The History Of Elongated Coins


Posted by kat | Posted in Elongated Coins | Posted on 09-02-2006

Also referred to as crushed, pressed, rolled, smashed, and squished.
These pennies, although they can be made from any coin or round bit of metal, have been rolled between two steel rollers under about 22 tons of pressure. The process presses the coin into the die which has an image engraved into it, at the same time the coin is stretched, or elongated, into the shape familiar to collectors young and old.

It is generally thought that the practice of elongating pennies has been around since 1892 where they made their debut at the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago, Illinois.
For a history of the penny go to

Yes, The United States Codes under Title 18, Chapter 17, and Section 331, “prohibits the mutilation, diminution and falsification of United States coinage.”
However, it has been the opinion of some individual officers at the Treasury Department, though without any indication of approval, the foregoing statute does not prohibit the mutilation of coins if done without fraudulent intent or if the mutilated coins are not used fraudulently.

Before 1982 pennies had a metal content of 95% copper and 5% zinc.
The exception to this was in 1942 during World War II. There was a shortage of copper and pennies for that year were made of steel coated zinc.
Some time in mid 1982 the price of copper went up and the US Mints changed the ratio of metal in the pennies. Today pennies are made of 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper. They are also 20% lighter.

Some people like bright shiny pennies, however sometimes it makes the engraved image a little harder to see. Pennies with a little bit of tarnish show the image better because of the contrast. In the end it’s a matter of preference.

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