Nowadays the Internet is full of bright ideas on how to save money by repurposing just about everything, from furniture to food containers. One type of tip we haven’t seen so far, though, is how to upcycle cold hard cash itself. So without further ado, here are our suggestions on how to repurpose old coins for fun and profit.
1. Make money. Check your hoard in a rare coin catalog to see whether you have a treasure trove on your hands. Until you are sure that your coins have no exceptional value, take care to handle them gently and do not alter them in any way – avoid even polishing them for fear of causing damage to their monetary worth. Even if they are not sought after by collectors, old coins made with a high percentage of real silver or copper – or gold, of course – generally have some value due to their metal content. No-longer-used coins normally may be exchanged at a bank for some time after being taken out of circulation.
2. Make jewelry. Upcycle especially attractive coins such as the US wheat cent or the large UK Britannia penny into earrings, bolo tie slides, cufflinks or rings. For a gorgeous bracelet, use all one type of coin … or mix and match different colors and sizes. Coins decorated with a striking silhouette (the disused Canadian caribou quarter, for example) may be cut out with a jeweler’s saw in order to craft elegant pendants. A collection of lightweight coins like pre-Euro pennia from Finland can form a dramatic bib necklace.
3. Make noise. Put a few coins into an old oatmeal can with a reusable lid. Give to a rambunctious young child …at your own risk and preferably outdoors! For a gentler jingle, assemble wind chimes out of old coins; those with a hole in the center are simplest to work with. Or tie some to the ends of a silky scarf for your belly dance practice.