Collecting Elongated Coins
Collecting Elongated Coins - A Lifetime of Fun and Memories
Collecting elongated coins is great fun for young and old alike. Although pennies are the most popular, you can also find machines that will press quarters, dimes, or even nickels. Elongated pennies are known by many names - smashed pennies, squished pennies, pressed pennies, flat pennies. No matter what you call them, pressed pennies are a great souvenir of your travels and adventures.
I have been collecting elongated coins since I was a little girl and I now have over 1000 smashed pennies in my collection, along with about 100 elongated quarters, dimes, and nickels. When my parents first pointed out a pressed penny machine at an amusement park on a family vacation, little did they know they were starting an obsession! Now that I am a parent, I am encouraging my kids to start their own collections.
My absolute favorites in my collection are the carousel elongated pennies. I typically find them in zoos and amusement parks. Recently though I have developed a particular fondness for lighthouse pressed pennies as well. I don't limit myself to only these types of pennies though. I am always ecstatic to find a new machine and add a new pressed penny or two to my collection.
Keep reading to learn more about collecting elongated coins and how you can start a collection of your own.
Image: Scraps2Treasures. This set of pennies was rolled at the US Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.
Ohio Pressed Pennies - A Few of My Favorites From My CollectionClick thumbnail to view full-size
Image: Scraps2Treasures. Coin rolled at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI
What Do You Call Elongated Pennies?
Always Use Pre1982 Pennies for Pressed Pennies
Pennies made after 1981 have a higher zinc content which can sometimes show as silver streaks when you make pressed pennies. Pennies made before 1982 have a higher copper content and produce a nice even colored elongated coin. (Although if a zinc penny is all you have on you, it is better to roll an elongated coin on a zinc penny than not make one at all!)
Photo Credit: Scraps2Treasures. Coin rolled at a special exhibit at the Mall of America.When you are first starting your collection, it can be hard to know where to find pressed pennies, especially if you aren't familiar with the location. Many new collectors just come across machines by chance and are delightfully surprised. However, you might be happy to know that there are several websites that list machine locations across the United States and the World. Before our family goes on a trip, I usually consult the websites below to see if there are any near our destination. Knowing where to find pressed pennies just involves a little research before your trip.
- Penny Collector's Machine Locations List
First select a state or country. Machine locations are listed by city on each state / country page. What I like most about this site is that if you click on the camera icon in each listing, it will take you to images of the elongated coins.
- Press Coin - Walt Disney World Pressed Penny Machine Locations
If you are going to Walt Disney World and are an elongated coing collector, knowing where to find pressed pennies machines is a must! Be sure to print one of the checklists to take along with you on your trip.
- Official Walt Disney World Map of Pressed Penny Machine Locations
Maybe a map is easier than pages and pages of listings. This is Walt Disney World's official map of elongated coin machines
- Disneyland Pressed Penny Machine Locations
Printable PDF checklist of elongated coin machines in the Disneyland parks from ParkPennies.
Photo Credit: Scraps2Treasures. Coin rolled at Rock City on Lookout Mountain in Georgia.If you have a smart phone and don't want to deal with printable checklists, you can download one of these great pressed penny machine locator apps. If anyone knows of a Walt Disney World pressed penny machine locator app, please let me know by leaving a comment at the bottom of this page.
- PennyCollector.com Pressed Penny Machine Finder App
For a nominal fee ($1.99 as of 2/6/13) you can search for machines near you or search by state. Compatible with iPhones and iPod Touch.
- Disneyland Penny Machine Finder App
If you are going to Disneyland, here is a free app to help you locate all their penny machines. This app will work on all mobile devices.
- Mouse Penny Guide App
If you have Windows 8 on your smartphone, be sure to check out the Mouse Penny Guide app for Disneyland Penny machine locations. It's free and has some great features like allowing you to track what coins you already have.
Adding to Your Pressed Penny Collection
Have you ever come across a pressed penny machine that isn't working? That can be frustrating, especially if you really had your heart set on adding that particular elongated coin to your collection. Don't despair, you might be able to find it on eBay!
I have found lots of great elongated coins on eBay. Sometimes it's fun to buy grab bags. You never know what you might get!
Pressed Penny Albums
Now that you have collected a few elongated coins, you will need a place to keep them. When you are first starting out, you probably will want to keep your collection in pressed penny albums. Sometimes you can find themed ones for sale near where the machines are located, but not always. This coin album is a good one to have on hand in case you are unable to find a pressed penny album when you are on vacation. It will help keep your coins from getting lost before you get home.
After you have more than a hundred coins in your collection, you realize that you need a different method for storing your pressed penny collection than the little collector's wallets. (Those work great for keeping your coins safe while you are on vacation though!)My current method is to keep my collection in a series of nice faux-leather binders.
I use 2x2 Cardboard coin holders specially made for elongated coins. Then each 2x2 is placed into plastic coin collecting sheets.
I use tab dividers to organize my collection by city (for my Ohio Binder), park (for my Disney Binder) and state (for the rest of my collection).
I currently have 4 binders. One is for Ohio (my home state), one is exclusively for Walt Disney World Coins, and 2 are for the rest of the US states. I can hold 300+ coins in each binder.
You might have noticed in my pictures that I use cardstock as dividers in between each sheet. This is so the coin images stand out when I am looking through my collection.
I would love to hear how you store your collection. Be sure to scroll all the way down and leave a comment in my guest book.
Elongated Coin Collecting Supplies
Photo Credit: Scraps2Treasures. Coin received as a member of TEC.Want to join a club that is exclusively for elongated coin collectors? I have been a member of The Elongated Collectors pressed penny club for many years now. They send out a fun and informative newsletter 4 times a year that includes several pressed pennies for your collection.
For more information on joining visit http://www.tecnews.org/Join.htm
If you do join, would you please put that you were referred by TEC member #3899 - Jennifer Voss. You can put that on the line "I Learned of TEC from (name of website, person, or publication) _____________". In the interest of full disclosure, I get a special referral coin for referring others to the club.
Use a Rock Tumbler to Clean Your Pennies Before You Press Them
I fill the tumbling container about 1/4 full of pre-1982 pennies. Add I cup water, 1 cup vinegar, & 1 tsp of salt. Tumble for about 5 minutes then rinse the coins well. Add back to the tumbler with 1/4 cup baking soda & water to cover. Tumble 5 minutes. Rinse and dry your bright shiny coins!
An Inexpensive Rock Tumbler Works Great for Cleaning Pressed Pennies
You don't need an expensive rock tumbler to clean your elongated coins. An inexpensive one, like the ones marketed for kids, will do the job just fine. My kids were given a rock tumbler years ago and only used it once before they lost interest in it. So I have put it to good use cleaning all my pennies to get them all nice and shiny.
Cleaning Pressed Pennies
Photo Credit: Scraps2Treasures. Coin rolled at M&M World in Las Vegas.
What Types of Elongated Coins Do You Like To Collect?
Disney Smashed Pennies
Walt Disney World and Disneyland have hundreds of pressed penny machines each. Did you miss a machine on your recent trip? You might be able to find it on eBay.
Carousel Pressed Pennies
I have to admit, my carousel elongated coins are my favorites. If you love to to collect carousel pressed pennies as much as I do, then ebay is a great place to increase your collection.
Lighthouse Pressed Pennies
Maybe your thing is collecting lighthouse pressed pennies. You can add to your collection by browsing the great selection on eBay.
Elongated Coin Collecting Books
Want to learn more about the history and value of elongated coins? Be sure to check out this great selection of elongated coin collecting books below.
Retired and Rare Elongated Coins - Find them on eBay!
Tourist locations frequently change the designs on their elongated coin machines as dies wear out. It can be fun to add a few retired elongated coins to your collection. eBay is a great place to search for them.
Photo Credit: Scraps2Treasures.I would love to hear about your collection. How many do you have? Which is your favorite. Feel free to leave any questions or comments about collecting elongated coins below.