Collecting pressed pennies is a fun, affordable hobby that provides the perfect opportunity to get out and explore the world around you. The concept of flattening pennies to turn them into souvenirs was first introduced in 1893 at the World’s Fair in Chicago. Since then, penny pressing machines have found their way into popular tourist attractions around the country.
The process of making pressed pennies is simple. All that you have to do is put the penny in a machine and turn a special handle. This directs the penny through a series of rollers where it is flattened out and embossed with a stamp that is related to the location of the machine. For instance, if the machine was located at Disney World, the penny would come out flattened and stamped with an image of a Disney character or slogan.
If you are interested in getting started with your own collection, you should learn as much as you can about the process. That way, you can get great results every time.
A good place to start is by learning about the best pennies to press. Even though all pennies look alike, there are some key differences between older coins and newer coins that you need to know about. Up until 1982, US pennies were composed of 95% copper, with the remaining 5% being made up of other metals.
After that time, however, things changed. Instead of being composed mostly of copper, newer pennies are copper plated. If you try to run a penny that is newer than 1982 through one of the machines, you may find that parts of it come out looking silver instead of the traditional copper color that pennies are known for.
To avoid that problem, you just need to choose older pennies to run through the machines. Fortunately, pennies that are dated before 1982 are easy to come by, which means that you shouldn’t have trouble finding some to put through the machine. You may want to set some aside ahead of time, however, so that you always have a copper penny available whenever you happen upon a penny flattening machine.
Before you start your collection, you may want to consider investing in a book to keep your pennies in. Having them all in one place makes it easy to see all of the tourist attractions that you have visited. Books for collectors are inexpensive and are a great investment for your new hobby.
Now that you know about the best pennies to press, the only thing left to do is to start your search for penny pressing machines. Typically, they are located at major tourist attractions. For instance, you can find them at both Disney World and Disneyland. They are also located at lesser-known locations. As an example, there is a machine at the Ballard Locks in Seattle.
Part of the fun of collecting is the thrill of the hunt. A great way to find new machines to visit is by talking to other penny-pressing enthusiasts through online forums.