Image: via disneyhacker

Even if you’ve never gone out of your way to collect them, chances are you probably possess a pressed penny somewhere. Indeed, with machines offering the decorative collectables stationed all over the world – in many a tourist hotspot, shopping mall or theme park – they are rather difficult to escape. But there’s actually a lot more to the world of collecting these stretched, elongated and embossed pennies than first meets the eye…

Image: charlene mcbride
Image: charlene mcbride

20. The first pressed penny was produced in 1818

At least, that is the date when the first documented pressed penny can be traced back to. It was created by a jeweler in Vienna, at a time when the Austrian Empire itself was still freshly coined. It would be a few decades before the souvenir penny became commonplace, however.

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Image: via Wikimedia Commons
Image: Smithsonian Institution Archives

19. The first American pressed penny appeared in 1892

Four different designs of pressed penny were minted for the 1892-93 World’s Columbian Exposition, their first appearance stateside. The expo was held in Chicago to commemorate 400 years since Christopher Columbus “discovered” America.

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