Friday, July 3, 2015

Art Jewelry Element's Farthing Coin Clasp Giveaway and Is it Legal to Use Coins in Jewelry?

By on Friday, July 03, 2015 12 Comments

The UK decimalized their currency in 1971 so old farthings were no longer legal tender after that year. This month, artisan Nicky Sayers of Art Jewelry Elements is doing a giveaway of 3 of her farthing coin clasps to some lucky beaders. These farthings were in circulation from 1937 to 1970.


The coins have been domed and backed with metal discs.  The handmade S clasps are attached at the back. The warm patinated copper tones of the clasp will look lovely in many a bracelet.

Is it legal to use currency in jewelry?  It depends on the country.  In the US, it is NOT illegal  to use coins in jewelry - you can alter it or copy the coins - so long as you do not represent it as anything other than altered jewelry.  In other words, it is fine if you do not try and pass off coin jewelry as legal tender i.e. used as money. There are also many coin flattening machines in the US which are fine so long as the flattened coins are not used as money.

In Canada, the Currency Act states "No person shall, except in accordance with a licence granted by the Minister, melt down, break up or use otherwise than as currency any coin that is current and legal tender in Canada."  The key phrases are "use otherwise than as as currency" and "current and legal tender".  All coins minted by the Royal Canadian Mint are legal tender even though they may no longer be in circulation - like the defunct penny.  The ones which are no longer current may or may not be rejected by businesses as money.  So if they are no longer current, it looks like it is okay to use it as jewelry as this Canadian coin jewelry maker has done.

I recall seeing a coin press machine at a tourist place in Ontario much like those found in the US. So the situation is murky here because anyone can use it for current coins.

The law in the UK also states much the same about current coins being off limits.

So do check the laws in your own country. Also, if you have old and possibly valuable coins, check if they have a collectible value before you do anything to them.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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12 comments:

  1. I think Nicky's farthings are simply gorgeous! I can imagine all kinds of things to do with them - can't you?!

    Definitely throw me in the mix my friend. I'd be delighted to make something out of these and then keep it for myself!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aims, please hop over to the Art Jewelry Element's blog to enter THEIR giveaway! Yes, I agree the clasp is great for handmade jewelry designs.

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  2. In India, by law you cannot use or add value to any currency whether it is old or in circulation. But some gypsies (usually banjara tribes) used to convert and wear old coins are jewelry which is now copied by many designers, even famous ones who dont realise that it is illegal to do so

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How interesting. So it looks like the law is weak because it is not enforced.

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  3. I like these! Would love to win. I'm a subscriber & blog follower & can be contacted at retro-grrl@hotmail.com :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the clarification, Pearl. I entered the drawing on AJE yesterday. I love Nicky's clasp. Now to come up with ideas to use them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Greta gdmar@comcast.netJuly 3, 2015 at 5:12 PM

    These are so original. I would love to win them. I am a blog subscriber.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Greta - please go to the Art Jewelry Element blog and enter there. This is unusually not my giveaway but theirs!

      Delete
  6. Actually, the 'coin pressing' machines in Ontario do *not* press a coin anymore (I don't know if they ever did). They use a special copper blank, of the same size as a penny, but not a penny. That's the case at least at the Parliament in Toronto or at the Royal Botanical Garden in Burlington (and if I recall correctly it was the same last I used one in Niagara Falls :) ). So I think for us, Canadians, is kind of illegal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, thanks for the clarification. I was probably confused as the charge was for a loonie or twoonie but had never ever seen anyone use a Canadian coin press. Makes sense that it would be a copper blank.

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  7. What unique and beautiful clasps! I would love to use these in bracelets. Thanks for the chance to win!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please go over to the Art Jewelry blog to enter. It is their giveaway, not mine :;-)

      Delete

 

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