The Silver Half Dollar's Blog

19 Jul 2017

Odd Uses for Coins and Currency

Young Numismatists Exchange | The Silver Half Dollar

Odd Uses for Coins and Currency


There have been many strange uses for coins and currency over the years.  Some are more well-known like pressed coins (or elongated coins), but some are only known by few.

 An uncommon example of uses for coins and currency are the coins from the Belgium Elevator Hoard. The hoard was made up of 1944 Belgium 2 franc coins. These coins were struck by the United States Mint on leftover steel planchets. These coins weigh 3.11 grams, are made of zinc coated steel, and have a diameter of 19mm. But more important is the hoard. A few decades ago, a coin dealer was searching for many of these steel 2 franc pieces. There was a Belgian landowner who he suspected had many 2 franc coins. When the owner died 10 years later, the dealer purchased the building. He hired a crew to search the building for the coins but had no luck with the search which took many weeks.  The dealer went inside the elevator shaft so that he could determine the shape of the building since, he planned to resell it. He then noticed a large, heavy steel bin which was the elevator’s counterweight. He reached in and pulled out handfuls of coins!

 Another example is the cheerios cent. In the year 2000, they were made to help commemorate the new Sacagawea dollar and the cheerios company. 10 million Cheerios cents were made and 5500 of them were packaged with the new Sacagawea dollar. Each cent had a Certificate of Authenticity which was signed by Philip N. Diehl, who was currently the director of the mint.

 Some more examples are coin creations which were created by prisoners and soldiers. Prisons would then sell their prisoners’ creations.  Some examples of coin creations are bicycles, teapots, and cowboy hats. (These were decorative and were too small to use)

 More examples are belts containing coins, keychains (I once saw one that said that it contained a United States Cent, but it contained a Canadian cent), jewelry, and coins put into carved stone.

Another example is encased coins. These would have a ring of metal around a coin (usually a cent) and were popular during the days when wheat cents were minted. These were usually used for advertising, good luck, or souvenirs. On the ring (usually aluminum), they would put advertising or the words “Good Luck”, or “Always Keep this and You Will Never Be Broke”).

The most popular and well known use other than as currency is pressed or elongated coins. These were first made by putting coins on railroad tracks, leaving, and coming back once the train had crossed over the tracks. Now, there are machines that do the same thing- without a train and with a design.



Level 6

Fun blog! It's amazing all the ways people come up with to use coins. I've always liked to put penny's on the railroad tracks!


Level 5

Nice blog with interesting stories. Thanks.


Level 6

I remember the Cheerios cents. I think they were selling for fancy prices. I once found a handful of the Belgium 2 Franc coins in a dealer's junk box. I liked them too.

Conan Barbarian

Level 5

the elevator story is a good one, i like that


Level 7

I used to leave them on tracks. Never got into elongated coins hard to store and done really travel. Thanks for the blog and your research.

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