How To Forge Copper and Nickel Mokume Gane With Coins

I just finished an updated version of the forged welded tomahawk, using some suggestions in the comments of the last video. In the meantime, I found some footage from last December and figured I’d share with you!

In this video, we’ll be forging some mokume gane (wood grain metal) using some US copper-nickel clad quarters. The result is a nicely contrasting billet of mokume that would look great as a guard or bolsters on a knife or for making jewelry.

Thanks for watching and enjoy!

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Here’s some info on the legality of making coin mokume and coin jewelry in general.

U.S. Code is 18 U.S.C. §331 reads, Whoever fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales or lightens any of the coins coined at the mints of the United States, or any foreign coins which are by law made current or are in actual use or circulation as money within the United States; or whoever fraudulently possesses, passes, utters, publishes, or sells, or attempts to pass, utter, publish, or sell, or brings into the United States, any such coin, knowing the same to be altered, defaced, mutilated, impaired, diminished, falsified, scaled or lightened – shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

This applies to altering coins in order to use them for a higher value or for shaving coins for their metal value while still passing the shaved coins off as legal tender.

(b) The prohibition contained in § 82.1 against the treatment of 5-cent coins and one-cent coins shall not apply to the treatment of these coins for educational, amusement, novelty, jewelry, and similar purposes as long as the volumes treated and the nature of the treatment makes it clear that such treatment is not intended as a means by which to profit solely from the value of the metal content of the coins.

There is a prohibition on melting or exporting 1 and 5 US cent coins for their metal value, but this does not apply to using the metal for jewelry or novelty purposes like I am doing here.

If you are from another country, please check your local laws because in some places any alteration or modification of coins is illegal regardless of intent.


jeweleryHow To Forge Copper and Nickel Mokume Gane With Coins
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  • Joshua Samuels - January 9, 2018 reply

    would dimes work? I have an excess of both quarters and dimes. Thanks!

  • Blue Mints - January 9, 2018 reply

    Guys its only illegal if shes trying make them a higher value coin

  • Mister Seven - January 9, 2018 reply

    Can you forge weld like 2 or 3 of those to get more mass?

  • Jordan Little - January 9, 2018 reply

    Knife from this please

  • UcLAkersFn 909 - January 9, 2018 reply

    i wana see the knife!!

  • Matthew M - January 9, 2018 reply

    Cool trick man. I might try it with Australian coins. It's probably illegal here, but not much isn't illegal. Damn police state. 🙂

  • scott 27 - January 9, 2018 reply

    I tried this with european 5 cent coins. I succeeded. However forge welding steel(a quick try)turned out unsuccesful. Anyone some tips. Or is my temeprature too low?

  • danny dano - January 9, 2018 reply


  • RedolittHD - January 9, 2018 reply

    My blowtorch only gets the quarters red hot

  • vilhelms the great - January 9, 2018 reply

    make it out of 1eur coins

  • Gunnar Gross - January 9, 2018 reply

    Do the quarters make any fumes when heated or no

  • shark thaMan - January 9, 2018 reply

    Tried it. My layers started separating. Any advice?

  • The Best - January 9, 2018 reply

    What did you use for heat???

  • Chris R - January 9, 2018 reply

    Duuuuude, save money, use nickels next time instead! Only 0.670g per coin less mass, but 1/5 the face value.

  • Thug Lincoln - January 9, 2018 reply

    Caution – DON'T do this with pennies or any currency that contains Zinc. the vapors are extremely hazardous

  • kelly daugherty - January 9, 2018 reply

    Love the video. Great way to learn for a beginner. Cant wait to give it a try

  • awesome possum - January 9, 2018 reply

    Make sum things out of it like a knife

  • Quenton Riedel - January 9, 2018 reply

    BackyardBowyer this is amazing, I've recently ventured into metallurgical activities and would love some knowledge for a beginner, any way i can contact you?

  • Clint Jeppson - January 9, 2018 reply

    This is my next project! Can you teach us how you would make Damascus steel? This would be a sweet guard on a Damascus blade.

  • Fascist Koala - January 9, 2018 reply

    What sand paper did you use?

  • FUGYOO - January 9, 2018 reply

    Really cool Nick

  • DuBCraft21 - January 9, 2018 reply

    you should really shim your anvil base so it doesn't rock every time you hit it. It isn't too hard to do, and will make your life a lot easier.

  • Jim Burns, Jr. - January 9, 2018 reply

    bad example.. and false… you werent a hobo in the 30s making a hobo nickle for food.. you were a douchebag making it seem like our money and future was worthless like your examples on tv…. thumbs down.. this is real life.. and there are real artisans to honor and learn from.

  • d. cypher - January 9, 2018 reply

    "once it's cool, i throw against the ground a couple uh times…" lol nice. keep it simple.

  • Gabrulo - January 9, 2018 reply

    you can use it to make a knife guard, it will be very nice

  • Villeum - January 9, 2018 reply

    coins dont stick together.
    I wonder why

  • frederic thom - January 9, 2018 reply

    i hope you have a good gas mask for do that …
    nickel is not very good for lungs (and inside nose) , when you work on it .

  • Justin Carlisle - January 9, 2018 reply

    hey what were you using to heat this because I've tried and it likes to laminate almost every time.

  • Bayy Quest - January 9, 2018 reply

    What kind of torch and gas are you using?

  • Matthew Marting - January 9, 2018 reply

    Dude, I don't know how you do it. You keep doing stuff that shouldn't happen. Nobody would expect PVC bows to work. Your first YouTube knife looked like it was made with about 3 times more tools than it was. And mokume gane is supposed to have over a 50% failure rate under optimal conditions. What makes you so good at all you do? Is it perception, patience, work ethic, logic?

  • Jason Harris - January 9, 2018 reply

    Very cool! What would you charge to make one of these billets? Aside from $4 in quarters…

  • Goose's Drama Nation - January 9, 2018 reply

    Doing this stuff is only illegal of you use it to do bad

  • Schnitz’n’Giggles - January 9, 2018 reply

    (Every 12 year old who watched this)


  • Alexander Clapham - January 9, 2018 reply

    What size propane torch did you use. I was not able to get them hot enough

  • Beardsley McBeard - January 9, 2018 reply

    Well that's illegal

  • KyleG. - January 9, 2018 reply

    Dude, I LOVE this video!!!

  • FlameCranium - January 9, 2018 reply

    that 1970 quarter is worth more than 25 cents

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