Elongated Penny from the Austin Nature & Science Museum

This elongate has minor corrosion, and very little of the host coin is visible on the reverse.

The pattern is uniface – the obverse shows a frog crawling up a wall, and the legend reads “Austin Nature and Science Center”.

Elongated Penny from the Austin Nature & Science Museum Obverse

Elongated Penny from the Austin Nature & Science Museum Obverse

Elongated Penny from the Austin Nature & Science Museum Reverse

Elongated Penny from the Austin Nature & Science Museum Reverse

Source: Austin, Texas at the Heard Nature Center

Status of the Machine: Still in operation (as far as I know)

Host Coin: post 1982 Lincoln cent

Other details: This elongate is on a post 1982 penny, which means that it has a high zinc content. Crushing the Lincoln cent exposed the zinc, which has lead to some minor corrosion.

Estimated Value: $0.51

What are elongated coins?

This souvenir piece was made by crushing a coin against a die. High pressure causes the host coin to deform and take on the shape of the die, although some details often remain. These pieces have various names – they are known as elongates, pressed coins, squashed pennies, or flattened coins, elongated cents, or stretched coins.

The first elongates were made at the 1892 World’s Fair in Chicago. Since then, coin pressing machines have appeared at many locations all around the world. They are commonly found at tourist attractions and feature patterns evocative of a location or activity (ie; the Seattle Space Needle or Playing Cards in Las Vegas).

Coin pressing machines come in various designs. Many are powered by a hand crank, although there are also automatic machines with electric motors that can get pretty fancy. Most cost 51 cents to operate (including the price of the penny that’s being pressed).

Pennies, Dimes, Nickels, Quarters, and various foreign coins have been used as hosts through the years. Pennies are probably the most common, but it seems like quarters are rising in popularity.

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