How to Drill a Hole in a Penny

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Many jewelers drill holes in pennies to create pendants, rings and key rings. It is legal to drill holes through pennies as long as the penny will be for amusement, education, jewelry or similar purposes without the intention of using it as currency.

Things You'll Need

  • Penny

  • Permanent marker

  • Safety goggles

  • Wood block

  • Clamp

  • Awl or center punch

  • Drill

  • 1/16 inch drill bit

  • File

  • Polishing cloth

  • Jump ring (optional)

Step 1

Position the penny on top of the wood block. With the permanent marker, mark the spot on the penny where you would like to drill the hole. It does not matter if the hole is marked on the front or the back of the penny, since the hole will pierce both sides.


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Any coin, including quarters, can be substituted for the penny.

Step 2

Tighten the clamp around the penny on the wood block to hold it in place.

Step 3

Dent the hole you marked using an awl or center punch.


Invest in a jig to hold the coin in place and control the motion of the awl and drill.

Step 4

Attach the drill bit to the drill, and set it to the lowest speed.

Step 5

With the penny still positioned on the wood block, drill straight down into the dent you made in step 2. Use slow, steady pressure as you drill, drilling until the bit comes out the other side of the coin.


  • Wear safety goggles while you work to protect your eyes from small bits of metal.
  • Allow the coin to cool after you drill, as it will become very hot.

Step 6

Use the file to sand any metal shavings still attached to the coin.


Step 7

Use a polishing cloth to buff the penny, if desired.

Step 8

Attach the penny to a necklace, key ring or other accessory. You also can turn the penny into a dangling charm by attaching a jump ring to the drilled hole first, then attaching the jump ring to a necklace chain, bracelet link, earring wire or key ring.


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