Updated: Sep 23, 2020
Prior to 1982 pennies were 95% copper and 5% zinc. I just learned that a penny produced before 1982 is worth 2.2 cents based on the metal it contains. I don' think that will help you when purchasing any merchandise just a factoid to share. Pennies after 1982 are 97.5% zinc. So let me inform you that when you torch fire a post 1982 penny it turns into a melted pile of zinc. Not the look I was going for!
The process: First sort through an old box of pennies for pre 1982 pennies. We don't want another zinc puddle... Hopefully find dates that match or are close for a pair of penny earrings. Then a major scrubbing, washing... finally the pennies are placed on a tripod and annealed. This is a process of heating the copper so it is more malleable. Holes are drilled and burrs are removed.
Next, the pennies are polished up so they are as clean as possible when applying the transparent enameling glass. The pennies are now shaped using a hammer and a doming block. Finally the torch fired enameling process begins. An agent is applied to the penny that helps the enameling glass stay in place, called Klyr Fire. Then the transparent glass is sifted in a thin layer, dried and fired using a torch or a kiln until the glass is glossy. Each penny has 4 layers of glass sifted and fired. Then another major cleaning of the fire scale that builds up, polishing. A metal sealer is applied to the back of the earring on the copper and a sterling silver ear wire is added. Creating torch fired copper enameled earrings is a time consuming process but the end result is unique and gorgeous. I hope you like what you see!