by Rena Klingenberg.
These ancient coin earrings are going to be my sister’s birthday gift.
The focal point of the earrings is a slightly mis-matched pair of 1,000-year-old bronze Chinese coins.
I decided to do a mixed-metal design, using sterling silver wire since my sister prefers to wear white metals.
I originally planned to oxidize the silver for a rustic, aged look that would be more in keeping with the ancient bronze.
But I was concerned about doing anything that might affect the bronze coins’ wonderful patina, which was a thousand years in the making.
So I’ll recommend to my sister that she just let the silver tarnish naturally over time, without trying to keep it shiny.
As the silver darkens, I hope the earrings will begin to look like an archaeological find.
I decided to give these ancient coin earrings a sort of primitive style, with messy wirework that will acquire more character as the wire oxidizes naturally:
One of the fun things about making coin jewelry is wondering about the past.
Did these coins jingle in someone’s pocket long ago, or were they carried in a silk purse? What things did people purchase with them? Were these ever made into jewelry before, sometime during the past ten centuries?
by: Michelle B.
These earrings are a great mix! I think your sister will love them! And, they’ll go with anything so she’ll be able to wear them year round, dressed up or down – perfect!
I especially love the wire coils you put on the back. That’s a great way to finish them and it really adds to their character!
And of course, since pearls are my favorite, I think you picked the perfect stone! Elegance with a rustic edge,….what more could you want!?!
Lucky sister you have! 🙂
by: Ralph Andersson
Ancient Coin Earring
What a nice touch Rena and I like your imagination as a story thread to go with it:)
I love the story with these earrings. I would love to see them when the silver has naturally darkened and to see the contras then with the pearls. The back of the wirework is really neat with those little flowers something that I would like to copy.
Lovely earrings, your sister will be delighted and cherish them.
Thanks so much to all of you for your kind feedback!
Working with these old coins was wonderful – you can almost feel the murmurs of the past when you touch them.
I can’t wait to see them when the silver has darkened.
Love those earrings
by: Marcy Bell
It’s too late now, but you can always oxidize your wire before you make the jewelry. A little of the patina wears off during the construction process, but it tends to look nice anyway, and you wouldn’t have to worry about interaction with any other metal or bead. The earrings are gorgeous!
by: Heather PM
To “age” the silver, you might consider using a freshly hard boiled egg coarsely chopped – put it into a plastic or glass bowl with the jewelry. Cover tightly. Natural sulphur from the egg will give a patina without the hard chemicals found in liver of sulphur.