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Coins as Clasps

Rare Mercury Dimes in Esprit-Mystique Jewelry

— December 26, 2009 — Unique
I’m not a coin collector, I design jewelry, but I found a neat way to use rare Mercury dimes as a jewelry clasp for beaded necklaces and bracelets. 

Mercury dimes were minted between 1916 and 1946 so they are hard to find. I have to buy them from coin collectors. They would cost a lot more if you were buying them in perfect condition for a coin collection, but I’m not picky about the condition since I bend them, and solder a sterling silver jump ring inside, so I can use them as a Mercury dime jewelry clasp.

The profile on the Mercury dime resembles the Roman god Mercury but, in reality, it is a Winged Liberty Head design. (Most coin collectors refer to it as the Mercury dime.)

I like to incorporate the symbolic reference to both the mythical god Mercury and the Winged Liberty, representing freedom, in my Mercury dime jewelry clasps.

The Mercury dime jewelry clasp fits well in these designs because of its smaller size and thin composition. After I solder a small sterling silver jump ring on the opposite side, I forge it into a domed shape like a button. The Mercury dime jewelry clasp polishes up well because of the high silver content. It also holds well when inserted into a looped end.

Sometimes I use Indian Head nickels in my Southwestern turquoise jewelry because of the reference to Indians, but only for chunkier necklaces. The Indian Head nickel jewelry clasp is larger and thicker than the Mercury dime jewelry clasp so it doesn’t work as well on smaller, more delicate designs.

The Mercury dime jewelry clasp is 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper. Did you know that dimes, nickels and quarters (minted after 1965) no longer contain silver?  They are now made of 75 percent copper and 25 percent nickel.

When you own one-of-a-kind jewelry from Esprit Mystique, the value will continue to increase, especially since it incorporates a rare Mercury dime clasp in the design.
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