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Pressed Penny Jewelry – Turn Your Pressed Pennies into Treasured Keepsakes

The term “saving your pennies” will take on a whole new meaning by the time you’re done reading this post. Not only will you save your change for travel, you’ll also save your coins because you’ll want to create your own super cute souvenirs.

My obsession with pressed pennies began years ago. Pressed pennies are inexpensive, fun to collect and easy to find but what do you do with them once you have them? Well, in the past I’ve placed them in scrapbooks or more frequently, stored them away in drawers and forgotten about them. The latter of which, totally defeats the purpose of collecting them in the first place.

Turn your Pressed Pennies into Treasured Keepsakes

Then I had an idea, why not turn my pressed pennies into jewelry- necklaces, charm bracelets, even a money clip for my husband?

I loved the way the pressed penny jewelry turned out. It’s so cute!

Pressed Penny Jewelry

I know you want to make some of your own so I’m going to give you a couple simple tips to follow.


On your mark.

Get set….

Press Your Pennies!

Pressed Penny Jewelry (penny machine)

I know this sounds pretty straightforward, just find a penny machine and press away, right? Not really. Pressed Penny collectors follow a few simple guidelines.

1. Start with a Pre-1982 penny. Pennies made before 1982 were primarily copper while pennies after 1982 are made primarily of zinc with a copper coating. When the pennies are pressed, the zinc shows through. This may not bother you, but after having both, I know I prefer the copper look.

2. Polish your pennies with a good polishing paste prior to pressing so they’re nice and shiny.

3. To ensure that you press your penny on the right side- insert your penny with Lincoln facing forward.

4. Make sure the dial is lined up to the design you want (if you have an option) before inserting your coins into the machine.

How to insert a pressed penny into the machine

Now what?

Now that you have your pennies, you need to decide what you want to do with them. Do you want to turn them into a bracelet or necklace?

Disney Pressed Penny Jewelry

The photo of this necklace shows an example of a penny that is not Pre-1982. You can see the zinc along the bottom of the penny.

‘To turn your penny into a wearable souvenir, you’ll need to drill a tiny hole in the top of the penny (or wherever best suits your design.) I use my husband’s cordless drill with a small precision drill bit.

The rest is up to you.

You can add beads, charms or paint to your pennies to create a number of looks.

Pressed Penny Jewelry

The pieces turn out super cute and the end result is a souvenir that you can wear over and over again.

Now, who wants to press some pennies?

This post is linked to Inspire Me Wednesdays with Mama Buzz where you’ll find recipes, DIY projects and crafts, and a few travel stories. Need some inspiration? Why not pop on over?

Lauren Nielsen

Thursday 5th of February 2015

I wos wondering if you have a pressed penny money clip? I think that's a great idea, but I'd love to see how you make it work! =D


Wednesday 4th of March 2015

Lauren, I'm sorry for the late reply. Yes, I did do a money clip, but I no longer have it. I simply took a money clip and adhered the penny to it. I can't even remember what type of adhesive I used at this point. It wasn't fancy, but I really liked how it turned out.


Monday 9th of June 2014 is a great place to find where penny smashers are located (they even have an app). I use it when I travel - it shows where all the cool places are.


Friday 17th of May 2013

Every time I see a penny pressing machine, I think of you. :-)


Monday 13th of May 2013

I like the pressed coins to help us remember where we've been and to have something interactive to do with my kids... Even if just for a moment. We currently travel mostly in Europe and the us so we don't get too much different currencies to collect, though my son will probably want to collect those if we move somewhere else.


Sunday 12th of May 2013

We collect pressed pennies from many places we visit and love to get as many as we can at Disney. In fact I always give the kids a roll of pennies and a roll of quarters to take to the parks. I love that the collection is large (we have many of them!) but it all fits in a small place. I may have to make a necklace. It is adorable! Protection Status
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