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  The ones which are no longer current may or may not be rejected by businesses as money.  So if they are no longer current, it looks like it is okay to use it as jewelry as this Canadian coin jewelry maker has done.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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