Legality of coin cutting:
Section 331. Title 18, U.S. CODE: Prohibits among other things the fraudulent alteration and mutilation of United States and foreign coins. This statute does not prohibit the mutilation of coins if done without fraudulent intent or if the mutilated coins are not used fraudulently.
In other words.. it's not cutting them that is illegal.. it is cutting them with intent to defraud that is illegal.
Cutting coins for the sake of making necklaces is legal!
People ask, "exactly what would be a fradulent intent to alter coins?"
One example would be.. taking a coin, and altering the mint mark, or some other part, to make it look like a misprint from the mint. Rare, and error coins are sometimes worth quite a bit. It would be a clear "fradulent" intent to alter a mint mark, in attempts to increase the value of the coin. It would be like trying to pass off something worth 10 cents, as something worth 10 dollars. Clearly fraud in anyones opinion.
I am sometimes told.. well you are taking a quarter, and selling it for 10 dollars. Yes, but there is no intent to defraud on my part. I do not alter a coin to decieve anyone on the actual value of the coin. I charge strickly for the art involved. I have never tried to pass of my work as anything other then art. With my work, the intent is clear. I am making a (hopefully) beautiful necklace, and charging people for the work involved. This is not fraud, or any attempt to defraud. It is therefore legal.
REALLY, THERE IS ALOT MORE ON THIS. I cant really say all, too much to explain...
However, for those who wonder. I have included a link on what the US Mint has to say on the subject. If you read it, yes altering a coin could be be illegal, if you are commiting fraud in any way. Like melting down a copper penny (now worth 2 cents copper, for the metal)... Their (government website) is clear also. If you alter a coin for a jewelry purpose... it's fine... absent of an intent to defraud.
Legality, direct from the US Mint...
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