“Home”. Shakespeare said it was the most powerful word in the English language. He was right.
America is the most unique experiment in all of humanity. Here was a place that attracted dreamers from all over the world. They arrived with a handful of physical possessions and a trunkful of dreams.
In some ways, what America is today (largest economy the world has ever seen) distances us from the grit that shaped us.
We’ve forgotten what people who came 5 generations before us did. These were everyday people: store owners, farmers, teachers, lumberjacks, doctors. People who lived hard lives, worked hard and sacrificed for a better future for their grandchildren.
My name is Terry Ladd and I’m a veteran. I think about the 1800s a lot. I marvel at how these people embodied the idea of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
How did they live their everyday lives?
What did they talk about?
What did they think about drifting to sleep after a hard day’s work?
My quest to physically touch these people is what brought Morgan silver dollar coin to me. This isn’t some collector coin that goes from the mint to the display case. These coins were in actual circulation in the 1800s.
The store owners and doctors mentioned earlier were trading these coins as they went about their daily lives. These coins moved hand to hand, town to town, state to state. And with each exchange a brick was added to our nation.
By touching the coin, I could connect with our collective past.
What a magical idea.
While most everyone who manages to find this special coin keeps it in storage I wanted to do something more respectful.
What if, instead of looking at the coin once in a while I could be in physical contact with it all the time?
As a veteran my job was to protect fellow Americans. With this ring I could protect the idea of America.
Taking a vintage coin and respectfully moulding it into a ring isn’t easy. Consider this: the ring has to be set so the hairband on Lady Liberty appears exactly at this point:
If it’s off by even a fraction it can’t be used.
This takes a lot of practice. More than I care to admit.
The ringing process is made up of five specific steps - punch a hole, fold into a cone, shape and size, edge refinement, and apply a finish.
Within each of those steps, there is a lot to know because each coin reacts differently depending upon its age, condition, metal composition, etc. And each step builds on the previous steps.
If the first step isn’t done perfectly, the ring will be ‘off’ all the way through. Same for the second, third, and fourth steps.
Not all coins make it through the forging process. About 1 in 20 will rip or tear, or delaminate, or have reticulation, or the detail will smear in the dies, or any number of other catastrophes occur.
And then there is the important task of buying the right coin, the one with all correct visual characteristics. I work with a few trusted, reputable dealers and I hand select each coin.
The whole idea is that the ring I’m going to make for you will fit you perfectly. If it doesn’t you will not wear it regularly and that defeats the whole purpose of why I’m making you this museum ring.
People know they are wearing a hunk of silver when they slip on a Morgan.
Benefits of dealing directly with the veteran in the veteran run business
Because most men don’t know their size I get many resize requests. Almost always to reduce the size by 0.5 to 1 size. Typically they reach out by email asking about how to get a resize done. I reply with instructions on how to determine how much to increase/decrease the size by, as well as mailing instructions.
I ask that the customer cover shipping costs back to us. I do the resizing for free and pay for return shipping. That’s a fair deal, right?
In the ring resize mailing I ask customers to include a note with the proper size so I don’t have to try and match it up with email. I want to have 0 mistakes.
Once received resizes are back in the mail to the customer the next business day.
And if your size ever changes (for life) I’ll resize for life.
Wear it for a couple months and if you don’t love it, return it for a full refund, no questions asked.
Limitation of handcrafting
I’m not a factory so I don’t mass produce. This means while I can make a few bespoke pieces a day I can’t make a 100. If 100 orders come in, this ring will be marked out of stock till the backlog is done.
Our patina finish creates a 'pop' by creating contrast between the high relief details and the background. It's this contrast that draws the eye and highlights the engraver's original design.
The patina is not a coating on the ring, it is an actual chemical process that physically changes the properties of the silver, similar to etching.
Your coin ring will arrive with the patina delicately removed from the high relief areas. With wear, a bit more of the patina will wear off by design. It'll become 'broken in', taking on a bit of your personality, just like a favorite pair of jeans or leather gloves.
By nature, silver is easily polished to a bright, sparkling finish. I use a combination of polishing compounds and a buffing wheel to bring out a high polish that captures the eye.
Once polished, I apply a coat of Renaissance Wax, a durable, non-peeling wax to lock in your ring's brilliance.
As with any polished silver jewelry, your coin ring will need to be occasionally re-polished to rejuvenate that bright shine. This is easily done at home with a silver compound and a polishing rag, or by your local jeweler.
I have a simple workaround for that. Just pick the size that’s close to your ring size. If it turns out that the size isn’t perfect (perfection is the only acceptable fit for this historical piece) send it back to me and I’ll resize it for FREE.