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D.L. Heritage is very proud to have been featured in three local news papers. The articles cover the company history, work and charitable arm.




David Landino: Turning Spare Change into Wearable Art

By Lesia Winiarskyj, Staff WriterContact Reporter

Published September 28, 2016. Last updated 01:35 p.m., September 27, 2016



On the face of it, George W. Bush and Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider are about as alike as night and day.


But the former president and the headbanger have at least one thing in common: each has a ring handcrafted by Clinton’s own David Landino.

About 500 of David’s one-of-a-kind designs—D.L. Heritage Coin Rings—are in circulation around the world, as far as Australia and Great Britain, and throughout the U.S.

By day, David is senior manager of security systems for Yale University’s Public Safety Department, where he’s worked for the last 22 years.

“I manage the team that plans access patterns for electronic ID cards, burglar alarm systems, and electronic access investigations,” he explains.

In the small hours of the night, however, when his kids are tucked into bed, he gets out his blowtorch and mallet and makes heirloom jewelry.

It’s relaxing, he says, to spend two or three hours hammering at a piece of steel—the way a long run or a soak in the tub might clear another person’s mind. (Sidenote: His wife, Susan, and their children have not always found the nighttime hammering quite as relaxing, as when David’s bench was set up in the dining room or, worse, the master bedroom. He is currently set up in the basement, where he is working to create a “proper shop.”)

Lost and Found

“My first ring came about because I lost my wedding band,” he says. It was Palm Sunday, 2013, when he looked down at his hand and realized his ring was gone. At the time, he and Susan had been married 14 years. Crushed, David contacted the jeweler who made his wedding band. “Unfortunately,” he says, “the replacement price was astronomical.”For days, David fiddled absently with his ring finger, checking for a ring that wasn’t there.“I would habitually flick my finger, and the missing ring was making me slightly crazy,” he says. “So I set out to make a meaningful replacement.”

A lifelong coin collector, he began researching whether or not a coin could be converted into a ring. “Come to find out, soldiers in World War II made what’s known as spoon tap rings out of silver coins. It was a form of trench art, meaning they would make these rings to pass the time when not in battle. The process involved tapping on the rim of a coin hundreds of times using a spoon from their mess kit until the coin flattened and widened out. Eventually the tapping would cause the coin to flare out and curl over. Once the coin got to be the width of a band, a hole was bored into the center and the coin could be worn. This process nearly obliterated all detail on the coin, but it served its purpose.”David set out to copy the spoon-tap technique, and within a few hours he’d made himself a ring. “The OCD in me was quelled,” he jokes, adding that once his family and friends saw his replacement band, “suddenly everyone wanted one.”

Tools of the Trade

David’s earliest creations, he says, were made with basic tools.“A hammer, a steel anvil, sandpaper, and a coin were all that was required,” he says.

His idea at the time was to make rings in exchange for a few bags of groceries that he could donate to Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP) in Clinton. His children—daughter Ainsleigh, who’s now 10, and son Colton, 7—delivered the donated groceries every Wednesday, he says, “and gave back to the community we love.”With all of D.L. Heritage Coin Rings’ first-year proceeds going to charity, the Landino family was able to donate 1,300 pounds of groceries to SSKP.


As he’s honed his art, David has replaced and added a number of hand tools that allow him to accurately size a ring and preserve all of a coin’s original detail, inside and out. Examine one of his rings closely and see the crisp detail on the obverse and reverse sides of the coin, as well as his stamp—a cursive “DL”—inside the band. With the refined process, creating a finished piece now involves a few hours of work. “First, a center mark is made on the coin,” he explains (He uses calipers to measure the center precisely). “Then, depending on the final ring size, a hole is cut from the center of the coin using a jeweler’s saw.” The hole, a hair’s width, is extremely fine. Then the coin is annealed and hammered down a steel mandrel with a leather mallet until the ring is sized and shaped properly. “These new tools take a beating—literally,” David says. “And because tool replacement isn’t cheap, my business model had to change slightly to allow me to continue. Now we donate 25 percent of every sale to the pantry in the way of personal hygiene products and food, which enables me to replace broken and worn equipment as necessary while still providing for the Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Food Pantry.” David has also figured out new uses for the centers of his coins—some of which have interesting and intricate designs and can be made into pendants. “I don’t like to waste anything,” he says. “Now if I could only figure out how to reuse some of the dust particles.” (He’s working on a concept.) Through his coin ring sales, David has not only stocked the shelves at the food pantry, but also provided financial support for The Cove Center for Grieving Children in Meriden, which helped his family through the sudden loss of their two-year-old nephew. “They answered a call for us at a terrible time in our family’s lives and helped us talk with our children about Brayden’s passing. We needed help with delivering the tragic news to our own children and didn’t know where to turn,” he says. “The people at The Cove were so helpful.” In 2015, D.L. Heritage Coin Rings donated 25 percent of the year’s profits to The Cove—”We felt it was the least we could do.”

At Yale, David has also turned an in-house potluck party into an annual Toys for Tots chili cook-off, where the price of admission for every taster is a new, unwrapped toy for a boy or girl. His primary benefactor, however, is SSKP.

Find a Penny, Pick It Up

His uncle and grandfather before him collected coins, and that’s where David’s interest bloomed. His grandfather, who worked as a toll collector in the 1950s and ‘60s, picked up loose change—silver coins—that spilled onto the ground outside the tollbooth.

“That’s how he started,” David says. David picked up the hobby at age eight, and his own personal collection centers on late 18th- and early 19th century U.S. Large Cents—the first coins ever struck at the U.S. mint—which are bigger and heavier than modern quarters. “My prized possessions are a 1794 U.S. Large Cent and a 1955 doubled die Lincoln penny,” he says. In 1955, during one of the night shifts at the Philadelphia Mint, one of the obverse dies was misaligned—a minting error that resulting in a doubled image on about 20,000 to 24,000 coins that were introduced into circulation. Many of these were distributed as change in 23-cent cigarette packs sold in vending machines. The machines took a quarter, and two cents’ change was included with each cigarette pack.


As for the coins David now uses to make his jewelry, most of his clients ask for a specific year—usually to mark a birthdate or significant event in their lives.

“I’ve made rings for people of all walks of life, from all over the world, to honor weddings, anniversaries, the birth of a child, or the death of a loved one.”

Wedding band sets are his favorite. “Many of them are for folks looking to buck the trend of traditional gold wedding rings. A coin ring allows them to choose meaningful years to carry with them. Some ask for the year they are being married, while others will choose birth years of grandparents, parents, or children,” he says. “For me, it’s humbling to know that someone has chosen a piece of my art for the rest of their lives.”

Other than Dubya and Dee Snider—who found D.L. Heritage Coin Rings online and talked to David personally on the phone—other notables wearing D.L. Heritage designs include television director Guy Norman Bee (whose credits include E.R., Third Watch, Criminal Minds, Ringer, and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit); Big Brother and Survivor reality TV contestant Caleb Reynolds; Internet sensation Marty Ray; and actor Jeffrey Pierce.

The Family Jewels

David was born in New Haven and grew up close to the seawall and Lighthouse Park. “As many Italian-Americans did at the time, I lived in a two-family home with my grandparents upstairs, and me, my sister, mom, and dad on the first floor. Most all of my childhood memories involve my family, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.” From a young age, he says, he felt the importance of being together for family meals, picnics, and parties, and he cherished the support structure that a close-knit family fosters. “This is a principle that my wife and I practice to this day with our children.” Clinton residents since 2003, David and Susan involve their kids in the family business and their charitable work. “Ainsleigh and Colton handle weekly food deliveries to the pantry, hauling the bags from the car, weighing the food on the scale there, and unpacking the bags for the pantry volunteers,” he says. “We have them involved in order to instill a sense of community and to teach them that there are people in need of help and that we should do as much as we can to support our community.” Susan, he says, is the bookkeeper, shopper and “couponer extraordinaire.” “She’s capable of turning a 25 percent donation into much more by combining coupons and sending away for deals from companies. Her efforts allow us to maximize our giving potential.”


Over the last three years, their efforts have resulted in roughly 2,500 pounds of food being purchased and delivered to SSKP.

David’s designs range from about $25 to $160.

For more information, check out D.L. Heritage Coins on Facebook or see David’s work on display at the Clinton Art Gallery, 20 East Main Street. In addition to coin rings, David has expanded his handcrafted jewelry collection to include bracelets, rings made from vintage demitasse spoon handles, wire and gemstone wrap rings, and cold-forged necklaces featuring turquoise, upcycled china, and Fordite (also known as Detroit agate), formed out of layers of paint deposits from the early automobile industry.







Worth its weight in gold and silver: Clinton man takes old coins and makes heirloom rings by hand

Published: Thursday, February 04, 2016

By Sarah Page Kyrcz


(Peter Hvizdak - New Haven Register) Handcrafted wedding bands and rings made from coins by jewelry designer David Landino of Clinton Friday, January 15, 2016. He has produced rings using coins from all over the world. Landino gives a big portion of proceeds to local charities such as food to the Shoreline Food Pantry and Soup kitchen and The Cove Center for Grieving Children.




CLINTON >> These unique wedding rings might have once been someone’s loose change jingling in their pocket.

But that is immaterial to David Landino who meticulously cuts, hammers, files and heats each coin to create one-of-a-kind heirloom rings.

Whether it’s change that has been in circulation or coinage that holds more value, such as a U.S. Sterling Silver Morgan Dollar, each ring is unique and made to very exact specifications.

The company slogan is “Coins from generations past, rings for generations to come.”

And, Landino is prepared to create the next heirloom from possibly a collector’s item. His tool box includes a jeweler’s saw, leather and nylon hammers, steel ring sizing mandrel, ring stretcher, sandpaper and a blow torch.

The coin and the design of the ring is a very personal choice. Prices range from $20 to $160.

“The difference in patinas here is that date’s (facing) out,” Landino explains holding a Morgan silver dollar ring, ordered from his company, D.L. Heritage Coin Rings & Handmade Jewelry, for a wedding in Jamaica this month. “The date is showing.”

Whether the date is visible while sitting on a finger or “In God We Trust. The United States of America” is showing on the ring, the inside displays the opposite side of the coin.

“I keep the detail on the obverse and reverse, is what the official terms of the coins are,” he explains. “They’re crisp throughout, so you don’t lose any of the detail. It just depends on what you want to see mostly.”

“He’s so meticulous about his work,” says Guilford resident Mary Amter. “It has to be perfect if he’s giving it to someone.”

Mary Amter, along with her husband, Greg, and 10-year-old daughter, Gianna, all wear coin rings. “Honestly it’s such a comfortable ring, too, that I can wear it anywhere,” says Amter of her Rhode Island coin ring. “Rhode Island is very special to me. To me it’s a reminder of Rhode Island all throughout the year.”

As a lifelong coin collector, working with coins comes very naturally to Landino. “When I was 8 years old, my grandfather and my uncle got me into coin collecting and I’ve always been fascinated by the history of them.

Working as a toll collector in the 1950s and 1960s, Landino’s grandfather collected the change that spilled onto the ground outside the tollbooth.

“He picked them up, those were his, and he took them home and they were silver, so that’s where he started his collection,” says Landino.

“Really for me, it is about the value of the coin, but more so it’s about ‘this coin from 1909, who else could have held that coin in their hand at that time?’ For me that makes it a big deal,” he explained while turning an antique 1909 coin ring in his hand.

Now at 43 years old, Landino’s personal collection consists of 1700 and 1800 U.S. large cents, American pennies, dating back to when coins were minted at 1 1/8 inches diameter.

He got the idea for D.L. Heritage Coin Rings after he lost his ring on Palm Sunday 2013.

Upon finding out the cost of a replacement Landino decided that making a ring would be much less expensive. He began by making “a tapped ring.”

“You take a silver coin and you tap the outer rim with a spoon. The more you do it the more it starts to cave in on itself. Then you bore a hold in the center and you keep doing it, and you keep doing it.” Landino notes this work is repetitive, but relaxing.

“It was something that the troops used to do in WWI, WWII to combat boredom when they had nothing to do.”

While the ring Landino wears on his left hand is now a brand new wedding band, he has continued making rings, albeit more sophisticated than his first attempt.

The majority of the rings are made for a special occasions, including an anniversary, birthday, wedding or birth of a child. He has sold them worldwide, as far away as England and Australia, and all over the U.S.

“It’s always something that means something to someone,” says Landino. “It’s always, ‘I want my birth year, I want my mother’s birth year’ - and the stories that go along with them are just as cool as the rings themselves.”

The ring that will encircle the groom’s left hand in Jamaica was made from a Morgan silver dollar from the best man’s grandfather’s collection. Special indeed.

The business is a family affair, involving his wife, Susan, as business manager and his children, Ainsleigh, 9, and Colton, 6.

Landino’s day job, for the last 22 years, is senior manager of Security Systems Administration at Yale University. Every night, after his children are tucked into bed, he works for a couple hours crafting rings out of coins.

It is relaxing “to stand there for two or three hours and bang against a piece of steel with hammer, absolutely,” he says, chuckling, and a release “from everything. From the daily schedule of work, from running the kids around here and there and everything else that goes along with life.”

Landino donated all of his first year profits to the Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries Clinton location ( The whole family shopped once a week and every Wednesday they would deliver groceries to the pantry.

“We wanted our children to be more community minded,” says Landino. “It makes you feel great that you are doing something for the community and that it’s actually touching people that you deal with every day.”

The result was over 1,300 pounds of groceries.

The Cove for Grieving Children was the most recent recipient of profits. After the 2015 tragic death of an infant nephew in West Haven, the Landino’s turned to The Cove for Grieving Children ( to help them explain the death to their children.

“They were so helpful,” remembers Landino. It was through this connection that they decided to donate 25 percent of all 2015 profits to the organization.

Their 2016 community donations will circulate back to the Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries where the children will once again be personally involved in the community giving.

“We want them, really, to understand that there’s people who need help and you should help them,” stresses Landino.

What does Landino see for the future of D.L. Heritage Coin Rings?

“It’s exciting to me when someone just is interested in what I do. So I just keep doing it,” he says, “The long term goal is to keep the charities funded.”

Find them on Facebook at D.L. Heritage Coin Rings & Handmade Jewelry














Coins and a Cause for Local Designer






Published on Monday, 26 October 2015 21:30

Written by Lisa McAllister






A stressful incident a couple of years ago led Clinton resident David Landino on a path that he never would have imagined. In the spring of 2013, Landino looked down to see his wedding band missing and that started a chain of events that two years later has brought him to a most satisfying line of work.


Married to his wife, Susan, for 14 years, Landino initially sought the obvious solution to his lost band and contacted the jeweler for a replacement. The pricey option didn’t seem like the best solution for the problem, so he got creative. Figuring he could make a band that would suffice, Dave began poking around on the Internet for inspiration and direction when something caught his eye. Coin rings. Dave, an avid coin collector since childhood, had an appreciation for the beauty and value of coins. What he discovered has changed his daily life.

Historically this form of crafting caught on during WWI and WWII when soldiers were looking for a way to keep boredom at bay. They practiced a method of tapping a coin’s edge using a spoon from their mess kit. Eventually the tapping would cause the coin to flare out and curl over. The craftsman would then poke a hole in the center and carve out the silver, creating a clever, if primitive, result. The process has seen generations of trials at this point, and Dave Landino’s finely crafted rings are now part of its history.

Initially Dave only intended to make a ring for himself. But then relatives and friends saw the result and started requesting rings for themselves. At first, he just used coins he already owned. Then, as he sought to improve his technique, Dave invested in some proper tools to yield a finer result. Because the Landino family has always been avid supporters of the local Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries, Dave accepted food and personal care items as payment. Then he and Susan would include their children in delivering the goods to the pantry. Dave says, “They [folks at the pantry] always loved seeing our kids with us. We wanted a way to help our kids understand the importance of giving to their community. It’s been a good experience.”


The first year of ring designing resulted in a delivery of 1,300 pounds of food and goods! As business picked up, Susan started keeping the books and realized not only was there no profit, but they were losing money on a product that was obviously in demand. So the solution? The couple now donates 25% of every sale to The Cove Center for Grieving Children. As the orders multiply, so do the donations, which Dave is happy about.


He says his family recently lost a young nephew to a rare, congenital anomaly. “ We needed help with delivering the tragic news to our own children, and didn’t know where to turn. The people at The Cove were so helpful.”


What about the food pantry? Susan chimes in, “I’m a couponer. We continue collecting and delivering as a family.”

Clinton residents since 2003, Dave and Susan have managed to find a way for their children to be involved in the new family business as well. Their kids help by putting the finished product in boxes and packaging. They enjoy adding a little wrapping for a special touch.

To date, Landino has created nearly 300 rings that have been shipped around the world including Australia; 5 of the orders have been for sets of wedding bands. Often people request a ring with a specific year on it, perhaps a meaningful birth year of a relative or life event. Dave appreciates the opportunity to design for customers and considers each order an honor.


Occasionally a customer will want to provide their own coin and to that, Landino replies that it can be done but he makes sure the person understands there are no guarantees. “I take a blow torch and a hammer to these coins. There’s always the potential for breaking one.” He always offers to buy the coin from the customer for that reason, and he absolutely won’t work with a rare coin or one with irreplaceable value. He shops on ebay as well as with local dealers.


In terms of legality, it is perfectly acceptable in the United States to alter coins for use in jewelry and trinkets. As a coin collector, David only dealt in US coins, but now he has widened his scope to include foreign coins for their intricacy of design, as they are often more decorative than US coins.


A Yale University employee for 22 years, Landino is not giving up his job as Senior Manager of Security Systems any time soon. His jewelry design business is a labor of love and has nothing to do with profit. With his busy lifestyle, a single ring takes Dave about 3 days to complete, or about 3 hours of continuous labor.


He has found a support system of friends online who have helped him advance his craft, and likewise he has offered suggestions to them at times. “The internet makes everyone a neighbor,” he says. “I have 4 or 5 good friends to bounce ideas around with.” If any one of them is facing a dilemma, they help each other figure it out. They are all craftsmen, with no mass production or mechanized tooling involved.

One of Landino’s high points so far, was doing business with Dee Snyder of Twisted Sister. Snyder found DL Heritage Designs online and ordered a ring. A huge fan, Dave was thrilled to have had a conversation with the rock star when he placed his order. While he loves the idea of Hollywood calling, for Dave Landino, it’s more about creating that unique piece which will give its owner pleasure. Most importantly he is determined to use his skill as a vehicle to pay it forward, and for now that means helping The Cove.


To see more of Dave’s designs, check out his facebook page. To learn more about The Cove for Grieving Children, click here. 

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