegs instead of the five empty holes for the WigJig Delphi or Centaur jewelry tools.  When you are adapting this pattern to a different sized coin or cabochon, you can position your coin or cabochon on the WigJig jewelry tool and position the pegs about 1/4 inch to 5/16 inch beyond the edge of the coin or cabochon on each edge of the coin or cab. 

 

Step 4 to Mounting a Coin -- A Jewelry Making Technique

Step 4:  After positioning your pegs on your WigJig jewelry tool, make a partial loop in one end of the wire using your step jaw pliers, or round nose pliers.  Place your initial loop on peg 1 and wrap the jewelry wire around peg 2 and then peg 3 in the pattern on your jewelry making jig as shown at right. 

 

 

 

Step 5 to Making a Coin Pendant -- Jewelry Making Technique

 

 

Step 5:  Now wrap the jewelry wire against peg 4 and push the wire until it rests adjacent to peg 5 in the pattern on your WigJig jewelry tool with no pressure applied. 

 

 

 

 

Step 6 to Making a Coin Pendant Jewelry Making Technique

 

Step 6:  Wrap the jewelry wire around peg 5 and 6 in the pattern on your jewelry making jig as shown at right. 

 

Step 7 to Making a Coin Pendant Jewelry Making Technique


Step 7:  First, remove pegs 1 and 4 from your WigJig jewelry tool, they are no longer needed. Then we begin a little hand finishing of the wire component.  Before removing the jewlery wire from your jewelry making jig we need to use our chain nose or bent chain nose pliers and squeeze the jewelry wire near pegs 2, 3, 5, and 6 so that the parallel segments of wire are closer together.  See the picture at right. 

 

 

Step 8 to Making A coin Pendant Jewelry Making Technique


Step 8:  At this point we need to wrap the end of the jewelry wire around the crossing wire segments to make the cross shape permanent.  We begin doing this by removing the wire from the jig and replacing it on the jig flipped over vertically.  This step will cause the wire tail to change position from being on top of the wire in Step 7 to being under the wire after step 8.  By positioning the end of the jewelry wire under the rest of the wire component, we can consistently wrap the wire up and over each of the four legs of this wire component in turn. 


Step 9 to Making a Coin Pendant Jewelry Making Technique.


Step 9:  Now lift the end of the wire segment up and over the adjacent vertical wire segment as shown at right.  In this picture, the end of the wire is over (on top of) the rest of the jewelry wire component.  In the following steps we will perform this same process three more times, first flipping the jewelry wire component over then lifting the end of the wire up and wrapping it over the next wire segment. 

 

Step 10 to Mounting a Coin -- A Jewelry Making Technique

 

Step 10:  Again, we remove the jewelry wire component from the WigJig jewelry tool and flip it over, replacing in on the jewelry making jig in the position shown at right.  All we are doing here is taking the loop at the top of the wire component and moving that wire segment to the bottom while keeping the loops on the left and right in the same location. 

 

 

Step 11 to Making a Coin Pendant Jewelry Making Technique



Step 11:  Now pull the end of the jewelry wire up to the vertical position then push it down and over the next leg of the wire component as shown at right. 

 

 

 

 


Step 12 to Making a Coin Pendant Jewelry Making Technique

Step 12:
  Remove the jewelry wire from your WigJig jewelry tool and flip the wire component over again as shown at right.  You are performing the same action as in step 10. 

 

Step 13 to Mounting a Coin -- A Jewelry Making Technique

 


Step 13:  Pull the end of the wire up to the vertical position and then push it down and over the next leg of the wire component as shown at right. 

 

 


 

Step 14 to Making a Coin Pendant Jewelry Making Technique


Step 14:
  Remove the jewelry wire component from the WigJig jewelry tool and flip it over as you did in steps 10 and 12.  Replace it on your jewelry making jig in the position shown at right. 

 

 

 


Step 15 to Making a Coin Pendant Jewelry Making Technique

Step 15:
  Lift the end of the wire to the vertical position and then push it down against the initial leg of the wire component as shown at right. 

 

Step 16 to Mounting a Coin -- A Jewelry Making Technique



Step 16:  Remove the wire component from the WigJig jewelry tool and it should appear as shown at right. 

Step 17:  To make this shape permanent, we need to wrap the end of the wire around the first leg of the wire component several times.  This has the same effect as soldering or gluing the wire component.  In this step we will also rotate the wire component 90 degrees clockwise so that the initial wire segment, with the partial loop, will be orientated up.  In order to wrap the end of the wire around the initial leg of the wire component, grasp the wire component with your chain nose or bent chain nose pliers.  Hold the pliers in your non-dominant hand and use the thumb and index finger on your dominant hand to pull the wire around.  Keep the initial wire segment in the center, between the two other wire segments as you wrap the wire.  Make three complete wraps of wire, then cut the excess wire and with your chain nose or bent chain nose pliers, squeeze and twist the cut end of the wire until it is flat.  See the picture below-left. 

Step 18:  Place your coin or cabochon in the center of your jewelry wire component as shown below-center.  

Step 19:  While holding your coin or cabochon in position with the thumb and forefinger of your non-dominant hand, one at a time, bend the four legs of the wire component up.  Start with opposing sides, first side 2 and 4 (0 degrees and 180 degrees) then side 1 and 3 (90 degrees and 270 degrees).  Make certain that all four sides are held tightly against your coin or cabochon.  See the picture below-right.

 

Step 20 to Mounting a Coin -- A Jewelry Making TechniqueStep 20:  Now fold each of the legs of the wire component down and flat against the coin as shown at right.  You may be able to do this with your thumb, but you might find it easier to use your chain nose pliers.  This is a good time for some hand finishing, bending the individual legs of the setting so that they are orientated properly and spaced evenly.  You can also use your bent chain nose pliers to gently squeeze each leg of the mounting together to minimize the gap between the two wires.  Do this very slowly and gently.  Many small squeezes are better than one large squeeze. 

Step 21:  At this point, we need to begin making the loop at the top of the pendant.  Start by gripping the beginning wire segment (with the partial loop) just above the coin, with your bent chain nose pliers and bending the wire 90 degrees.  In this case, we are showing bending the wire 90 degrees up from the face of the coin.  This is the orientation for the loop when you are making a pendant.  See the picture below-left.  To make an earring dangle, you would bend the wire 90 degrees in the same plane as the face of the coin. 

Step 22:  Using the largest step on your step jaw pliers, make a loop at this position.  See the picture below-center.  Select here for instructions for making loops in jewelry wire with step jaw pliers. Adjust the loop until it is centered above your coin.   

Step 23:  Grasp the loop with your bent chain nose pliers to preserve the shape of the loop.  Hold the pliers in your non-dominant hand.  Using the thumb and forefinger of your dominant hand, wrap the end of the wire around the stem of the loop about 2-3 times as shown below-right.  

Step 23 to Coin Pendant made of jewelry wire using WigJig jewelry making tools. Front of Coin Pendant made of jewelry wire using WigJig jewelry making tools Back of Coin Pendant made of jewelry wire using WigJig jewelry making tools

Step 24 to Mounting a Coin Pendant out of Jewelry WireStep 24:  Using your flush cutter, cut the excess wire.  Hold the loop with your bent chain nose pliers and using a second pair of chain nose pliers, squeeze and twist the cut end of the wire until it lays flat.  See the picture at right for the completed back of your coin pendant. 

Step 25:  The final step is to perform some hand finishing.  This means to neaten up the finished piece by eye and using your pliers.  In the picture below-center, you can see that we squeezed each loop holding the coin with our chain nose pliers until the two wires that make up the loop are essentially touching.  We also adjusted the positions of the four loops so that they are as symmetrical as possible. 

Coin Pendant made out of jewelry wire using WigJig jewelry making tools.

Summary of coin cabochon jewelry making project:

You can easily see that we used an US nickle as our coin.  Please understand that you can modify the peg placement in the pattern we show on our WigJig jewelry tools to accommodate a larger or a smaller pendant.  Please also understand that when made using these jewelry making instructions will make a strong pendant that should be suitable for a more valuable coin than just a nickle. 

 

 

 

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