Disney Pressed Penny Collecting Questions
Some elongated coin clubs, groups or organizations:
TEC, The Elongated Collectors.
Meeting fellow collectors is one of the things that makes this hobby wonderful. We need not say more... TEC is The Organization for pressed penny collecting.
Visit TEC The Elongated Collectors Web site
Yahoo Groups The Disney elongated coins club Email list ~100 Members
Description: "Hello fellow Disney elongated coin collectors. This club is a friendly place to discuss, buy/sell and trade Walt Disney World and Disneyland elongated pennies, quarters and nickels. Feel free to post your wish list of Disney coins or a sell/trade list for other club members."
SIGN UP HERE
ParkPennies note: Large email groups have a greater chance of providing an answer to your questions. However, larger email groups, statistically, have a greater chance of a suffering from a single childish heckler. We feel the best of all worlds is a large group that is well Moderated. You may wish to try a few email groups to see which one or ones you like best. Do give them a try. We were members of one group for more than 10 years and are truly thankful for the friends we made and the knowledge we gained.
Share your Disney pressed penny collecting group or organization for consideration.
It’s easy. Just E-Mail Us
Which Disneyland elongated coin reference materials would you suggest?
Books "A Guide To The Elongated Coins Of The Disneyland Resort" published by Lou Smith. This book, which was sold out shortly after the announcement of its availability, is occasionally offered on eBay. The original price was about $25. recent prices as of this writing are about twice that. We all hope that a second printing will be made. View pictures of this book: Book image 1 Book image 2 Book image 3
ParkPennies.com Offers many web-based guides featuring descriptions, scans and coin reference numbers used the world around. Disney penny press machine coins featured in these guides include every elongated coin ever issued in or for the Disneyland ® Resort Area as well as many Tokyo Disneyland Resort medals, Hong Kong Disneyland Magical Coins, Disneyland Resort Paris elongated coins, articles, news and more. Not that we are bias.
Computer based guides / databases The top download file here at ParkPennies is probably the "All Disneyland Resort Pressed Coins" Excel file. This 200kb file is very handy if you have Excel or an Excel reader on your PC or Mac. Once downloaded, the numbers and descriptions can be used to build your own personal trade lists, inventories etc. Here is the HTML file version. It is a large, 400kb file. But, now, really, would you have been happy if I had cut any of the good stuff out? Additional ParkPennies resources may be accessed via the Main Page.
Quoted with permission from Eurolink GB A Brief History of Pressed Pennies
PRESSED PENNIES and other stretched coins are made by taking a coin and squeezing it between two rollers, one of which has been ENGRAVED in reverse. The coin has the engraving pressed into it as it is pressed between the rollers.
The earliest surviving and documented elongated coins were produced in VIENNA, Austria in 1818. At that time AUSTRIA was part of the HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE and the coins used were both AUSTRIAN and RUSSIAN.
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 elongated coins were made for a specific event.
These early producers of elongated 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 ONE HUNDRED YEARS have passed since then, during which time the elongated 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.
The EUROLINK PENNY PRESSER produces about 2500 pounds of pressure on the penny as it is being pressed and the rollers are HEAT TREATED to make them VERY HARD. Otherwise the engraving on the die would wear away quickly. The engraving itself can be made by computer however the die on EUROLINK machines are all engraved by HAND by the best engravers currently working in the business. The designs are of far superior quality than those made by computer.
HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of engravings have been made showing well known buildings, historic landmarks, animals, famous people, cartoon characters and text. In fact almost anything you can think of.
These pressed pennies are avidly sought after by young and old collectors around the world. In some cases, due to a certain pressed coin being very rare, they can change hands for substantial sums of money.
Nowadays EUROLINK PENNY PRESSERS are making pressed coins at sites as far apart and as diverse as DISNEYLAND in California, EIFFEL TOWER in France, EDINBURGH CASTLE in Scotland, HUKA VILLAGE in New Zealand, GIANTS CAUSEWAY in Ireland, THE ALAMO in Texas, HM TOWER OF LONDON in England and DISNEY Japan.
Some fun collecting ideas are now listed under "Guides" on the Main Page
and many fun collectible "sets" of all sizes and values are also linked from the main graphical collection guide
The cost of pressing coins is typically only 50 cents, plus a penny to be pressed. However, some newer machines, in key locations, can charge 75 cents or a dollar. The cost of pressing a nickel is often 75 cents plus the nickel to be pressed and the cost of pressing a quarter is often 75 cents or a dollar plus the quarter to be pressed. When compared to most other keepsakes and souvenirs, the cost of pressing pennies is a bargain. After all, your pressed penny purchase often includes a fun souvenir can last several lifetimes, a smile, and a fun memory every time you see it. :-)
There are many types of cents or pennies from which to choose. Copper cents, pre 1982 "pennies", are preferred by most collectors. They are solid copper unlike newer cents which are copper plated zinc. When pressed, zinc cents can show "streaks" or silver smearing that shows through the copper plating. On the other hand, some collectors on occasion, prefer to press currently dated coins. Examples of times when currently dated coins, might be preferred would be if a coin is pressed on a birthday visit, is a special issue for a person’s retirement or is part of a dated PNC issue etc. When the 50th Magical Milestones coins were on stage, some collectors insisted on pressing only 2005 dated cents, some wanted 1955 cents others were having so much fun pressing 51 different pennies, they didn’t care or notice!
Circulated copper, pre 1982 cents can be found in every day change. Rolls of cents purchased at the bank are a great place to find copper cents and they are only one cent each! Just sort out the pre 1982 cents and you’re done. (With a little hinting, a family member might help you by sorting out coppers from their pocket change too.) If you want "shiny" pressed pennies, I’d suggest that you clean the cents before you press them. (It will make for a nicer looking coin than if you clean the elongated coin after pressing.)
Clean, ready to roll copper cents can often be found via a few phone calls to coin dealers. A "Mint Bag" of 5,000 common date bright and shiny, uncirculated BU cents are sometimes available. Costs vary. But, as of this writing,a good price is less than $100.00. Sometimes coin dealers will also have rolls of these same coins. A good price for a roll of 50 cents, about $1.00 -$1.50 a roll. These prices and availability vary greatly across the United States and from year to year. Shipping costs can be high. But, having a good supply of clean, ready to roll coppers is priceless.
Silver coins. When pressing dimes and quarters, don’t forget that pre 1965 U.S. coins are made of silver. These silver coins are harder than their contemporary copper clad replacements and may result in a poor press. But, often dimes will press very nicely and sometimes even quarters will press well. Silver, common date coins can be purchased via on-line auctions as well as local coin shops.
Other "stuff". Although there are brass, copper, silver and other types of "slugs" or planchets that will fit in a penny press, use of non-coins can result in damage to the machines and user liabilities. Besides, most collectors prefer real coins anyway. Wouldn’t you?
Is there a "better way" to press a coin in a coin operated machine? Readers tell us that Wheat cents are only copper cents to most people unless the wheat stalks show and they are hard to see if they are on the engraved side of the elongated coin. BU’s, clad quarters and dimes often roll best "heads up" with the obverse of the coin oriented toward the engraved side of the finished ec. (The raised head of the quarter or cent tend to fill the engraved part of the die.) If you choose to press steel cents, which tend to be very hard on the machines and roll short, be aware that some machines, as you may have noticed, will have a magnet that "pirates" the steel cent. Therefore your coin may not be pressed or it may jam the machine. That said, my personal preference is to treat them the same as other wheaties and have the wheat stalks on the reverse. Please see also short rolls.
In my humble opinion, coppers from pocket change are just fine. Wheaties are even better, steelies are very hard on the presses and often make for a short roll and zincers are too soft and often have broken surfaces. Of course, if given the choice of any coin denomination, it’s a nickel for this collector! No tarnish, larger, nice color, heavier, etc. Yet as this is written, only two machines, four total dies, are set to accept nickels at all Disney Parks combined. (Yes, Disneyland has them all. )
How can I display, preserve and store my elongated coins - pressed penny collections?
If you are storing or displaying a few thousand dollar treasure or a treasured 50 cent coin, my suggestion is to set it aside in a way that will preserve it for many years, not just for today. I’d emphasize that if it is a zinc cent or a one of a kind coin. One product I have used for a few years is Renaissance wax. Web site It’s a specialty wax that is used by many people from museum archivists to tin toy collectors for restoration and conservation. Of course, follow the directions and use it as a first step. (One of the greatest risks to a zinc or copper cent is surface contaminates as well as temperature and humidity over time. So, please be sure the surface is clean and "stable" before you seal the coin.)
Once the coin is prepared, my choice is to enclose the coin in a clean 2 x 2 that is free of "dust". I staple the cover securely with a clinch stapler and place the 2 x 2 in a 20 pocket plastic page which is held in a three ring binder and placed in a cool, dry storage area. Bulk Elongated coins in 2 x 2’s can be stored in bulk in 2 x 2 boxes. Loose elongated coins can be temporarily stored in plastic compartmented tackle boxes.
If you are storing or displaying a few thousand dollar treasure or a treasured 50 cent elongated coin, there are many ways to display them. Dan and Lizzie, two very cool Disneyland penny collectors, sent in these examples of a great way to display special ec’s. Shown here are both frames and 20 pocket plastic pages with 2x2’s. Click a picture for a close up view in a new window.
an avid Disney elongated coin collector, who has also shared Excel based pressed penny guide
updates with us, agreed to share these pictures of his pressed penny labeling system. I'm delighted to include another excellent interpretation of enviable organization and display. I'm inspired! Click on a picture for a close up view in a new window.
See also The Divas Event framed dies
Where / How can I obtain hard to find elongated coins for my collection?
Visit the park - Machines are sometimes available for only a few days. If you can, visit often and check for new machines. As we say, get while the gettin’ is good. If you can’t, check here at www.ParkPennies.com for new coin reports. If you can’t visit the park personally, then next choice is to Have a friend visit the park for you. The machines listed in our "DR" Disneyland Resorts Guide can be accessed without paying admission to the park. Downtown Disney in Anaheim is also a great place to meet with fellow collectors.
Trading - Sometimes you can find fellow collectors that may have the coin you need that. With luck, you might have a coin they are looking for or one they'd trade for. If so, you both might just make a great trade! It’s a major way Stasi and I have added coins to our collections over the years. It’s a fun way to collect and you are helping others complete their collections at the same time. Trade lists are common in collector groups and one excellent way to obtain the coins you want, new or older, common or rare. Trading can be a great way to find pressed pennies. (Look under Organizations above for ways and places to meet fellow collectors.)
Auctions - With the advent of eBay and other on-line auction venues, people from all over the word can obtain Disneyland elongated coins for their collections without even leaving their homes much less their countries! I have seen Disneyland elongated coins sell on eBay for more than eight hundred dollars and less than one dollar. It can be a good place to check values, make contacts with sellers and keep your collection up to date if you are unable to go to the park personally.
Private Sales - Most of the very highest value coins are sold privately. Unlike the coins most often seen on eBay, coins sold privately are often very scarce, and very expensive. There are only a few collectors that have such exclusive coins. Often times such coins are exchanged between them without public sale. Both the transaction and price are often kept private also. Networking is the key here.
WWW.PressedPennies.com has listings of elongated coin related suppliers, clubs, online groups, buyers, sellers, engravers, penny machine companies... etc.
Still no luck? The folks at ParkPennies occasionally have or know of people that have coins for trade from time to time. If you contact us, chances are we know someone that can list for auction most any Disney ec you need. There is also an auction link button on the Main Page that will open a list of current Acutions by ParkPennies Vistiors. You'll also find information on how to list your auctions for free via this button are also linked there.
As Per Collector Requests and Suggestions in Order of Importance
This section has been expanded and moved to a separate page, the pressed penny Auction Tips page.
1. Include in your auction a large, clear scan of the coin you are offering.
2. Describe the coin as completely as possible. If it is a cent, please include whether it is a copper or zinc cent.
3. Especially, if it is a higher value coin, the "User ID kept private" option should be considered. Many of the top collectors are good friends and are shy about over bidding each other.
4. A common time for higher value Disney elongated coin auctions to close is Sunday evening. If your auction closes then, there are fewer bidders away at work, school or sleeping. Not to mention, there may be Disney elongated coin bidders on-line already because of other currently closing Disney ec auctions.
5. Consider linking your auctions to ParkPennies.com. It’s free and can quickly introduce your auctions to the often very serious collectors that visit ParkPennies.com.
6. Try to list coins regularly. Bidders often look forward to your next offering. Sometimes bidders will even bookmark sellers that are known to have regular weekly auctions of cool Disneyland elongated coins.
7. Consider listing for at least seven days. It gives people that check auctions only once a week a chance to see and bid on yours. It also gives people advance notice of when the auction will close so they can out bid me at the last second! Er ah... I meant to say... so they won’t miss the chance to place a closing bid.
8. Everyone knows this one, so I listed it last. It is of course the most important. Treat your buyers well. Word of mouth in the elongated coin hobby is strong and helpful. Especially when you are just starting out.
Do you have other auctioning tips you’d like to share with fellow collectors? Please contact us and let us know.
2X2 A Die-cut "fold over" elongated coin holder made of cardboard with elongated Mylar windows cut to display an elongated coin sandwiched between the two 2" x 2" stapled sides of the "pressed penny" holder. Once a coin is secured via glue or stapled via a Clinch Stapler in a 2 x 2 pressed penny holder, the 2 x 2 is placed in either a 2x2 box designed to store the pressed penny holders or in a plastic three ring binder page with pockets, usually designed for 20 each 2 x 2’s. (There are a few different styles and sizes.) See also ways to display pressed pennies and elongated coins.
2x2 Boxes Are often red in color, two inches high, two inches wide and available in sizes up to twelve inches in length. A box that is nine inches long will hold about 100 coins in 2 x 2 "pressed penny" holders.
"Advanced Collector", An individual that collects Disney related pressed coins with an "advanced" focus. Some tell tail signs of this condition are:
1. When news of a new world class Disneyland attraction is rumored, the "Advanced Collector" can’t wait until morning to run to the new attraction ....and look for a new penny press machine.
2. When taking a vacation, the "Advanced Collector" usually travels to a location rich in Disney penny presses.
3. When the "Advanced Collector" is told a new price record was set in a recent Disney elongated coin sale, they will say:
a. I thought I’d have to pay more.
b. Why didn’t you tell me before the sale closed?
c. Who bought it? I’d offer them more if they’ll sell.
d. It was an extra I sold to buy another coin.
e. I was sniped!
View "Advanced Collector" Boomer’s, vacation pictures.
Backstamp or Reverse The "tails" or back side of a coin, opposite the obverse. You may have noticed that because backstamp "dies" and coin dies are different in many ways, they are treated differently here at ParkPennies. Guides confirm that unlike coin dies, backstamp “dies” often share a single design / artwork "type" pressed onto the reverse of many different elongated coins. When these backstamp "dies" are compared to others of the same design "type", often there are slight differences as each is etched or engraved individually. To mix things up even more, it is possible for a set of three nearly identical backstamp "dies" engraved on a back shaft and paired with particular coin dies, to be accidentally or intentionally rotated when the penny press mechanism is serviced or repaired. And even more permutations are introduced if a replacement back shaft is installed with facsimiles of the original backstamp engravings. Lastly, backstamp engravings are also prone to change in appearance over time as they wear, "sink" etc., which can add variations to the same back stamp engravings over time. As you can see, these backstamp characteristics could make for a lot of “different” backstamps of the same design "type".
Therefore, our guide attributions give small design variations or changes less weight when observed in backstamp "dies" vs. obverse coin dies. A good example would be the many 50th Anniversary backstamps. There are as many individual backstamp "dies" or engravings as there are coins in the 50th set, each with slight variances in placement, depth, and texture. Yet all share the same artwork / design, i.e. without intentional differences in design, and are considered one “generic type” for the purposes of listing in this guide.
Boomer (Boomer on Google Plus Boomer ParkPennies on FaceBook) Boomer is all of us here at ParkPennies. Boomer is a composite of the folks that support the ParkPennies.com web site, write articles or make coin reports. Yes, Boomer is definitely an Advanced Collector. When you hear about one of Boomer's adventures, someone at ParkPennies did it. Probably someone that is way too embarrassed to admit it. If you see a report from "Boomer", one or more of us at ParkPennies is making the report. If you write to Boomer, the first person to the email inbox will gladly answer for Boomer. Usually, we’ll sign it "Boomer" followed by the name of the person that replied to you, e.g. "(Bob)". Here is a bit more background about us.
BU Acronym for "Brilliant Uncirculated". A coin that has never been used as money or handled. In the elongated coin world, it is assumed that the term refers to a pre 1982 copper cent. See also the warning under Short Roll.
Canceled Die A die that has fulfilled its purpose and has been permanently engraved with a mark visible on future pressed coins to call attention to its expiration. Such cancellation may be in the form of defacement of the design, such as several crisscrossed lines, the addition of a cancellation mark etc.
See also on-stage, off stage, retired and the Disneyland Canceled Die Guide.
Centek Inc. Early manufacturer and pioneer in the coin operated penny press business. The first two on-stage Disneyland penny presses were made by Centek. They were single play machines delivered to the park in 1987. They vended the first pressed pennies in the park. Two different ec themes were offered, a classic Mickey Mouse Rays coin ( DL0001 DL0005 DL0007 ) and the Bear Country theme, just before Bear Country was renamed Critter Country in 1988, ( DL0002 DL0006). Additionally, there are two known Centek prototype coins, the DN0001 and DN0005.
Some have said that the reason Centek machines were on-stage for such a sort time was due to "soft" dies. Such a problem may be evidenced by this view of a DL0007 that appears to show the scar of a hard coin. Whatever the reason, Centek machines were replaced by Eurolink machines soon after the establishment of penny presses in the Disneyland ® Park.
Changes and Updates, Reportable - ParkPennies.com strives to keep our readers up to date with the latest news about machine locations and new coin issues.
It is difficult to tell if a machine has been removed from stage for servicing, long term repair work or an exciting new die. So, we attempt to evaluate each case before posting an update or change. If a machine has been recently reported as jammed or broken, it’s following absence would not *usually* merit an update or change report. However, the removal of a machine that offered dated or themed coins, especially coins that are due to expire soon, may cause one to reasonably presume the possible retirement of a current die and the promise of a new die when the machine returns. Such timely news is of course of importance to fellow collectors. Readers that submit these key updates to ParkPennies.com, as you may have noticed, are acknowledged for their kind contribution.
As long time readers will note, to provide the most relevant updates, we do not *usually* post what *appears to be* or *probably* is a very temporary change in a machine’s availability. (We do forward machine jams and adjustment issues to Disneyland Cashiers, City Hall or Arcade Shop Cast Members. They welcome these reports and in turn send them through channels to the repair specialists to keep the park presses at their best.)
Cheese Slang term for the black muck that is deposited by coins and accumulates on the surface of the die as coins are pressed. (Looks like grease.) The absence of this stuff can cause a shorter roll.
Circulated Refers to an elongated coin that was made by pressing a coin that was from or was at some time, used in common circulation as money. The resulting elongated coin, if a copper cent, will most likely have a dark, rich brown color in contrast to the bright and shiny surface of a pressed coin made by pressing an uncirculated (BU) coin. See also BU.
Clinch Stapler A specially stapler (picture) that presses the staples in such a way that they are flat against the surface of the material on both sides. This reduces the chances of scratching a coin and permits the 2 x 2’s to stack flat also.
Closed Die A die that has fulfilled its purpose and marked to call attention to an expired variety. A closed die is generally done in progressive changes to design or legend. A subsequent change automatically closes the preceding variety, no matter if by an engraving change or by a broken, cracked, or damaged die. Some rollers refer to a "Closed die" merely if the die has been withdrawn or inactive. Reappearance is possible through a change of ownership for dies or rolling mills.
Collector of the Month ParkPennies.com believes that one of the best things about the hobby is the people. Many pressed penny collectors have helped fellow collectors over the years. They have generously and enthusiastically given their time to sponsor "meets", web sites, coin lists and freely shared their knowledge with other collectors. Often they have become friends.
"Collector of the Month" is ParkPennies chance to acknowledge them even if in a very small way. Although there is no way that we could possibly list all the people that we feel have earned our mention, each month we hope to acknowledge yet another person that has given to the hobby.
2005 Collector of the Month Honorees
January, 2005 Lisa Shoup
February, 2005 Aprille Curtis
March, 2005 David Tomita
April, 2005 Lou Smith
May, 2005 Nancy Wooten
June, 2005 Dee Drell
July, 2005 Ray Dillard
August, 2005 Chuck Neal
September, 2005 Anastasia Hoff
October, 2005 Thelma Cofrancesco
November, 2005 Kuniaki Hiraki
December, 2005 The ParkPennies Visitors
Copper(s) A United States cent dated before 1982, the year in which the metal used to make cents transitioned from copper to copper-plated zinc. Also used to refer to the elongated coin rolled from a copper cent. Elongated coin collectors, most generally, prefer copper or "Pre ’82" cents that include wheat cents. See also Zincer and BU. Note that even though copper cents may be preferred over zinc cents, a full roll is also important and copper cents generally will press shorter than zinc cents. Many machines are set to press the harder copper cents to full length. However, some machines might not. Here is an example of two cents one copper and one zinc pressed at that same time in the same machine.
Sometimes people need to know how many pennies are in a pound. It’s handy to know if you are shipping coins or if you are offered coins for sale by the pound. Do keep in mind that often older circulated coins are a bit lighter from wear. Here are some estimates of weight... New, unused or uncirculated copper cents weigh about 3.11 grams each or about 145 copper pennies per pound. New zinc cents are much lighter and weigh only 2.5 grams each yielding about 180 zinc pennies in a pound. And there are about 80 uncirculated quarters in a pound. Hope this is of help when you see "a pound of elongated cents" for sale. )
It’s not always hard to tell a zinc cent from a copper cent, once you see them side by side. Often there are surface breaks that show a silver-zinc color below. Other times, it is easy to differentiate copper and zinc cents by the high "ring" an elongated copper cent makes compared to more of a dull click made by an elongated zinc cent, when the coins are dropped on a hard surface. Additionally, zinc cents often have a different, lighter surface "copper color". Rest assured, in time you will be able to tell zinc from copper 90% of the time without even holding the coin. See also the penny variations page.
Destroyed Die This term is used when a die has fulfilled its purpose and then is terminated by complete destruction. However, the term also applies to eradication of the design from the surface of a die, rendering it smooth, and a new design engraved; thus extending the use of the same die. See also canceled die.
Die Usually a metal ring or shaft segment that has a mirror image engraved into it so as to produce an elongated coin when a cent or other coin is pressed against it and a "back die", shaft or roller.
Where are the retired dies? As of 2005, there have been more than 400 dies used at the Disneyland Resort, Anaheim. Based on what we have been told or observed over the past 15 years, it is our opinion that retired dies have met many fates. A large number of them are still on-stage. A few were sold by Disney to collectors (Example: Villains Event dies), some failed while in use (Example: DL0332 cracked), some wore out and may have been discarded (Example: DL0010A) some were redone or edited to correct errors (Example: Snow White without and with "c"), some were awarded to retirees (Example: Bill Hogarth CM0006) or presented to project leaders (Example: Pirates Rehab CM0005), some were most likely lost and many others have yet to meet their ultimate fate.
A collector might surmise the status of a particular die by reading our guides and articles. However, as a general rule, we consider all dies to be "open" or usable unless the die is known to have been canceled by evidence of a canceled die (Example: Mulan set DL0121) or by the existence a coin pressed by a canceled die (Example: Mulan set DL0121). See also Closed die, Canceled die, The Da Vinci Code or The Indiana Jones series...
(If can contribute knowledge of or share an update of the status of any Disney elongated coin die, please contact us to help keep these records current.
Die status, that is, whether or not the original unmodified die is still "open" or able to press additional coins, is always uncertain until the die is known to have been canceled.
EC As used by collectors of Disneyland "pressed pennies", the acronym for Elongated Coin.
Elongated coin A coin, often a US cent, pressed into an oval or elongated shape as it is flattened by tons of pressure by two opposing, rollers or shafts, one or more of which is engraved in such a way to leave its image on the surface(s) of the pressed coin. Also known as "elongated", "pressed", "flattened", "crushed", "squashed", "rolled", "mashed", "smashed", "stamped", "squished", "memory", "keepsake", "stretched" or "pinched" penny souvenir coins.
ParkPennies.com uses these terms interchangeably, but, purists insist on "Elongated Coin" or "Elongateds" as the proper terms. (For those that wish to be proper. ) Related: Elongated coins evolution.
Error coin Preface: A collector often can not determine what was originally intended by the designer of a collectible or what quality standards were acceptable at the time. Therefore, a poor likeness of a character or "less than perfect engraving quality", by itself, should not be confused with an error. If it was, the list of error coins kept by some collectors could indeed be a very long one!
To that end, we feel it is important that this reference guide distinguishes between an engraving that is just unclear or illegible and an engraving that has a clear "error". Such tasks are sometimes difficult.
Given that challenge, here are two error guidelines we have tried to follow. They are reduced to a couple of sentences and a few examples. They do not intend to define the word error, only the way it is used here in the guides. These guidelines are for those interested in them as well as for anyone that is looking for a drug free sleep aid.
The first and most obvious guideline: A coin die that is later rejected or replaced by a corrected coin die, usually gives strong evidence of an error in the original coin die.
Error coin examples: An omitted © Disney later made the DL0022 an error coin when it was replaced by the DL0062 with © DISNEY.
Non error example: The DL0030 Simba was also missing a © DISNEY in 1995. Based on other coins, a © DISNEY might have been appropriate. However, the coin matches the marquee, a © mark is the author’s choice and the coin is still on stage ten years later. Therefore we have no hard evidence that the coin is / was an error as the term is currently used in these guides.
The second guideline: A coin die that has a misspelling, mislabeling or an image that appears intentional, identifiable and incorrect, may be considered an error as the term is used in these guides, even if the coin die isn’t later replaced or rejected.
Error coin examples: The inscription on this DL0096 error coin is spelled incorrectly as "Dalmations".
The Chip N Dale coin error coin may suffer from a poor quality engraving, however, the image is identified by most as apparently intended and the error is easily identifiable. The image differs from the marquee artwork as well.
Non error examples: The DL0202 has an inscription at the bottom of the coin that should read "BASED ON "WINNIE THE POOH" WORKS BY A. A. MILNE AND E. H. SHEPARD". However, the letters are reduced to specks, dots and dashes possibly do to the limitations or quality of the engraving technique employed. It is not evidence of any error as used in these guides. If the inscription were clear, we believe it would would match the marquee.
Advanced collectors are aware that a coin described as an error coin, without any accompanying demand and scarcity, implies no greater value than a non-error coin and that a coin is what it is by any name. Most collectors would say that value is usually a factor of supply verses demand.
Estimates of the number of coins known to be in the hands of collectors are based on coins known by ParkPennies.com to have been sold, traded, seen or reported by trusted sources. Readers are advised that not all coins are held by "known collectors". Also, some coins may be counted twice as they pass through the hands of different collectors and previously unreported caches of coins can surface. Die status, that is, whether or not the original unmodified die is still "open" or able to press additional coins, is always uncertain until the die is known to have been canceled.
Eurolink With permission, from their web site at Eurolinkdesign.com:
"Eurolink Design Corporation is the premier manufacturer and operator of the Penny/Coin Press Souvenir Machine and has been leading the industry for almost two decades. The Company was founded in 1984. Eurolink Penny Pressers are currently delighting collectors at over 1,000 sites throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, Japan, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand and the European community.
We work with more than 25 of the top 50 Theme Parks in the country as listed in Amusement Business. Included in these parks are: Disney, Knott’s Berry Farm, Cedar Point, Six Flags, Paramount & Universal.
Zoos and museums are also a big part of our operations. Eurolink is an active member and supports the (AZA) American Zoological Association, the (MSA) Museum Store Association and the (TEC) The Elongated Collectors.
We also work with Historical Landmarks, Themed Restaurants and individual souvenir/tourist locations."
May I add: Although Eurolink’s machine innovation may have gained them fame with Amusement park owners, many pressed penny collectors will tell you Eurolink’s fame is due at least in part to outstanding engravings. The three dimensional, high quality, detailed engraving done on many Eurolink dies, truly sets them apart. A few of my favorites (surprise) are the Disneyland Cast Member issues of Ron Dominguez, Bill Hogarth, and Jack Steiner.
Note: The "e" so often mentioned in coin descriptions is the Eurolink logo, often seen next to the gripper.
I can’t help but think that 100+ years from now, Disneyana collectors will still remember these Cast Members and call them by name as we do today. Immortality, a nice perk!
Experimental Pieces Generally elongated patterns or trial specimens. See also Test Roll for differences.
Extant Refers to a die that is still existing, or a die that is known never to have been destroyed.
Full Roll A thing of beauty! Complete image with a nice margin past the border of the coin, full detailed impression of the design / devices. Not weak or short.
Grab-Slot See Gripper.
Grading This topic was discussed in the elongated coin community long before this collector pressed his first cent and the subject is often revisited. Still we do not know of any widely used elongated coin grading standard.
As you may know, many coin collectors feel the benchmark for U.S. coin grading is "The Official American Numismatic Association Grading Standards". These standards, based on the system introduced in 1949 by William H. Sheldon for large cents, are used by many professional numismatists when grading U.S. coins. However, there is no widely used, formal, standardized way to describe the condition / grade of elongated coins.
The implementation of an elongated coin grading system, from what we have seen, has had challenges. As with any grading system, there is often disagreement or confusion over the assignment of a "technical grade" and how attributes should be weighted. Also, some object to "particularization" and the pitfalls of such a slippery slope. These issues and others can put friendly, knowledgeable collectors at odds. Additionally, the attractiveness or eye appeal of a coin is often difficult to define and is by nature, very subjective.
We are happy to report most collectors have done just fine without official grading standards. Collectors simply describe elongated coins by fully disclosing their look and condition. (Not to say that standards wouldn’t be welcome and helpful.) For example, when selling or trading an elongated coin, collectors often clearly state if it is copper, zinc, circulated, BU, short roll, long roll, spotted or perfect etc... They often email a high resolution scan or better yet provide a chance to view the elongated coin in person. The trading partner or purchaser can then personally decide if the coin is right for them.
(The author has reserved the right to taint his dissertation with biases. Opposing comments are welcome. )
Gripper Arc shaped groove located at the extreme end of the elongated coin. Its purpose is to "grab" the edge of the coin to initially align and secure the coin at the start of pressing. Also known as a "Grip Slot", "Grabber", "Grab Slot", "Start-slot" or thingy.
Happy Collecting! I can share just the part of the story as it’s not really "mine". I first noticed it used by Mr. Alan Herbert, who as you may know, is not only a very popular author of numerous prestigious books and articles about collecting coins, known as the Coin Clinic Answer man, invented the PDS classification system for cataloging minting errors and held too many offices to mention, but he is also a fellow South Dakota Boy! I wander... Well, years ago, he was very kind to email me once or twice and he closed with "Happy Collecting". At first I thought it was a good closure, but, after thinking about it a bit, I thought it was perfect! So, I’ve been posting a tribute to Mr. Herbert at the end of many emails ever since. .
Legality of pressing or elongating U.S. coins. Please refer to the Penny Press Machine Laws page, 18 USC Sec. 331 and 18 USC Sec. 475.
Miss-roll A coin that missed the Gripper, wasn’t "grabbed" by the die or for other reasons, didn’t roll correctly. These coins therefore have a miss-placed image that most often ends too soon, starts too late or can be a real mess. Disney has been good about replacing or refunding for coins that do not roll properly.
Sometimes miss-rolls are collectible. Here is a picture of a coin pressed the first day a new machine was on-stage. That night, because of the miss-rolls, the die was modified making this miss-roll one of the very few examples of the very hard to find DL0329 quarter. Story.
Mule A hybrid coin, medal, token or elongated that has an obverse and a reverse that are not normally associated. In elongates, the term refers to two-sided specimens.
See the obverse and reverse of a Disneyland "Mule". This "backstamp" style of coin was first introduced at Disneyland in 2004. No other Disneyland park offers this added feature.
Mr. Bob Fritsch, President of The Elongated Collectors, has a very good explanation of "Mules" quoted here with permission.
Mule is a numismatic term for a coin whose obverse and reverse are mismatched. In other words, dies from two different coins are used to strike the piece. The most famous mule in recent history was the Sacagawea dollar flan (coin blank) with the dollar reverse and
50 States Washington Quarter obverse.
Since elongated coins normally only have one side with an inscription/design, two-sided elongateds picked up the name
Native Coin The coin denomination designed to be pressed by the die. That is, a penny pressed on a penny die is a "native coin". A nickel pressed on the same die, would not be a native coin. It might be referred to as an "off denomination" coin.
Natural Originally, a coin pressed on a railroad track by the weight of the train wheels running over it. This term also used nowadays by some collectors to describe a non- native coin or off denomination coin, most often a dime, that found its way through a penny press. Such coins are most always short rolls
Newbie Usually a new collector. Everyone is or was one that is a collector of elongated coins. It’s not a derogatory term! When someone is introduced as a Newbie to me, I make an extra effort for them to feel at ease in a group of collectors. I know they are "new" to the hobby and someone with my looks can be fighting to them.
It’s a time when you are welcomed into the hobby.
Nickel, Silver war time alloy. See the silver nickels page.
Nickle A miss-spelling of nickel. A word sometimes seen on "amusement park" nickel press machine marquees. Also a word that drives even this English-challenged writer crazy!
\Nic"kle\, n. (Zo["o]l.) The European woodpecker, or yaffle; -- called also nicker pecker.
Obverse The "Head’s" or face side of the coin. The top or front of a coin, opposite the reverse.
Off Denomination An elongated coin of a denomination not designed for use with the die which pressed it. Could be described as a non- native elongated coin. The most valued Off Denomination elongated coins are nickel varieties. The highest priced Disneyland coin to be sold to date on eBay was a "off denomination" nickel variety of a Dl0001. Such coins are very scarce and greatly prized by those that collect them. See also native coin and natural.
Off-Stage In the context most often used by Disneyland pressed penny collectors, a penny press die that has disappeared for one reason or another and is presumed to return at some future time.
At ParkPennies, if a reasonable, knowledgeable person (Ok, maybe not us, but, we do have friends! ) given all the facts available to him / her would estimate the probability of the die’s return to be 5% or greater, a status of off-stage would be justified. If the probability of the die’s return is deemed to be 5% or less, a "retired" die status would be, in our opinion, justified. See also "Canceled Dies" and "Retired".
On-Stage or Onstage In the context of Disneyland pressed penny collectors, this term refers to penny press machines that are currently at the Disneyland ® Resort and accessible by regular guests. (The area accessible by regular Disneyland guests is also known as "the stage". Employees are also known as "Cast Members".)
Old Timer Endearing term for someone past the Newbie status. Usually a collector that offers to answer questions more often than they have questions to ask. Often an "Advanced Collector" also.
ParkPennies Desktop Icon The new ParkPennies.com Android & Apple Home screen Icon (bookmark) is Free! :-) Most phones: Open your smartphone's browser, go to www.ParkPennies.com Or other ParkPennies.com page,
open phone "Settings", click "add to homescreen". The picture below shows the homescreen / desktop bookmark icon inside a folder to the left and directly on the homescreen / desktop to the right. Click the bookmark icon and it will open the current update of the page you added to the homescreen... the www.ParkPennies.com home page or the http://www.ParkPennies.com/penny-machine-locations.pdf
machine locations PDF file... Plus you'll have a beautiful pressed penny adorning your homescreen! :-)
In elongated collecting, a pattern may be rolled in a variety of metals, which may demonstrate a new design for the purpose of a regular issue; sometimes referred as trial specimens. See also Test Roll
Pennies Per Pound
: We have a whole page dedicated to the question.. How Many Pennies are in a Pound?
A die with an engraved image of the appropriate size and proportions to produce an acceptable image on a cent. Larger sized die engravings are generally used for nickels, quarters etc. These dies are commonly of the segmented type in Disneyland machines but can be of the ring or shaft type.
A three ring binder page made of clear plastic that most commonly features, 20 pockets, four across and five high. Each pocket is designed to hold a 2 x 2 holder. See also Ways to Display
The metal blank or disc on which the dies of a coin, token or medal are impressed.
Philatelic Numismatic Combinations. A combination of stamp and coin, generally on a First Day of Issue cachet (envelope) for either coin or stamp.
Term used to describe coins from machines on-stage before May 4, 2005. These coins are for the most part from hand engraved dies. Many include borders, background themes and inscriptions. Coins issued late in this era may also feature backstamps.
Pre-50th refers to the first twenty years of this great hobby and the coins from that era. Yes, collecting Disney elongated coins has grown, as has the number of Disney parks that offer elongated coins. Also the number of machines in each park and the number of new coins issued by each park has grown. In 1987, Disneyland was the first Disney park to introduce penny presses. They had only two machines and in those days, a machine offered only one coin design. Needless to say, these early elongated coins are comparatively limited in number as were the number of collectors searching for them at the time. The coins evolved during this time from simple one dimensional pressed cents into highly detailed, hand-engraved gems with fancy borders, themed backgrounds and three dimensional relief with perfect perspective.
By 2005, less detailed, more generic computer engraved dies began to be common and even found their way into the Disney parks. To some it may seem like the transition of animated motion pictures from hand painted cells to computer generated images. It seems Disneyland elongated coin collecting has changed over time from a few hand engraved coins issued per year to what appears to be a large number of generic, computer cut dies. For example, a visit to The Disneyland Resort, Anaheim in 2005 would have offered 175 different coins waiting to be pressed. And new coins were being issued more often than once a week on average, just at The Original Disneyland Resort
. This compares to only one park with just two single play (design) machines for a total of two coins in all Disney parks combined in 1987. Collecting pre or post 50th coins could make sense for collectors looking to control their collecting "universe".
As collectors, we see the ever growing popularity of Disney elongated coin collecting has been incredible. With the growing demand for these coins, combined with the the internet and eBay, people all over the world
now collect these little treasures. Some want just one fun and inexpensive souvenir from a park they visited. Others want to collect them all or a collect a complete specialty set
. However, of all the collections, we think one of the coolest has to be a complete collection of the very first Disney elongated coins from the very first and Original Disneyland Park, The Pre-50th coins set.
Refers to coins retired before about 1998, when eBay on-line auctioneers began selling Disneyland elongated coins in numbers. Some people with access to the parks, began pressing large numbers of coins and auctioning them. This opened up the hobby to people that didn’t otherwise have access to the park and introduced the hobby to even more people. In this way, the on-line auctions helped the already thriving hobby grow even faster. These new collectors often want to "get the coins they missed" which has in turn increased the scarcity and value of older, pre 1998 retired coins.
I first heard the term "Pre-eBay" in about 2001.
Pre ’82 See Copper
The Disneyland collectors term for elongated cents
A term used in elongateds to describe die varieties that continue in several successive steps. That is, a single die is engraved with a small intentional steps or stages to its design until it reaches its completion; thus, creating several progressive die "varieties".
When used in "Disneyland speak", the term refers to a die
that is no longer on-stage
and has little likely hood of returning. Some undated coin sets have returned the following year for a seasonal event, e.g. Nightmare Before Christmas. However, at Disneyland, generally dies removed from machines and replaced by new, permanent dies are not and in this collector’s opinion should never be put back on-stage.
Over the years, collectors have encouraged the cancellation of retired dies*. Especially recently, after a Florida based amusement park placed the original "vintage" die roll from 1992, back on-stage in 2004! The result was a substantial loss of trust by people that collected elongated coins at that park.
In this collector’s opinion, had that die roll been canceled
when retired, both the amusement park and their customers would have both fared much better. As you may have noted, we do not feature elongated coins from Florida amusement parks here.
See also on-stage
, off stage
*Note: 5/05 Disneyland has just sold their first set of canceled
dies via Disney Auctions. Selling prices were approximately $300.00 each. Preceding this sale, coins pressed from these dies after they were canceled, but before they were made inoperative were sold with prices ranging as high as a few hindered dollars each. ParkPennies has added a Disneyland canceled dies guide
section for these dies / coins from canceled dies. They may prove to be a very fun set to collect.
or Backstamp The "tails" or back side of a coin, opposite the obverse
. You may have noticed that because backstamp "dies" and coin dies are different in many ways, they are treated differently here at ParkPennies. Guides confirm that unlike coin dies, backstamp “dies” often share a single design / artwork "type" pressed onto the reverse of many different elongated coins. When these backstamp "dies" are compared to others of the same design "type", often there are slight differences as each is etched or engraved individually. To mix things up even more, it is possible for a set of three nearly identical backstamp "dies" engraved on a back shaft and paired with particular coin dies, to be accidentally or intentionally rotated when the penny press mechanism is serviced or repaired. And even more permutations are introduced if a replacement back shaft is installed with facsimiles of the original backstamp engravings. Lastly, backstamp engravings are also prone to change in appearance over time as they wear, "sink" etc., which can add variations to the same back stamp engravings over time. As you can see, these backstamp characteristics could make for a lot of “different” backstamps of the same design "type".
Therefore, our guide attributions give small design variations or changes less weight when observed in backstamp "dies" vs. obverse coin dies. A good example would be the many 50th Anniversary backstamps. There are as many individual backstamp "dies" or engravings as there are coins in the 50th set, each with slight variances in placement, depth, and texture. Yet all share the same artwork / design, i.e. without intentional differences in design, and are considered one “generic type” for the purposes of listing in this guide.
An elongated coin that didn’t roll (press, form) to its full length. Usually, the end of the coin opposite the grip slot
runs out of coin before it runs out of image. Usually caused by a machine that has lost proper adjustment from wear or is set for softer post ’82 zinc
is an example of a short roll copper cent next to a full roll zinc cent, both pressed at the same time. BU
coins will also tend to roll short after the first few. The "dry" nature of the coin and the high friction caused by pressing soon removes any surface cheese
from the dies and leaves a metal-to-metal contact. (Coins that have been handled have attracted a surface dirt or cheese
that functions as a lubricant and permits the coin to roll a bit longer.
A machine that offers a single penny design. This is the earliest type of machine found at Disneyland. Also called a "Single Die" machine.
Single Die See Single Play
Start-Slot See Gripper
Steelie or Steel Cent
A 1943 US cent made from steel to save copper during WW II. These cents, when free of rust, have a silver color to them from the zinc plating on their surface. Not to be confused with a post 1982 zinc cent
that is copper coated.
For the purposes of the Disneyland elongated coin catalog, a coin that is the result of setting up a machine’s rolling length or made for the purpose of verifying the correctness of the completed engraved image or the progress of the engraving. See also Progressive
A penny press machine that offers three different designs via three separate dies in a single penny press cabinet. Also called a "Three Die" machine.
Three Die See Three Play
A list of coins wanted and offered in trade. Sent to prospective trade partners to invite trade offers. See Wish list.
Updates and Changes, Reportable - Please see changes
For many years Jimmy Vargas has been known by advanced collectors as Eurolink’s well respected, expert elongated coin die engraver. Mr. Vargas was credited for the exceptional 3-D quality and fine detail featured in many of the best Disney elongated coins in the mid to late 1990's and early 2000's. His work has been a major reason why Disney "pressed pennies" are among the most admired machine vended elongated coins to be found. Many examples of his work can be seen in the Disneyland Elongated Coin Guides
, the Tokyo Guides,
and especially in the Tokyo Disneyland Coins of the Month series
In late 2005, some of the newer Disney elongated coin issues appeared to have been pressed on coin dies that lacked the qualities of the earlier dies engraved by Mr. Vargas. Some collectors have speculated that Mr. Vargas now engraves dies exclusively for customers that specifically request his personal expertise and that other dies are now engraved by "computer". We have no conformation of this speculation, but hear it often. (For those new to pressed penny collecting, Mr. Vargas is mentioned in these newspaper articles: Baltimore Sun
and Chicago Tribune
as well as others.) Readers with more to add to this entry are asked to contact ParkPennies.com
An elongated coin that has a weak strike. That is, the image of the coin isn’t fully developed by the flowing metal or fully filled. A weak roll therefore has the high points of a device or image missing. Sometimes this can be avoided or minimized by rolling the cent with the head of the coin towards the die. This "Head’s Up" orientation offers the high points of the cent, Lincoln’s image in the case of a modern cent, available to the high points of the new image to be pressed on the elongated coin. See also short roll
Wheat or Wheatie
A US cent minted between the years of 1909 and 1958. This coin features a reverse bordered in Wheat stocks / heads. Many elongated coin collectors prefer elongated "Wheaties" over elongated coins pressed on the later Memorial back cents.
Want List See Wish List
or Want List A list of coins that a the list author seeks. Often sent with or is offered as part of a Trade List
to invite trade offers.
Wishing Well Coins
This definition is based on history told to us over the years by Cast Members as well as a metal recycler who was then located in the Canyon Country area of Southern California. The story focuses on the period of time during the late 1980’s - early 1990’s, the first years pressed pennies were available at the park. As we understand it, "coins" from the Disneyland Wishing Well, other water features and a few other sources in the Disneyland Resort area were collected and sorted. United States coins were separated out and donated to charities. Non United States coins such as foreign coins, elongated coins and other odd items were set aside in bags and sold with the proceeds going to charities. Purchasers of these bags found many elongated coins in every state of condition. Of greatest interest to collectors is that elongated coins found in these bags were among the earliest Disney issues known. Early collectors purchased or traded these coins and often referred to them as "Wishing Well Coins". Occasionally groups of these early coins surface. Some are short roll coins, some full roll, some have water damage others are well preserved. Varieties known to have been found in these Wishing Well coins include early Mickey Mouse Rays, Bear Country and Mickey’s 60th, coins that often can make a collector’s wish come true.
A belief that the scheduled arrival date of Advanced Collector
N. Wooten at Disneyland Park, approximates the unknown arrival time of an anticipated new penny press. This indicator dates back to the early ’90’s when a small group of us had "Meets" at Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland. We still use it!
Zinc, Zincer, Zincie
A US cent minted after mid 1982 that has a zinc metal core coated with copper to make it look like a copper cent. This "penny" is often described as "Nice new and shiny" as zinc cents often are the newest least circulated cents found in circulation. However, when rolled these cents can expose their "silver-colored" zinc core in streaks that break through the copper plated surface of the coin. The silver color may oxidize and turn black. Attempts to remove the black oxide often results in damage to the coin. Of note, copper cents weigh about 3.11 grams each with about 145 per pound. Zinc cents are much lighter and weigh only 2.5 grams each with about 180 in a pound. If there are no surface breaks that show a silver-zinc color below, it is easy to differentiate copper and zinc cents by the high "ring" of and elongated copper cent compared to more of a dull click of an elongated zinc cent, when the coins are dropped on a hard surface. Additionally, zinc cents often have a different, lighter surface "copper color".
It should be noted that some collectors prefer to press currently dated cents, to commemorate the time the elongated coin was pressed. However, the majority of elongated coins collectors prefer pre 1981 solid coppers
for use in pressing elongated cents. See also the penny variations
Over many years, friends, Cast Members, Advanced Collectors, and Penny Press Owner / Operators have generously shared their knowledge with us, part of what they have shared is listed above.
(Some of these generous people are mentioned in the acknowledgments page of this web site.)
Rosato’s Encyclopedia of the Modern Elongated Over 1700 pages. Angros Publishing, ISBN 0-9626996-2-4 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Elongates Discussion Group Glossary, circa 1997 by Chris Aahz.
Lastly me, The School of Hard Knocks!
Is it Legal to Press Pennies or Other US Coins?
We shouldn’t have to mention this, but all guides are subject to change without notice. I mean, really, would you want to see a guide way out of date or one with earroers in it???
The information is believed to be correct, however, no assurances are given. We also do, on occasion, make mustucks. If you see one, please advise us so we can cornext it. Commonly misspelled words including, but not limited to: pennys, penney, pennypress, disenyland, desneyland, disnyland, alongated, pennyes, disenyland, and Anahiem are addressed on the bottom of the home page and are sadly sprinkled throughout this site. We welcome your help!
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