What is a 'Pressed' or 'Squished' Penny?
Pressed (or elongated/smashed/squished/rolled) pennies are cents that have been rolled in a special machine to create a unique souvenir. The penny is put through a pair of hardened steel dies which is engraved with a design. The penny is squished between these dies, or rollers, with approximately 22 tons of pressure, causing the design to be impressed upon the coin.
Why would people do that?
Pressed or Squished coins are created to remind us (as well as everyone who sees them) where we have been with a carved impression in copper. They can also commemorate events, honour people, become an accessory, or be used as advertising.
Then there is the 'Souvenir Hunter' looking for collectable pressed pennies from locations around the world.
Why don’t we squash or press our Australian currency?
It is illegal to damage or de-face our Australian coins so we use the 100% Copper Coin to create your special souvenir.
When did all this start?
Squished pennies are no new kid on the souvenir-maker block. These souvenirs have been around since the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Since then, tens of thousands of different coins have been flattened into memorable trinkets. Many early issues commemorated expositions, fairs, and important events. Though the nuances of each roller, or the person who actually cranks out the pennies, can affect the final look of the piece, each coin possesses something in common: it is a simple, economical treasure that carries many fond memories with it.
Where can I find an Aussie Pressed Penny Machine?
Pressed Penny machines are located in hundreds of locations worldwide. Aussie Pressed Penny machine locations, can be found on our LOCATION page which lists all the relevant details. The various types of locations that you would expect to find a Pressed Penny machine would be as follows:
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What else can you tell me about them?
Although the hobby of squishing pennies began in America, its influence has been felt worldwide. In the countries where squishing coins is legal (unlike Canada, for instance), the phenomenon has caught on. Tourists in countries such as Scotland, Ireland, & Germany can capture their own experiences on a piece of native currency. It is this transcultural appeal that has allowed the squishing to occur worldwide. Here in Australia we use a 100% copper coin as we no longer have any copper currency.
Like the hobby, the penny hasn't remained stagnant over the years. 100% Copper Coins allow a roller to create a new look and feel to a design. Putting a 100% Copper Coin through a roller isn't the only way to create quite an impression.
Do other people collect them too?
Indeed! In fact there is an organization dedicated to the hobby. The Elongated Collectors (TEC) is a great group of folks who design, roll, and mostly just collect these coins. Membership is inexpensive and the benefits include free coins and a quarterly newsletter. Though the Aussie Pressed Pennies isn't affiliated with TEC, we would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone interested in the hobby, from beginners to longtime collectors.