Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Quirky Hobby #3 - Pressed Pennies

Hi everyone :)

This week I will be sharing with you my very own somewhat quirky hobby. It isn't something really strange or as fascinating as the trees and eggs you have seen previously. However, it does qualify as I'm collecting oval coins! (The way i see it)

So what are pressed pennies?

This is my first pressed penny from California Disneyland! Pressed pennies are elongated coins or blank planchets that are pressed through rollers which have mirror imaged designs under pressure as high as 44 000 PSI. Because of this high pressure, the originally rounded coin becomes an oval.

How it is made:
1) Insert a Quarter to be pressed and the amount you need to pay.
2) Select a design of your choice (if there's more than one)
3) Watch away!

I found it really interesting to watch the machines press the quarter into the design of my choice. Initially, I started 'collecting' so that I could watch the coins get pressed over and over again. Sadly, I don't have a video of the process as I am always too excited to remember.

Singapore got it's first pressed penny machine and it's at Suntec City, just outside Carrefour on Level 2 so do check it out! I will definitely be going to get mine.

Is it illegal?
In some countries like the United States, they have their quarter dollar coin pressed in the machine but in countries like Japan, they have the designs pressed on blank coins.

A faint mark of the quarter can still be seen on the back of my coin.

According to, under the United States Code Title 10, CHapter 17, and Section 331, "prohibits the mutilation, diminution and falsification of United States coinage." However, it does not prohibit the mutilation of coins if done without fraudulent intent or use and hence, making it legal.

Find out more about pressed pennies from pressedpennysg, pressedpenny and parkpennies.

Photos of part of my collection:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Quirky Hobby #2 - Egg Shell Carving

What can we do with eggs?
Sunny side up, boiled, poached, scrambled, coddled, or a fluffy omelette. There are so many ways we can have our eggs served. Eggs can also be dyed red and served during the traditional Chinese celebration of a baby's one month birthday.

For Easter, people decorate eggs as well.

From these we can see that dyeing of eggs is quite common so what else do people do with eggs? Nothing much, right? I thought so too but i was wrong!

I've always thought that egg shells, being so fragile, were useless and can only be cracked and thrown away but look what people can do with them!

What you need:
Container (to empty eggs so it is clean and can be used for food later)

Learn more about dremel tool bits here.

How to carve and egg:
1) Remove contents of egg using an egg blower.
2) Wash well to make sure there is no remaining residue and dry egg.
3) Draw your design lightly with a pencil.
4) Carve the design with a dremel tool.
5) Hold the egg in your non-dominant hand and pierce the shell to remove the pattern.

While trying to master the art of egg carving, be prepared for breakage. When i try this, I am going to have a few of them ready.

Where to get the tools:
Egg blowers can be bought online here and Dremel tools can be purchased from