I saw this idea somewhere AGES ago (I think it was etsy but I didn't pin so I wouldn't spoil the surprise, I didn't know about private boards then, doh!) and knew I wanted to make it for my husband for our anniversary. A keyring with coins with dates that signify the milestones in your life together - how lovely is that?!
I started checking the dates of my coins straight away, it took me a while to collect all the dates I needed but luckily I saw this idea almost a year ago so I had plenty of time.
I found 2 coins for each year so I had a spare - this turned out to be an excellent idea - we'll get to that in a minute!
I went for 5 coins, all pennies, but I have seen this done with different coins. I chose the year we met, the year we married and the year each of our children were born.
I had no idea how to get holes in my pennies so I rang my dad who said "No problem, 5 minute job, pop over this afternoon!"
Turns out, not so much with the 5 minute job! They spin if you don't hold them somehow, but you don't want to hold them in a vice and damage the edge.
I don't have photos of what we did as I was at my dad's and without a camera, so I have drawn you a little picture of what he fashioned for the job.
It was a block of wood about 3cm wide, 2cm deep and 10cm long. He drilled a penny sized dip in it and cut through the middle to about half way. The penny sat snugly in the dip then the whole thing was clamped in a vice. The wood squeezed the penny but the sides were not damaged.
- Each coin had a little starter dent whacked into it with a centre punch and hammer (This was my job!)
- They went into the wooden hold-y thing above and were clamped in a vice
- A hole was drilled
- A larger drill bit was used by hand to go over the holes again on both sides. This took the rough bits off (again - my job)
The coins get extremely hot when you drill them so don't touch them straight away - you have been warned!
What can go wrong: We did have a few fails so I was really glad of my spares. The drill slipped and scratched the coin.
Too close to the edge.
The Queen looks like she had been shot in the crown (is this treason?)
I used these seconds to make a second keyring for me - no need to waste them!
We also learnt that UK coppers like this changed between 1987 and 1992 from being made of a copper/tin/zinc alloy to copper plated steel. Interesting!
I just slipped the coin for each year that came out best onto a keyring for the anniversary gift.
I popped it in tissue paper in a gift bag and made a cute little heart tag - awwwh!
And this is the card I made to go with it.
The clever people over at Buttons and Paint have also tried out a slightly different version of this idea as a cute Fathers Day gift.
They used a different way of holding the coin still whilst drilling, which might work for you.
I was really pleased how this gift came out and my husband loved it too - which was, after all, the whole point. Oh yes, and thank you dad for your help, this wouldn't have happened without you.
You might also be interested in: