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  • coin cutter

    I like the article about the coin cutting and the little jig, and I don't want to be any kind of downer, but isn't cutting a coin the same as defacing public property, or something to that effect?
    I hope you don't take me wrong on this, because it's pretty cool, and I would do it, but I'm not so sure that's legal. or maybe it is?
    Jeff Powell

  • #2
    According to this discussion, Jeff, it's legal.

    There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
    (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)


    • #3
      Hi Jeff,

      That question has come up before and I forget the exact reasoning or wording - but it was something to the effect of - if you are not doing it for malicious purposes, it's okay - I'll ask Bob to see if he can find the official standpoint on it.... Just think of all those machines that turn your penny into a souvenir at amusement parks...

      I was at a craft show recently where there were selling jewelry made from coins - they were just beautiful. Out of my budget - but beautiful...


      • #4
        I missed that thread...thanx Gill. I hope it's accurate, and would figure it probably is ok, or why would it be published in the magazine. go figure...learn something new every day.
        Time to raid the kids piggy banks ?
        Jeff Powell


        • #5
          Well if your kids are like mine - they have every nickel and dime accounted for - you better check the couch cushions instead!


          • #6

            washing maching is good place here so my wife tells me lol typing errors please excuse finger and mortise bit kiss yesterday lol not enough to stop the saw just one big bandage lol


            • #7
              The law refers to fraudaulent (SP?) defacing of currency.

              But to be perfectly honest, that applies to paper money (which you technically don't own since it is a government document).

              Since the value of coins, technically, is because of the "precious" metal they are made of, according to the federal government, you own the coins. The paper money, which is a government document, you use...

              Does that make sense?



              • #8
                I believe that it's only illegal if you try to pass it off as a coin after it is defaced.
                Makita MSJ-401
                Universal Tools:
                Remember you only really need 2 tools: WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldn't, use the Duct Tape


                • #9
                  coin cutting

                  The secret service in Omaha has a different opinion of the rules to coin cutting.Told me Friday it is against the law and they will prosecute the person if they catch them .So guess it is your dice roll. Me tell i hear different I'll take a rain check


                  • #10
                    I've got a stash of foreign coins here to play with - mainly European ones that predate the Euro and are no longer legal tender so I guess I'll be safe from the Omaha secret service ....

                    Scrolling with a Dewalt 788


                    • #11
                      Green Frog,
                      Here's a link right to the secret service website...

                      And here's another one:

                      Fraudulant is the operative word here!!!

                      Last edited by BobD (Archive); 01-08-2007, 08:14 AM.


                      • #12

                        The E-Sylum: Volume 9, Number 36, September 3, 2006, Article 25

                        U.S. COIN MUTILATION LAWS

                        Regarding the question on U.S. coin mutilation laws, Katie Jaeger
                        writes: "I researched the topic recently - and came up with the
                        following quotation from Title 18 at the website

                        Title 18, Section 331 states, “Whoever fraudulently alters,
                        defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or
                        lightens 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, shall be fined
                        under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”
                        This law enacted in 1909 was strictly enforced at first, bringing an
                        abrupt end to countermarking, elongating, carving, cutting away blank
                        fields, and pushing out reliefs on coins.

                        The Treasury Department, however, has come to view the decree as
                        hinging on its second word: fraudulently. Examples of fraudulent
                        tampering are the ancient practice of shaving metal off the edges
                        of solid gold coins, or the 1883 practice of making “racketeer
                        nickels.” (When the Mint issued a nickel design which did not bear
                        the words FIVE CENTS on the reverse, but instead employed a Roman
                        numeral V just like the one on the $5 gold piece, some miscreants
                        plated gold on their nickels and passed them as $5 pieces.)

                        Section 331 takes aim at these types of deceptions, but not at the
                        creation of coin novelties. The law was probably responsible for
                        the practice of stickering and capping coins, which enabled
                        advertising on coins without altering them. Elongated roller
                        machines did disappear for a while, but the law never stopped
                        kids from putting pennies on the railroad tracks!"

                        John and Nancy Wilson write: "Here is information from the
                        Wikipedia on the legality of making elongated coins in the U.S.
                        and Great Britain:

                        "The process of creating elongated coins is legal in the United
                        States, Japan, South Africa and parts of Europe. In the United
                        States, 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. Because
                        elongated coins are made mainly as souvenirs, mutilation for this
                        purpose is legal.

                        It is no longer illegal in Great Britain to mutilate the image
                        of the Queen, It is still illegal in Canada and blank planchets,
                        slugs or U.S. pennies are occasionally used, though this law is
                        often ignored both by the users of the machine and law enforcement.
                        Full Story

                        Kerry Rodgers writes: "I have an article on elongated coins in
                        the September issue of Coin News. (That's the UK fella). I have
                        specific quotes from the Royal Mint and UK Treasury folk as to its
                        legality. These quotes came from bureaucrats and lawyers - need
                        I say more? They neatly avoid saying making stretchies is illegal
                        - in so many words - but make it clear they don't approve. They
                        have never prosecuted for it and thereby tested the law as they
                        understand it.

                        In the EU it is a whole different ball game and even though
                        stretched EU cents are offered on eBay and elsewhere, it is a
                        no-no. As the UK is part of the EU it could be illegal to squish
                        EU cents in the UK, where they have no currency, whereas doing it
                        to UK money itself may not be illegal if you have a smart lawyer.
                        What was that about the law being an ***?

                        The elongation issue in the US has been discussed at length in
                        several places and I defer to my North American colleagues. It is
                        not illegal from what I can gather. Nor is it in New Zealand since
                        a change in the law sometime back overlooked deforming coins although
                        it has some harsh things to say about melting them. A similar
                        situation exists in Australia."

                        Wayne Homren, Editor


                        • #13
                          Ya beat me, Grizz...
                          I was looking at the same thing <GRIN>



                          • #14
                            I find the coin cutting idea very intriguing.
                            While travelling on BC Ferries last year I saw a vendor at a craft booth selling cut coins.

                            He took the Canadian Nickel cutting around the beaver and leaving the date in tact.
                            He put a chain on the nickel and called it the birthday coin.

                            Each one sold for $10.
                            That is a good profit margin from a raw material point of view
                            Not fraudulent, but an excellent return on his investment.

                            I have also seen earrings done this way.
                            There is also a website where someone has cut a coin in two like a puzzle and put each piece on its own chain

                            I am looking forward to trying my hand at cutting a few
                            CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
                            "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
                            Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


                            • #15
                              Is it just me or does anyone else think it's a little bizarre that a SECRET service has a website?

                              Remnds me of a sign that's somewhere in the UK that shows directions to "Top Secret Nuclear Bunker"...

                              Scrolling with a Dewalt 788


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