Bitcoin BTC with Real US coins on coin wrappers

Why Do People Buy Physical Bitcoin Tokens?

Cryptocurrency Tokens

Most people know that Bitcoin is not an ACTUAL coin, but get confused when they see products like these online:

Normally, I do not post about cryptocurrency as it has little relation to the hobby of coin collecting, but I saw this item trending in “Hobby Coin Collecting Products” on Amazon and I wanted to address any confusion.

You cannot buy a physical Bitcoin, because there is no such thing. You can have codes, known as key, that give you access to Bitcoin. These keys can be printed on physical items, but the Bitcoin itself is not the item.

The tokens above are simply tokens. They are meant to signify the idea of Bitcoin, but you cannot store or own Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency with the tokens above.

So why do people buy physical cryptocurrency tokens?

I think the main reason people buy these tokens are as gifts for others interested in cryptocurrency. Buying cryptocurrency is complicated for beginners and this is a much easier gift idea for a BTC fanatic.

Since Bitcoin has no physical form, this is an easier way to show off an interest in cryptocurrency. These can be put in display cases for a good desk decoration.

Although the tokens above cannot store any cryptocurrency, you can purchase tokens that do store cryptocurrency.

Cold Storage Wallet

Cold storage wallets are as close as you can get to having a physical cryptocurrency coin.

Cold storage wallets are not connected to the internet. It is simply a public and private key printed on a physical item so that you have access to your keys anytime.

A cold storage wallet does actually store Bitcoin. However, it is important to note that it does not come with Cryptocurrency on the token. You will have to buy your own Bitcoin on a platform like Coinbase and transfer it over. This transfer will cost a fee.

People buy cold storage wallet tokens to prevent their cryptocurrency from being susceptible to online cyber attacks. Theoretically your coins are safer in a cold wallet because it can’t be hacked.

One thing to consider, is that in the manufacturing process someone at one point likely had access to your private key. This means that the company or a malicious employee could potentially have access to all cryptocurrency stored on the wallet.

And the weirdest crypto token selling I have ever seen…

Crypto Candles

These candles come with a Bitcoin token and $5 or more of Bitcoin.

Without a doubt one of the strangest candles I have ever seen for sale, but definitely a fun quirky idea. I have seen a similar design for rings where you melt the candle and have a potential of getting valuable jewelry.

These are pretty pricey, considering you are likely to only get 1 candle + 5$ in BTC + a BTC token, but the potential of winning more makes it fun. This is definitely a fun gift idea for a crypto-enthusiast just for the novelty of it.

Share any thoughts or comments below! I am by no means an expert on cryptocurrency, but I can try to answer any questions.

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Decision Coin YES/NO Medallion Challenge Coin

Decision Making Token Review: Let A Coin Decide Your Fate

While browsing the internet recently, I found a really useful kind of exonumia (tokens): the decision coin! These tokens are meant to be flipped and will land on a side to help you make a decision.

Usually, the coin gives a “yes” or “no” side, but some of the decision coins get more creative. Here is a comparison of 6 different decision challenge coins.

The Classic Yes/No

This one has a very classic and simple design. The makers did a good job on the weight and diameter.

At 39mm in diameter, it is about the size of a silver dollar, but weighs .634 ounces. This means it will have a good weight for holding, but still be easy to flip.

I like this decision coin’s construction a lot, even though the design is a bit boring.

The Gothic Design

I love the design on this coin, especially the “yes” side. It’s a very gothic look with nice detail in the design.

This challenge coin comes in two colors: silver or bronze. The silver looks better, but weighs 1.37 ounces. A 1.37 ounce coin would be difficult for me to flip smoothly on my thumb. (It is not real silver, just silver colored.)

The bronze is a better weight at .81 ounces, but some customers have complained that the bronze is darker in person.

The Pirate Token

I’m not a fan of this coin’s design. The “YES” and “NO” font looks a bit tacky to me. Plus, there is no coherent theme. This coin is a strange mix of gothic and pirate and I’m not a fan of it.

Other than the design, this coin is by the same maker that did the two previous coins, so I have no qualms with the quality of it.

Go To Bed Coin

This design is so cute! I like the risk the designer took in making a coin for a very specific occasion.

The sheep on the back of the coin are adorable (although the feet freak me out). There are a lot of small details that really bring this coin together and make it a great gift for the bookworm in your life.

In the product description it says, “Coins are struck in the USA using antique machinery and traditional coining techniques.” So they get points for that! A lot of thought went into these coins.

At 35mm and 12 grams, I’d say it is a good weight and size for flipping in your hand. My one issue with this coin is that copper has a very distinct smell that can transfer to your hand.

If you are more of a binger than a bookworm, then this is the decision coin for you:

The Crude Coin

This coin is better for decisions with your drinking buddies than making decisions at work.

I like the design, it was really creative to have the palm in different directions for each side. The “ZFG” diamond logo also has a “H” for heads and a “T” for tails engraved in it which is a nice touch.

This is another coin of 39mm diameter and .81 ounces. This is a good coin for flipping.

The Simple Charm

This little charm is very cute. This would be a good decision coin for young kids, especially since it is about 25.4mm in diameter (the size of a quarter) it would be easy for a child to flip.

Practically, I’m suspicious of this coin being evenly weighted since it is handcrafted pewter. If you want a coin that you are sure is giving 50/50 odds of yes or no, then I would avoid this coin.

Anything else to add? Share a comment and vote in our poll below!

I am an Amazon Affiliate, so I earn a commission on sales made through my links. This does not increase the price of any item linked through my site. My main goal is to inform.

Several Elongated Smashed Pennies

All About Elongated Pennies – History, Myths, Pictures

Elongated pennies also known as: smashed pennies, crushed pennies, pressed pennies. Elongated pennies are pieces of exonumia meant to be used as souvenirs to commemorate people, places, or events.

The first elongated penny was introduced at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. Below is a photo of one of the first elongated pennies from the Chicago World’s Fair.

1893 First Smashed Elongated Penny Chicago Worlds Fair
1893 First Smashed Elongated Penny Chicago World’s Fair

Are Elongated Pennies Illegal?

NO! This myth has been around for decades and it is not true. Elongated pennies are not illegal to make or to own.

Although making elongated pennies is technically mutilation, as defined by the US Code Title 18, mutilation of US coinage is not illegal unless the intent is to use the mutilated coin for counterfeiting or for use of the base metal.

I once heard a woman claim that smashed penny machines do not actually use the penny you put in to make the souvenir, she claimed the machine instead used blanks of copper. This is also not true and easily disproved.

This is a 2019D Penny that was elongated.

If you put a penny into an elongated penny machine, you will notice the resulting elongated coin has the same color, and sometimes you can even make out the same date and mintmark, like in the coin above!

Where can you find elongated penny machines?

Elongated Penny machines are easy to find in most tourist-y areas (and some non-tourist areas!). Museums, gift shops, arcades, adventure parks, and wildlife areas are all common places to find pressed penny machines.

A good resource is which has a list of pressed penny machines submitted by users. Oftentimes, it also lists the designs available as well. Unfortunately, some of the data may be out of date.

Disneyland is a great place to start a pressed penny collection. According to, Disneyland Resort has over 155 pressed penny designs spread throughout the park!

You can even buy an elongated penny book specifically for Disney smashed pennies! This is a great cheap souvenir for kids, and it is a fun adventure to find them all.

Although tourist attractions are more likely to have pressed penny machines, you can find these machines in many different locations, some you wouldn’t expect.

During a cross country road-trip, I found a pressed penny machine in a gas station in Valentine, Nebraska. Valentine is a city with a population of less than 3,000!

Valentine Nebraska Elongated Penny
Elongated Penny From Valentine Nebraska

What are they worth?

I have not been able to find a direct answer on whether or not banks will accept elongated pennies as mutilated currency. It seems as if it is up to the discretion of the bank, although it seems very unlikely the bank will accept them.

If you have several elongated pennies, you could probably get more money selling them online instead of trying to return them to a bank. Although not worth a fortune, a bulk lot of elongated pennies will usually sell for about 50 cents to 1 dollar per smashed penny.

How to store elongated pennies

The best way to store elongated pennies for easy travel on trips is an elongated coin album. These can be purchased online or at most gift shops.

I currently have the “United States Penny Collector” elongated penny album, and it has worked great. Plus it comes with an elongated penny!

My one complaint with this book is that it is too small! It has room for 44 pennies, which is a decent size for a beginner or for someone collecting on one trip, but if you plan to collect for a few years, then I would recommend a bigger album.

This is the elongated penny album I plan to upgrade to for my next trip. It holds 146 elongated coins, has a pocket to keep quarters and pennies in, and a journal section to keep track of your finds! (Plus, it comes in different colors!)

If you prefer not to store them in an album, or would like to create your own album, you can also buy cardboard penny flips. This is another great storage method, but not very convenient for traveling as you will also need a stapler.

I store my pennies mostly so I don’t lose track of them. I do not expect these pennies to appreciate much in value, so I am not worried about their condition.

Tips for using a pressed penny machine

It is possible to use a pressed penny machine wrong and come out with a less than desirable coin. First, I would recommend using a penny dated before 1982. These pennies are 95% and reduce your chances of getting zinc streaks.

Below is an image of an elongated penny with zinc streaks:

Sea Otter Elongated Penny with Zinc Streaks
A Sea Otter Elongated Penny From Santa Cruz, California with Zinc Streaks.

Here is an elongated penny done on a pre-1982 copper penny:

CA Republic Elongated Penny Copper
A Copper Elongated Penny

The most important tip to ensure a quality elongated penny is to center the arrows together on the machine. This ensures that your design is centered correctly on the penny while it is being rolled and pressed. Here is a drawing depicting what this means.

How To Align Elongated Penny Machine
Center the two arrows to get the design you want.

This would result in the user getting design 1. To get design 2, the user would rotate the lever or crank so that the gear with the designs rotates 90 degrees.

If you don’t properly align the arrows, you will get an elongated penny that looks like this:

Poorly Aligned Elongated Penny Las Vegas
Poorly Aligned Elongated Penny

Can you buy an elongated penny machine?

Yes! Although they are very expensive, it could prove to be a good source of passive income for your business.

The Penny Press Machine Co. sells elongated penny machines starting at $4,950. At 50 cents profit per use, you would need customers to buy 9,900 pressed pennies to break even. That is about 27 customers a day for a year.

More important however, is that it gets customers into the store. Plus, you could put a design onto the machine with your logo and start creating brand awareness.

What was your favorite elongated penny design you’ve found. Post a comment below and vote in our poll!

As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn ad revenue on sales made through my links. This does not increase the price of any item linked through my site. My main goal is to inform.

Carwash and Game Tokens

What Makes Token Collecting Fun For Coin Collectors

Numismatics and Exonumia go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Numismatics is the study of currency, coins or bills that are accepted as legal tender. Exonumia is the study of numismatic items that are not accepted as legal tender. Tokens, medals, and scrips (a substitute for legal tender) are all exonumia.

The term exonumia was coined by Russel Rulau in July 1960. Exonumia comes from the greek “exo” meaning “out of” and “nummus” meaning “coin”. So, exonumia means “out of coin”.

There are 3 categories of tokens/medals:

  1. Ones that have trade-able value, or can be exchanged
  2. Commemorative tokens or medals
  3. Personal Items

Type 1 is the most common, or at least most commonly collected. A game token from Chuck E. Cheese would be Type 1, because the coin can be used to play a game. A bus token is also Type 1 because it can be used to purchase a bus ride.

Type 2 could be made by the US Mint or a private entity. Tokens of the Type 2 variety usually commemorate historical events or figures. Remember these have no inherent monetary value, meaning the value is not backed by a government.

Type 3 is more difficult to define. This is kind of a catch-all category for items that are neither coins nor Type 1 or 2 tokens. Prayer coins and AA chips fit well into this category.

Why collect tokens if they have no monetary value?

For one, tokens are much cheaper to purchase than legal coinage. There are bulk token lots on eBay where tokens are sold by the pound. For most people, there is no value in these items so they are simply thrown away or forgotten in a drawer.

Tokens and medals have some amazing artwork and history attached to them. The artwork and lack of inherent value make tokens great items to display!

Well many coin collectors hide their coins from potential thieves or children looking for quarters to buy ice cream, tokens are great for display because they can easily be repurchased.

Great For Traveling!

When I’m on trips, I like to look for novelty items that will bring me long-term enjoyment at a reasonable price. I could buy some cheap knick-knacks, but they often get tossed on a shelf and rarely admired after coming back.

Below are two tokens I got for about $10 each. The left token is from the Grand Canyon National park, and the right is from Death Valley National Park.

Buying tokens is great, because they fit in seamlessly with my coin collection. Plus, they take up very little space in a suitcase!

I have a few tokens I’ve bought on trips that represent fun memories, but my favorite tokens to collect on trips are smashed/elongated pennies!

At 51 cents a piece, elongated pennies are the cheapest item at a gift store. Plus, you get to pick your own design and make them yourself.

Here is my pressed penny collection. I got many of these on a cross-country road-trip. My souvenirs ended up being the cheapest expense of the whole trip!

Elongated Smashed Pressed Penny Booklet
My Pressed Penny Booklet

Here’s a link below to the smashed penny booklet I use. The albums can also be purchased at some gift shops. (Make sure to get one though! I have lost dozens of pressed pennies over the years by sticking them in my pocket!)

If you want to learn more about elongated pennies, check out this article: “All About Elongated Pennies – History, Myths, Pictures“!

Examples of Exonumia include:

  • Challenge Coins
  • Pressed Pennies
  • Medals (Government and Private)
  • Political Tokens
  • Car Wash Tokens
  • Batting Cage Tokens
  • HoboCoins
  • Play Money
  • Bus/Train Tokens
  • Trade Coins
  • Prison Tokens
  • Prayer Coins
  • AA Chips
  • And hundreds more!

Below is a gallery of some of my tokens I have collected over the years.

Share your thoughts in the comments and poll below!

I am an Amazon Affiliate, so I earn a commission on sales made through my links. This does not increase the price of any item linked through my site. My main goal is to inform.