I have seen numerous pressed penny machines in and around Walt Disney World. You know the machines that consist of steel rollers that press against each other forcefully to deform a coin. One of the rollers has a design engraved on it which imprints on the coin as it passes through. The finished product is actually called an elongated coin. The customer inserts a coin, plus a nominal fee, and is rewarded with a coin that has the imprinted design on one side and usually is smooth on the other side. While some machines are automatic, some require Guest intervention…..there is a crank to turn! These machines offer another type of souvenir to make and collect while visiting numerous tourist hubs and Walt Disney World is no exception.
What about the legality? Weren’t we always told not to deface or mutilate our currency, that it was against the law as a matter of fact? Well I checked on that as well and it seems that it is acceptable if the mutilated coins are not used fraudulently, with the intent of counterfeit or other profit from the base metal. If the coins are pressed as souvenirs this mutilation is legal as long as the location of the press has a permit from the Mint. I am sure the Disney Corporation has such a permit since both Disneyland and Disney World have embraced this as another way to create a memory.
I was surprise to see so much information about this phenomena on the web. I suppose nothing on the web should surprise me but there are entire pages devoted to pressed pennies and not just any pressed coins, Disney Pressed Coins! There are sites that offer tips, sites that offer maps of where the machines are, sites for collectors and sites with accessories for your coins. I found it all very interesting. I have a couple of my own but with this new information I may need to make a few new ones!
Here is some of the information I found to be most useful:
1. Use pre 1982 pennies, if you want to avoid zinc streaking. Pennies made after 1982 are made with zinc and it is softer and sometimes doesn’t press as well.
2. Those M&M minis tubes once emptied, are a good holder for pennies to be pressed.
3. There are many characters available to ‘press’ if you are willing to look. http://www.presscoins.com/ as an extensive listing.
4. There are many suggestions on how to clean your pennies after pressing, best advice…..use a SHINY penny!!!
5. Pennies are actually auctioned on EBAY!
6. http://www.parkpennies.com/ is a great site for serious collecting information with articles and history as well.
7. Pick a theme and press on!
8. Press heads up!
9. Quarters and dimes can also be pressed, be sure to check!
10. Maps with machine locations can be found on line!
11. Remember that you are pressing one coin but it may cost additional coins to do the pressing.
I hope you find this information useful and enjoy creating magical memories to share! Next time….what can we do with our coins…..