Friday, February 4, 2011
My pressed penny obsession..
Yes, I even have obsessions within obsessions....
I have always been a fan of pressed pennies, ever since my trips to San Fransisco in the 80's and early 90's. My mom used to live there and I'd visited in the summer. I remember being at Pier 39 and men would stand on the street with hand crank machines that pumped out the pennies with a press of the Golden Gate Bridge on it or other San Fransisco icon. I had to have every one.
From time to time over the years, I'd see them in other locations, usually museums, amusement parks, etc...and I'd gotten them. But nothing prepared me for the plethora of machines at Disney World!!!
If you're not familiar with these fabulous little souvenirs, basically, you put two quarters and a penny into the machine. Some are hand crank machines, meaning you must provide the power to physically press the featured design onto your penny. While others are electric. What you receive is a smooshed, elongated coin that no longer has Abe's face, but that of Mickey or Donald or some other Disney Character or attraction.
It all started quite innocently. In 2000, I saw the machines and cashed in some bills for change and got a few. In 05, what I consider our first "real" trip, I got some more, but hadn't really prepared, so again I just got a few. But the next trip...oh boy was I ready! I'd saved any quarters I had (which wasn't many, since we rarely use cash to pay for anything...it's usually debit card). But I made sure I went to the bank and got a roll of quarters too. I was so proud of the 40-some pennies I had gotten that year. After that, I made sure I had plenty of quarters and pennies for the machines.
Sadly, it was to the point where I would steal them from wherever they were in the house. Quarters in the car for tolls??? Nope. Quarters for my daughter's lunch? Oh no. My best trip ever was getting about 85.
But after a couple trips, it was getting confusing. Which ones did I already have? I found a fabulous site called PressedCoins.com. And I could print a list, an alphabetized spread sheet. It was in anal organizer's heaven! I printed the list and highlighted all the pennies I already had. And then when we went to Disney World, the list came with me and each new penny was highlighted on the list as I got it. The list is revamped every few months, so before a trip, I print the new list, highlight all the ones I already have, and check for any new machines.
There are also quarter machines, but in the past, those were just too rich for my blood. I only have 4...for now.
I am quite proud to say I now have 339 pressed coins from Disney World, pennies, a few quarters, and the four dimes they currently have. That is not including the doubles. I have about 20 or so of those too. I have pretty much every penny from the four main parks and Downtown Disney. The challenge is getting the rest at the resorts!! I store them in fabulous little books that they sell at the parks!
And I might break down and start shelling out $1.25 for the quarters. YIKES!