By Oded Paz, WINS#463
Elongated coins, also known as pressed, squashed, squished, rolled and smashed coins, are great! The reason they're so great is that they're cheap, small, and make great souvenirs from places of interest and special events.
Hey, hold on. What is an elongated coin? An elongated coin is a coin that runs through a hand-cranked or electric mill type machines consisting of reverse-engraved dies cut in steel rollers, similar in concept to wringers on old-fashioned washing machines. Regular coins are run between the rollers under tremendous pressure (about 22 tons), which presses the coin out flat into the die, and due to the pressure, simultaneously stretches the coin into an "Elongated" shape with an imprinted image on it.
The image could be a logo of a place, words about an event, animals, people or landmarks. The images on coins are usually related to the theme of the place. And every image is very unique and interesting.
Elongated coins are found all over the world at major tourist attractions, in small towns, and off back roads. They are engraved by a variety of gifted artisans, and rolled by numerous enthusiasts. And they are coveted by both novices and experienced collectors alike.
It is generally accepted that the rolling of elongated coins in the United States began at the World's Columbian Exposition held in Chicago, Illinois in 1892-1893.
Elongated coins come in all denominations including tokens and foreign coins, with the one-cent piece being by far the most common.
With its start as a moneymaking souvenir at world fairs and expositions, the modern elongateds are rolled and sold at many events, fairs, shows, amusement parks and other activities or tourist attractions. The more common elongateds sell for between 50 cents and $1.00, when not used as free handouts or tokens.
Older elongated coins can be found at coin shops and shows, flea markets, even at garage sales. Prices for older issues and even recent limited edition commemorative elongateds are generally higher. It is estimated that there are well over a thousand "serious" elongated coin collectors with large general collections and many thousands more who collect topical or specialty elongateds.
The Elongated Coin Collectors (TEC) club is a great place to meet these people, find out about elongated coins, and buy, sell or make trades. Their website address is: http://www.money.org/clubs/tec.html.
You could also join the Elongates Discussion Group at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elongatedcoin/.
Prices of elongated coins vary depending on the number rolled, age, denomination, and popularity of topic or event, even the condition of the coin. There are four published books, which catalog elongated coins. The latest and the most comprehensive was authored by Angelo A. Rosato, "ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE MODERN ELONGATEDS" 1990 (1700 pages- hard bound).
The Legal Question!!
Nevertheless, it is illegal to smash Canadian pennies. In fact, I was told that "it is actually illegal to roll any coin with the queen of England on it. This is considered defacing the picture of the queen and against the law". A friend who went to Canada said that their machines are pre-loaded with U.S. pennies. Interesting to know though that elongated Pennies in England are O.K. to press - strange world.
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