Elongated coins are coins rolled through hand cranked mill type machines consisting of reverse-engraved dies cut in steel rollers, similar in concept to wringers on old fashioned washing machines. Regular coins are run between the rollers under tremendous pressure (about 22 tons), which presses the coin into the die, and due to the pressure, simultaneously stretches the coin into an “Elongated” shape.
Elongated coins come in all denominations including tokens and foreign coins, with the one cent piece being by far the most common in the USA.
(In Hungary we use the 5,- HUF (Hungarian Forint) coin to elongate, while in the EU zone the 2 EUR cent).
With its start as a money making souvenir at world fairs and expositions, the elongated coin has evolved into mementos for most any event, activity, or topic. Many are used as promotional or personal cards. Prices of elongated coins vary depending on the number rolled, age, denomination, popularity of topic or event, even the condition of the coin. There are four published books which catalog elongated coins.
The latest and the most comprehensive was authored by Angelo A. Rosato, “ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE MODERN ELONGATEDS” 1990 (1700 pages). Modern elongateds are rolled and sold at many events, fairs, shows, amusement parks and other activities or tourist attractions. The more common elongateds sell for between 50 cents and $1.00, when not used as free hand-outs or tokens. Older elongated coins can be found at coin shops and shows, flea markets, even at garage sales. Prices for older issues and even recent limited edition commemorative elongateds are generally higher. It is estimated that there are well over a thousand “serious” elongated coin collectors with large general collections and many thousands more who collect topical or specialty elongateds. And TEC is a great place to meet these people, find out about elongated coins, and buy, sell or make trades.”
Starting the EC business in Hungary
Here is a brief story about how we started the EC (Elongated Coin) business in Hungary.
In year 2000 we went to the USA with my wife. Our first meeting with an EC machine happened in S.F. at the Golden Gate bridge. The penny design was beautiful and very sophisticated, so we loved the small copper penny at first sight. Following that – in the Disney World of Florida – came the following elongates.
After coming home I wrote a letter to the Hungarian National Bank, asking for permission to place a penny press machine somewhere in Budapest.
But the reply was „no”…
But many months later I’ve heard that things might have changed in the meantime…
And yes! I got he reply from the National Bank:
“… from march 2000 on it is no more illegal to alternate the Hungarian National currency.”
Cool! The road was free!
The next step?
Choosing a manufacturer from the USA and choosing a good location in Budapest. The latter took about 4 months. Finally in September 2002 the first EC machine came to Hungary
Our site for the automatic, 3 die automatic machine became the Tropicarium, which is a big Sea Aquarium, having all kind of reptiles and insects, too.
Having seen the success, in October 2004 we bought the second, hand crank 4 die machine for the Place called Palace of Wonders.
And so on…
This is what we call a win-win-win situation:
- good to see the happy faces of both children and adults while pressing!
- free, intractive andvertising tool, and extra money for the locations
- what is good for the visitors and locations: good for us!