Penny Love Token





Introduction: Penny Love Token

Dating as far back to 1740, small coins have been twisted to make love tokens.

I have been married 8 times, 7 times when I was 5 years old (I really liked candy) and now with my current wife. Even though I never got divorced from my previous 7 marriages; my wife still wanted me. So to make her my Valentine every year - I try and make her different things - like a love token.

I wanted to share my version of a Penny Love Token.

My wife keeps them in her coin purse.

Please note: I am not a lawyer, I looked up years ago and everything I read said it was ok to bend a coin. When I was at Disney land; I used a penny smasher or press to make a souvenir.

So all I can say is -do what you feel comfortable with.

Step 1: ​Gather Items and Tools

Penny Coins

It is said that if you get older than 1981 coins, they will have a greater amount of copper in them. Just to be safe I use 1980 or older pennies. The older copper pennies bend in this process.

Newer pennies will just break in my bending process.


I use a small metal bench vise with smooth faced jaws – without serrated jaws.

A non-marring hammer


Buffer or cleaner

Step 2: ​Think in Thirds

I put approximately 1/3 of the coin in the vise and tighten

I strike the coin over with the hammer.

I flip the coin over and put approximately 1/3 of the coin in the vise and tighten.

I strike the coin with the hammer over in the opposite direction of the previous side.

What I have seen of traditional love coins

– I would describe as a wave or Z pattern

– one side bent in one direction and the other in the opposite.

Step 3: Finished and Options

This my version of love coins

Optional bends

I bend them in different directions - see photos.

The one completely folded into a ring, could be put on a string for a necklace or key-chain.

Optional appearance

You can clean or polish if you wish

My wife keeps them in her coin purse.



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    65 Discussions

    Right, I think that is really enough!

    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".

    18 replies

    Never fails we always get that one guy ..."crushing coins is illegal " long as a mutilated coin is not being altered with the intent to counterfeit, then all is fine ...other wise Zoo's, Museums ,them Parks and other places that have those penny crushers would all be shut down PDQ

    @lairdkeffer: If what Landroo has written is correct, then you are very wrong.

    It does clearly state defacing... etc is illegal.Note that falsify is an extra word .

    But I doubt if that black helicopters and men absailing down to the lairdkeffer household is a threat....

    The word "fraudulently" simply means intentionally, in contrast to "accidentially."

    Incorrect fraudently means doing somthing with deceit...

    sorry. but no. The keywords are "fraudulently alter" ie changing stamped value

    The other words deface, mutilate, impair, diminish stand on their own.

    But I read that Museums etc offer Penny Crusher service obviously all is OK.

    Apparently landroo doesn't know what "fraudulently alter" means. It applies only if you have criminal intent to profit through forgery or counterfeiting. Has nothing to do with making jewelry from coins.

    , U.S. Code Title 18, Chapter 17, Section 331 prohibits "the mutilation, diminution and falsification of United States coinage." The foregoing statute however, does not prohibit the mutilation of coins, if the mutilated coins are not used fraudulently, i.e. with the intention of creating counterfeit coinage or profiting from the base metal (the pre-1982 copper U.S. cent which is worth more than one cent in the United States if melted down into copper bullion )

    there for smashing a penny into a "Love Token " is 100% legal

    Shaving the out side of a penny off to collect copper is illegal
    which is also one of he main reasons why Quarters and Dimes have ridges :Before the 18th-century was out, the U.S. Mint began adding ridges to the coins' edges, a process called “reeding,” in order to make it impossible to shave them down without the result being obvious. As a side benefit, the reeded edges also made coin design more intricate and counterfeiting more difficult

    When I was a kid, we put pennies on train tracks and let the passing train smear them out to a long thin 'puddle'. I remember the first time I did it I was afraid the pennies would derail the train. LOL

    I did that as a kid and had the same fear, or worse the penny would shoot out and kill me lol

    Apparently we were/are not alone. There are a lot of hits on Google for penny on the tracks derail train - Google Search.

    I also found this on Snopes: Iron Unhorsed. Apparently people were killed doing this when a train came along on the other track that they were standing on. Ewww… I can remember also how terrifying the oncoming train was at just a few feet away, crouching down in the brush. I couldn't help thinking what would happen if the train DID derail. I didn't even think about objects flying off the fast moving train. I shudder to think how naive we were at that age and how lucky we are to be alive.

    Heh heh heh… YUP! Just what I was thinking.

    It is ilegal to deface money, but making jewelry or something is not illegal. Such as quarter rings that people make, search it up, do a little research, its not illegal...

    who gives a rats bum!!!! the laws can go jump!! there are soooo many of the dumb things already so just imagine what its going to be like in 4 or 5 years!!!! people wont even be able to walk down to the dairy and buy some sweets without identity and drivers licence!!!!!!!!

    What a bunch of codwallop. I'm not claiming anything or trying to make any case. What argument? You are imagining things, Iomnicks.

    What has pushback to do with anything? Do you think it confers truth in some way?.

    I think I'll melt down a nickel and a quarter and cast it into a clay mold of a penny. I'll do it three times. Then I'll try to buy something from a street bum with those pennies.