Quirk of the Month: Penny Smasher
Whatever you prefer to call it—penny smasher, coin smasher, penny squisher, coin press, or penny pincher, among many other things—it refers to that novelty machine found in amusement parks and tourist spots that melt and roll your penny into an engraved souvenir called the elongated coin.
Yes, as you would’ve guessed, I am a sucker for penny smashers. During my recent trip to Hong Kong, I got a Tinkerbell design for HK$10 in Disneyland. When I placed it in my coin collection album, I realized I’ve collected 21 elongated coins since my first Disneyland Anaheim trip in the ’80s.
That’s not much, if you consider that there are serious collectors out there. In fact, Google has led me to sites such as pressedpenny.com and pennycollector.com, where hobbyists can order penny passport collector books and read tips about keeping their beloved coins in shiny tip-top shape for decades to come.
While I plan to keep spending my money in penny smashers around the world, I have no interest in going hardcore (e.g., penny conventions and historical studies of elongated coins.)
Now check out my collection, which began in the ’80s.
Do you have a personal collection as well? Send me a link to your gallery!
January 19, 2012