Vlog – Is Coin Mokume Legal? Hawaii State Quarter and Mokume Jewelry

I’d like to thank everyone that was concerned about whether making mokume out of quarters is legal. I’ll also be talking about my history as a coin collector and some of the mokume projects I’ve been working on.

Thanks for watching and enjoy!

Here are some of my books on Amazon. Thanks for the support!

Simple Knifemaking – http://www.amazon.com/dp/1534897704/?tag=backyardbowye-20
Simple PVC Pipe Bows – http://www.amazon.com/dp/1478140917/?tag=backyardbowye-20
Take-Down Archery – http://www.amazon.com/dp/1479348481/?tag=backyardbowye-20
The Impossible Bow – http://www.amazon.com/dp/098324815X/?tag=backyardbowye-20
The Backyard Bowyer – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0983248109/?tag=backyardbowye-20
Darts on Target – http://www.amazon.com/dp/151165385X/?tag=backyardbowye-20
Adventures in Paracord – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0983248133/?tag=backyardbowye-20
All Wrapped Up In Paracord – http://www.amazon.com/dp/1483969169/?tag=backyardbowye-20

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BackyardBowyer

Nicholas Tomihama
P.O. Box 354
Camas, Wa, 98607

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

U.S. Code is 18 U.S.C. ยง331 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 ยง 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.


jeweleryVlog – Is Coin Mokume Legal? Hawaii State Quarter and Mokume Jewelry
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  • CrazyLazyRabbit - January 9, 2018 reply

    Im a coin collector as well

  • lsubslimed - January 9, 2018 reply

    Is that a zipper pull at 4:20? That is so neat!

  • Elijah Eccher - January 9, 2018 reply

    Hey Nick! i have been quite interested in seeing more mokume gane and jewlery videos. It would be awesome to see how you made the ring you wear. It might even open up your channel to an additional audience and help prevent blocked videos and the like. You rock man keep it up!

  • JL South - January 9, 2018 reply

    def do blogs your videos are awesome keep up the excellent work

  • Brandon Meyers - January 9, 2018 reply

    please more mokume game with different metals!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Adrian Huang - January 9, 2018 reply

    Feature your dad in a video where you make mokume jewelry

  • TheHelleri - January 9, 2018 reply

    Good clarification. There is a difference between the spirit of the law (why they were made and how they are typically enforced) and the letter of the law (what a law explicitly states). There are often exceptions for artistic expression and education where many laws are concerned.

    People have pulled a lot of dirty tricks with coins for a very long time. Here are a few of those tricks not mentioned in the vid (for those who may be interested. Not things you can do any more so no danger in letting people know about them):

    One of the earliest tricks in US history was to shave the edge of silver coins carefully with a knife. You could then still spend the coin. But save up enough shavings and you could cash it in. This was from back when some coins were still made out of mostly silver. That's why we now have ridges on quarters and dimes (it's a relic feature that was put in place to make it harder to shave a coin and get away with it).

    Another later trick was to pierce a coin and tie it to a string. Older vending machines didn't have wards against a coin being pulled back out of a slot after it had been registered. So a person could get something for free out of a machine by dropping a strung coin in and pulling it out a few times.

  • J.P. Stone - January 9, 2018 reply

    "In Nick we Trust"

  • Aaron Batteen - January 9, 2018 reply

    You're the best, man. Your bow videos inspired me to get into bowyering, now your forging videos are getting me interested! Thanks for the videos.

  • Diabeetus Jim - January 9, 2018 reply

    Oh good grief, I was worried about the legal implications of melting coins and then I remembered you can go to parks and they'll roll coins into another coin (like at Disney for example)

    guess I just had an off day, lol

  • Jovan Ko - January 9, 2018 reply

    We have that thing in tourist spots in the US that flattens and stamps patterns into pennies… Don't see those places getting sued… ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Stephen b - January 9, 2018 reply


  • Touka Lockheart - January 9, 2018 reply

    Is it legal to use quarters to make billets in the uk?

  • RFAM05 - January 9, 2018 reply

    You are the man!
    Thank you so much for what you do for us.

  • MrMudNugget - January 9, 2018 reply

    Fricken old ass penny crushing coins at Zoos have been around for over 30 years.

  • chance kiki - January 9, 2018 reply

    so I can use it on knives and sell it

  • Ireland Darrie - January 9, 2018 reply

    great video. fun to watch as always. I would love to see how some of those rings are made!

  • Christopher Oliva - January 9, 2018 reply

    I'd love to see how to make a mokume gane ring they look dope as hell!

  • Jonas - January 9, 2018 reply

    yes, how to make videos!

  • J Bowman - January 9, 2018 reply

    Great video, subscribed today.. I haven't started yet but I'm in the building knowledge phase so I appreciate your video and your way of teaching. Thank you.

  • pierre5325 - January 9, 2018 reply

    Hi Mr. Boyer Sir, I truly enjoyed your video. I learned much I did. It is a good piece, so goodonya mate! pierre from New Mexico

  • Thomas McQuinn - January 9, 2018 reply

    the pauses between your sentences are really off putting, i enjoy watching your videos otherwise.

  • ian prososki - January 9, 2018 reply

    is it still legal to sell the momume gane from us currency as jewelrey knife guards etc

  • Toxic Muffin - January 9, 2018 reply

    make dat ring fam

  • its confidential - January 9, 2018 reply

    Does any of the know if this can be done with any uk coins

  • Gofeball Mcsullivan - January 9, 2018 reply

    Id love to see how you make mokume jewelry ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Toxic Muffin - January 9, 2018 reply

    make dat ring fam

  • Dr. Robin Mitchell - January 9, 2018 reply

    Aloha Nick…love watching your videos and have seen a few Books you have out.
    How many Books have you written, published, co- authored or been a part of ?
    Blessed be,

  • Colin Meikle - January 9, 2018 reply

    I live in Canada and it's illegal to melt down coins in this country. Damn it I was really hoping to melt some coins to make into jewelry and make a business out of it, to help fund my cause/revolution. Well that's how it is in capitalism the rich get rich and the poor stay poor and in order for the capitalist elite to stay in power they make bullshit laws to prevent change from really happening. <_<

  • highlandrab19 - January 9, 2018 reply

    In the UK they removed the laws that prevent you from melting down coins in 2001.

  • jordicastillo4444 - January 9, 2018 reply

    Can you please make a video about how to make a mokume gane ring out of coins please I am a coin ring maker myself and I would love to learn how to make a coin ring like this ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Darth Karnis - January 9, 2018 reply

    The way I understood it is that small currency is constantly in circulation. Banks are always taking old notes and coins our and replacing them with new ones which is one of the reasons older coins are valued the way they are. I've gone into the bank a couple times with a torn $20 and they replaced it for me.

    Selling mokume gane for it's metal value, I can understand that. Some gold hoarding nutbar would go crazier and start hammering down hundreds of dollars in quarters at a time and that probably isn't great. I don't think there would be much issue in say, using the mokume gane as a spacer or inlay in a knife handle and then selling the knife, though.

    As an aside, though, it's been two years of target practice with the no heat pvc bow. I love having upper body strength again. Thank you.

  • jay thompson - January 9, 2018 reply

    vloging is great bro always looking forward to your next video .

  • Juan Smit - January 9, 2018 reply

    yes, it be good to show how to make your ring look nice , kind of the ring I make with pesos , the Navajo way, ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

  • Isheian - January 9, 2018 reply

    I'd love to see how to make a mokume ring

  • Gregory Fort - January 9, 2018 reply

    US Federal states that you can deface money anyway you want. It only become illigal when you try to use it for money again. Once you deface the money they are no longer acceptable for money. You can sell the work you do with it as a art piece since you are selling your ability to make art not the metal worth. You can no longer sell the metal as it self as a price for it alone.

  • Edo AFFA Big Ed - January 9, 2018 reply

    Hey Nick, awesome video I recently made my first ring from Nordic Gold (50 EURO cents) myself, I plan to make more, any videos on that would be great. I appreciate your videos and I'd love to see more on the subject. Regards from Malta Europe.

  • OzarkEdge - January 9, 2018 reply

    thank you. keep up the great videos

  • Dante Grimm - January 9, 2018 reply

    more videos are always welcome, your tutorial videos are the best around and that translates over to your books as well. so more videos, more books, more subjects the better.

  • Chris Day - January 9, 2018 reply

    @BackyardBowyer would love to buy a very similar ring as the one you wear from you! Think you could make that happen?

  • Justin Davidsons - January 9, 2018 reply

    good book

  • Elijah S. - January 9, 2018 reply

    please show us how to make rings like that!

  • Robert Black - January 9, 2018 reply

    I've been following you for quite some time now. Had no idea you were in HI. I live in Mililani. Hope to run into you sometime. Ever do any events?

  • Stan Lindert - January 9, 2018 reply

    Show us how you make rings

  • Louis Scott - January 9, 2018 reply

    You are an impressive young man. I enjoy your videos very much.

  • Jesse Allen - January 9, 2018 reply

    its only illegal to charge the amount nothing else

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