Coin jewelry is divided into two different categories: whole coins versus cut coins. Whole coin jewelry features complete, unaltered coins set into a particular ornament; Cut coin jewelry – which first appeared in the 1600s – features coins that have been altered through carving or engraving. To cut a coin, a craftsman would pierce it with small holes until the main figure was released. In the period from the late 1800s to World War II, coins began to be etched and decorated by hand (in lieu of being cut). Because they were personalized with floral motifs and initials, they became known as "sweetheart jewelry".
Today, the increasing popularity of coin jewelry is the result of a trend that began centuries ago. So instead of tucking coins away in drawers or boxes, why not proudly display and enjoy them? By mounting coins in jewelry, belt buckles, key chains, or money clips, they will be showcased and honored in a way that conveys a respect for history, an affirmation of heritage, and a reflection of values.