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Collecting Elongated Coins

Updated on February 9, 2013

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 Collection

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Americana was an Amusement Park near Monroe Ohio.  I can remember many happy trips there as a child.  Sadly Americana is no more.  It closed its doors permanently around 2002.I think this is one of the earliest smashed pennies I made as a child.  It is from Cedar Point Amusement Park near Sandusky, Ohio.This coin is very special to me because my grandfather rolled it.  My grandmother discovered it after his death and gave it to me.  It is from the 1977 Circleville Pumpkin Festival.One of our most enjoyable and relaxing family vacations was a Mother's Day trip to Hocking Hills.  Breath-taking scenery and a weekend of hiking, geocaching, and letterboxing.  It was heaven!Ohio has a few lighthouses on its Lake Erie Shoreline.  Marblehead Lighthouse is now a state park.  On my last visit there, I got to go inside.  The view of the lake from the top is stunning!This coin was rolled on my very first date with my husband 20+ years ago.  Kings Island Amusement Park in Mason, Ohio used to have a Winterfest every year during the month of December.  That has long been discontinued, making the coin even more speciDid you know there used to be a Sea World in Ohio?  It was located in Aurora, Ohio.  Eventually the park closed and was bought by Six Flags.  I am not sure what the park is called now or if it is even still open.  I am glad I made a set of pressed peThis pressed penny is one of the more mysterious ones in my collection.  I found it a few years ago when my family and I were walking on the bike path.  I have been to Trader's World more times that I can count but never do I remember there being a pOur family loves exploring caves.  We frequently visit Ohio Caverns in West Liberty, Ohio.
Americana was an Amusement Park near Monroe Ohio.  I can remember many happy trips there as a child.  Sadly Americana is no more.  It closed its doors permanently around 2002.
Americana was an Amusement Park near Monroe Ohio. I can remember many happy trips there as a child. Sadly Americana is no more. It closed its doors permanently around 2002.
I think this is one of the earliest smashed pennies I made as a child.  It is from Cedar Point Amusement Park near Sandusky, Ohio.
I think this is one of the earliest smashed pennies I made as a child. It is from Cedar Point Amusement Park near Sandusky, Ohio.
This coin is very special to me because my grandfather rolled it.  My grandmother discovered it after his death and gave it to me.  It is from the 1977 Circleville Pumpkin Festival.
This coin is very special to me because my grandfather rolled it. My grandmother discovered it after his death and gave it to me. It is from the 1977 Circleville Pumpkin Festival.
One of our most enjoyable and relaxing family vacations was a Mother's Day trip to Hocking Hills.  Breath-taking scenery and a weekend of hiking, geocaching, and letterboxing.  It was heaven!
One of our most enjoyable and relaxing family vacations was a Mother's Day trip to Hocking Hills. Breath-taking scenery and a weekend of hiking, geocaching, and letterboxing. It was heaven!
Ohio has a few lighthouses on its Lake Erie Shoreline.  Marblehead Lighthouse is now a state park.  On my last visit there, I got to go inside.  The view of the lake from the top is stunning!
Ohio has a few lighthouses on its Lake Erie Shoreline. Marblehead Lighthouse is now a state park. On my last visit there, I got to go inside. The view of the lake from the top is stunning!
This coin was rolled on my very first date with my husband 20+ years ago.  Kings Island Amusement Park in Mason, Ohio used to have a Winterfest every year during the month of December.  That has long been discontinued, making the coin even more speci
This coin was rolled on my very first date with my husband 20+ years ago. Kings Island Amusement Park in Mason, Ohio used to have a Winterfest every year during the month of December. That has long been discontinued, making the coin even more speci
Did you know there used to be a Sea World in Ohio?  It was located in Aurora, Ohio.  Eventually the park closed and was bought by Six Flags.  I am not sure what the park is called now or if it is even still open.  I am glad I made a set of pressed pe
Did you know there used to be a Sea World in Ohio? It was located in Aurora, Ohio. Eventually the park closed and was bought by Six Flags. I am not sure what the park is called now or if it is even still open. I am glad I made a set of pressed pe
This pressed penny is one of the more mysterious ones in my collection.  I found it a few years ago when my family and I were walking on the bike path.  I have been to Trader's World more times that I can count but never do I remember there being a p
This pressed penny is one of the more mysterious ones in my collection. I found it a few years ago when my family and I were walking on the bike path. I have been to Trader's World more times that I can count but never do I remember there being a p
Our family loves exploring caves.  We frequently visit Ohio Caverns in West Liberty, Ohio.
Our family loves exploring caves. We frequently visit Ohio Caverns in West Liberty, Ohio.

Image: Scraps2Treasures. Coin rolled at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI

What Do You Call Elongated Pennies?

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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.

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.

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

60 Pocket Coin Wallet
60 Pocket Coin Wallet

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.

Images: Scraps2treasures

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

Rock Tumbler
Rock Tumbler

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?

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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.

How Long Have You Been Collecting Pressed Pennies?

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    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      I collect coins but not the elongated ones. I do remember these though from when I was a child.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 4 years ago from Ljubljana

      Looks like very fun hobby!

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      Never did it, but it's fantastic to see. I do remember placing a few coins on the rails of a train track and retrieving them after the train passed.

    • BuyAndStoreGold profile image

      BuyAndStoreGold 4 years ago

      Kind of reminds me of the "penny on the railroad track" thing...

    • AshleysCorner profile image

      AshleysCorner 4 years ago

      Very interesting lens!

    • GollyGearHope profile image

      Hope 4 years ago from Skokie, Illinois

      I had no idea other people enjoyed squished coins as much as I do! Terrific!

    • profile image

      RosemaryLucas 4 years ago

      This is what I love about Squidoo. coming across things I've never heard of before. Interesting lens!

    • Donallphin profile image

      Donallphin 4 years ago

      Thanks for a very interesting lens. I've got some pressed pennies but never really thought about collecting them.

    • Scraps2treasures profile image
      Author

      Scraps2treasures 4 years ago

      @Zodiacimmortal: Thanks! I appreciate that!

    • Scraps2treasures profile image
      Author

      Scraps2treasures 4 years ago

      @DDLewis: You are welcome! Glad it was helpful!

    • profile image

      DDLewis 4 years ago

      My daughter is actually the one who collects them! We have them from all over the United States. Thanks for the info on the Pre1982 pennies and the apps!

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 4 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      I collectg them as I find ones I like, but usually that's just on the thruway that I do.

      I'm adding this to one of my lenses (I'd guess my favorites lenses lens)

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 4 years ago

      Oh no! I am so glad I did not know about collecting pressed coins!!!! I have some from my travels to Europe, but never collected them...really is there something that isn't collectable to someone?

    • CampingmanNW profile image

      CampingmanNW 4 years ago

      You have an excellent collection. Ours started when our kids were small, and just escalated from there. Whenever we see a machine, we buy one. I have no favorites, as they each have their own "character." Interesting note about the pre 1982 pennies. I shall try that. Thanks for a fun lens.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 4 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I press pennies when I see a machine (I call them pressed pennies) and then give them to my grandkids. They each have a book and it's fun to look at the different ones. I love your huge collection!

    • KBellamy1 profile image

      KBellamy1 4 years ago

      What a great idea for a lens. We just began collecting elongated pennies. We have some from the Jacksonville Zoo and from St. Augustine. It is a fun hobby. One that doesn't take up a lot of space!

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 4 years ago

      What an interesting collection. Very cool.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      This is something new to me, I haven't heard of it before. Interesting. I have old New Zealand pennies, but they are not pressed. Thanks for sharing.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 4 years ago

      I see the machines everywhere.

    • profile image

      Hurlserv 4 years ago

      Our oldest granddaughter used to be quite into these.

    • gregs411 profile image

      gregs411 4 years ago

      Very interesting looking coins.

    • Scraps2treasures profile image
      Author

      Scraps2treasures 4 years ago

      @steveko: Glad to meet another collector!

    • steveko profile image

      steveko 4 years ago

      I actually collect these although I don't have as many as you I still love my collection. Thanks for this lens.