ECIG: A Cut Above Coins

Long time no see for ECIG, am I right?

Well, let me offer my most sincere apologies. I’ve definitely been neglecting this ace category, and that’s gotta stop!

Our “Welcome Back” edition of ECIG goes to a Seattle artist named Wally. He runs his Etsy site, A Cut Above Coins, by actually cutting old, foreign coins. You think you know, but you have no idea.

I saw my first cut coin at a renaissance fair in the 1970’s, but many years passed until I actually sat down and started cutting. I have always had the ability to work with very small items. Being a marine geologist and working with micro fossils was actually enjoyable for me instead of being a dreaded task. Cutting a coin under magnification with very delicate saw blades seemed to fit my temperament. I consider this exercise, which is also called piercing, an art form: one that has been practiced for centuries. – From A Cut Above Coins’ Etsy page

The precision and attention to detail required to make each of these pendants is so extreme… I barely care if I have anything to wear it with. I’ve never believed in conversation pieces until I saw a ship pendant made from a Portugese 10 Escudos coin:

Click all images to visit product pages.

All my coins are hand cut using a jeweler’s saw fitted with an assortment of fine saw blades. My coins are plated with 14kt gold, and the highlights are done in rhodium, a member of the platinum family, which will not tarnish. I personally feel that a plated coin looks more like a fine piece of jewelry. It is nice to see earrings flash in the sun… A lacquer coating is applied to help eliminate dulling due to body oils.

Look at the wings… Imagine the itsy-bitsy blade chisling out all of that texture and negative space.

The artist claims that he has more earrings available than pendants, but he’s happy to turn an earring into a pendant for you. At $40-$80 each, I would absolutely consider purchasing one of these necklaces, just to wear every day. You know the quality is good, you know no one else will have the same one as you…. What more can you ask for?

Go visit Wally’s shop, A Cut Above Coins!

  • Incredible! The fact that these pendants are made from cut coins makes them all the more astonishing.

  • Cassie

    So gorgeous – he is so talented. I’m definitely going to save up for one.

  • These are definitely not what I picture when I think of cut coins. Wow. So gorgeous!

  • I can’t believe how beautiful and precious these cut coins are! I was looking for something to award my son when he finishes potty training and at this price point, I think I have found the perfect gift for him, thank you so much for sharing this!

  • Wow, that’s amazing. I’m not sure I would have the patience to take a tiny saw a cut out a picture on a coin, and I have a ton of patience. Not only that, but the fact that he’s charging so little for the amount of work I assume goes into said cutting, is unbelievable as well.
    .-= Chelsea Rae´s last blog ..Allô, Oui? =-.

  • lisa: I know! When I first saw them, I couldn’t even tell they were coins, but close up – the detail is amazing!

    Cassie: And you don’t even have to save up that much – that’s the best part!

    Michelle: No, not at all! When I think “cut coins”, I envision something much more… well, much less refined and beautiful. These proved me to be 100% wrong!

    Joni: Oh, that sounds PERFECT!

    Chelsea Rae: Seriously! The patience it must take must be… Well, Mother Theresa-like, or something! I can’t imagine!

  • Hi there – I live in Seattle and have the opportunity to admire Wally’s jewelry in person. They are truly exquisite! I’m especially in love with his pendants and plan to treat myself to one for my birthday next month!