How to flatten pennies?

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i have a lot of pennies older than 1982, so they're mostly copper. i want to flatten them but i don't have any machine tools or RR tracks!

  5 answers
  • Harris S. Harris S. on Sep 29, 2018

    Double check me, but I think this is illegal.

    • Colleen Colleen on Sep 29, 2018

      I am not looking to melt them down for the cash. I want to make a windchime, I have some copper pipe and flat pieces and I thought the pennies would enhance the sound. Though, I had the thought that it was illegal too. Thanks!

  • William William on Sep 29, 2018

    What do you plan to do with them? You can use a piece of steel pipe with a cap on both ends. 1/2" or 3/4" will work. Place the pipe on the penny and pound away with a hammer. Wear hand and eye protection.


    Sometimes. According to Title 18, U. S. C. section 331, it is illegal to "fraudulently alter, deface, mutilate, impair, diminish, falsify, scale, or lighten any of the coins coined at the mints of the United States, or any foreign coins which are by law made current or are in actual use or circulation as money within the United States".


    The issue with this is what "fraudulently" exactly means. According to the US mint itself, "the mere act of compressing coins into souvenirs is not illegal, without other factors being present" because it probably doesn't entail fraudulent intent (Legal to press pennies or other coins?)


    The case remains however, that most of the activities that would involve destroying pennies are illegal, and that flattening them for souvenirs is an exception. In particular, when I first read this question I thought it was about the possibility of melting pennies and selling the metal for more than the value of the pennies (since it seems pennies are worth more than $0.01 in metal). This is very probably illegal because it should be fairly easy to argue that this is a fraudulent activity.

    • Colleen Colleen on Sep 29, 2018

      I am not looking to melt them down for the cash. I want to make a windchime, I have some copper pipe and flat pieces and I thought the pennies would enhance the sound. Though I had the thought that it was illegal too. Thanks!

  • William William on Sep 29, 2018

    Not illegal for what you want to do Colleen.

  • Colleen Colleen on Sep 29, 2018

    Awesome! Everything I've read said it wasn't but I wasn't positive. Thank you

  • Brenda Airich Brenda Airich on Sep 30, 2018

    Isn’t that defacing money?