This is a locationless cache.
Note: You may now create a waymark for your find in the Penny Smashers category (if you are a premium member.)
Now you can trade with this virtual cache!!
No we don’t have a machine yet, but we did have 1000 geocaching smashed pennies made:
If you would like one of your own to keep or trade (they are trackable at mj.geocoin.net) just send us a smashed penny (we prefer pre-1982 copper pennies) or any other cool signature item to:
Joani and Marky
P.O. BOX 36117
San Jose CA 95158-6117
Be sure to include a return address with your request. Also, please include your cacher name so we can drop you a note that we received your trade! Pennies can be a little tricky to mail. Please do not send loose coins. Place them between something stiff, like an index card, and tape it to it. Put it in an envelope that is clearly marked, HAND STAMP ONLY. We use a small padded envelope and tape all around, end to end and top to bottom.
We have never had to use more than 2 stamps. Some trades come with a lot of extra postage on them. There is a good postage estimator online.
Are they legal? Yes, squished, pressed, smashed, rolled or whatever you call them coins are legal in the US. The statue, Title 18, section 331, is confusing. It does prohibits fraudulent alteration and mutilation of coins. But, you can mutilate a coin if your intentions are not fraudulent, ie, not to us the coin as money. Canadian pennies are another story. It is illegal to alterate any coin with the queen of England on it , even in the United States!
Smashed pennies are made by taking a coin and squeezing it between two rollers, one (or both) of which has been engraved in reverse. The coin has the engraving pressed into it as it is pressed between the rollers.
Smashed pennies are no new kid on the memory-maker block. The World's Colombian Exposition of 1893, held in Chicago, USA to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, was the first known time that souvenir smashed coins were made for a specific event.
These early producers of smashed coins most likely used modified jewellers mills, which were normally used to roll gold and other metals into thin wire. These early machines had to be turned by hand and gears were used to make this possible. More than a hundred years have passed since then, during which time the smashed coin or pressed penny has become a very popular souvenir and collectible.
The method of producing them has progressed from the original hand-cranked machines of the late 19th Century to mechanical components which are controlled by electronic circuitry and activated when the customer deposits his payment coins and a penny or other acceptable coin into the coin slots. Modern machines apply as much as 2 tons of pressure.
To log this cache, you need to:
- Find a penny (or other coin) smashing machine, one that has not already been logged to this cache.
- Take a picture of it with your GPS/r. If photography is prohibited where the machine is, take a picture at the entrance to the facility.
- Log the coordinates of the machine. If indoors and a reading isn't possible, take a reading at the nearest entrance.
- If possible, take a picture of the design(s) the machine produces. A closeup of an actual smashed coin would be great!
- Extra Credit: (Okay, so there isn't really any extra credit) Report any information about the facility where the machine resides, such as parking fees, entrance fees, operating hours, etc.
Tips on finding them: Smashed pennies, also known as elongated pennies, are great! The reason they're so great is that they're cheap and they're small. But the machines are usually hidden away at amusement parks, tourist attractions, historical sites, monuments, lighthouses, muesuems, zoos, stadiums, rest areas, hotels, casinos, etc.
Here are some helpful links to help you on your way:
Smashed Coin Locator
Hitchhiker's Guide to Elongated Coins
Smashed Penny Database Search
Tips on smashing:A little known fact, it is best to use pennies older than 1982 because they are 97% copper and 3% Zinc (newer pennys are just the opposite, with 97% zinc). The zinc will bleed through on newer pennies leaving unsightly streaks (and the zinc pennies stretch more).
Clean the pennies before you smash them for best results! Believe it or not, but ketsup works great! You can also use a pencil eraser. Cleaning a penny after smashing it will turn the exposed zinc black (if you use a post '81 penny).
The average cost for smashing a penny is 51 cents (2 quarters and one pre-1982 penny).
Get out there and get smashing!