November 17, 2009

Late breaking news on pressed pennies

Pressed Penny Hanging
Originally uploaded by Hoffrooe

I found this charming photo of a quilted pressed penny display on flickr this morning. Thanks, hoffrooelife, for allowing its use on blogs. I wanted an illustration to go along with my latest adventure in the pressed penny world.

I finished my January Today's Woman piece yesterday. In it, I mentioned that pressed pennies are worthless as legal tender. After I emailed the essay off, though, I decided to act like a journalist and verify my facts, so I took my four elongated pennies to my nearby BB&T branch. The teller looked at one and said, "No, that's not legal tender; it's not even a real penny." I explained that I knew for sure it WAS an actual penny because I'd placed it into the pressing machine at the Louisville Zoo myownself. She proceeded to go to and type in "are pressed pennies legal tender".

Answer: Mutilating U. S. currency is a federal offense punishable by fines and up to five years in jail.

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