“A coin doesn’t have a life of its own. Its life is what you give it.”
My name is Stuart Richards. I am a coin cutter and this is my story.
I got started with coin art about 5 years ago when a friend showed me a ring made from a coin.
I don’t know why but that ring immediately grabbed my attention and in that moment my interest in coin art took off.
I purchased some basic tools and after quite a bit of trial-and-error I successfully made a pair of matching rings for our 18th wedding anniversary.
Transformed by hand from two ordinary coins, our rings became conversation pieces.
But their simplicity and raw value vastly understated the significance of our journey together.
And while I enjoyed making a few coin rings, I was always struck by how only certain coins made great coin rings.
You see, the images and detail in the center of the coin is lost as part of the forging process to make a ring.
And with so many incredibly beautiful coins out there, it felt like I was so limited in what I could do with rings. Losing the center of the coin felt like the central meaning of the engraver's vision was sacrificed.
So when I finally came across ‘coin cutting’, it was like I was seeing the world in color for the first time, rather than in black-and-white.
All of a sudden, allcoins had potential, and the entire coin became my canvas!
“Addition By Subtraction”
Coin cutting greatly accentuates the imagery and details of the engraver’s original vision by cutting away the field or background of the coin.
It is a simple concept but the coin cutting process is anything but.
Each ‘cut coin’ takes many hours of detailed, steady handwork under a magnifying glass.
Using drills as small as 1/64th inch, I start by piercing the coin in every enclosed area – the center of letters, around or between the legs of figures, etc.
Drilling holes this small is a challenge in itself, but that is just the start!
Once the coin is fully pierced I painstakingly remove the coin’s background using a jeweler’s saw with blades not much thicker than a horse hair.
There are no machines or lasers involved - these coins are all cut by hand.
It is intense work with little room for error and there is a limit to how much I can do in one sitting as eye strain can become a factor.
The finished product though is a completely unique coin keepsake that can be worn or displayed and is guaranteed to become a conversation piece with everyone that sees it.
The conversation surrounding the history of the coin... well that’s your story, and I hope you let me be just a small part of it!
"Letting Me Do What I Do Best"
My passion truly is cutting coins. I love creating these magnificent works of art, and I lose myself it the work.
But bringing my art to the people who appreciate it has always been a chore for me. Maintaining a website, email accounts, social media accounts, etc all just took me away from my work!
So I was honored when Terry and Silver State Foundry approached me about working together.
Silver State Foundry's focus on only offering the highest quality coin art, their attention to customer care, and their appeal to the most discerning customers are what I've always strived for.
So I'm very proud to be a partner with Terry and his team, so now I can focus on my art.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy making it!