It is generally accepted that the rolling of elongated coins in the United States began at the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago, Illinois in 1892-1893. Elongated coins are coins rolled through hand cranked mill type machines consisting of reverse-engraved dies cut in steel rollers, similar in concept to wringers on old fashioned washing machines. Regular coins are run between the rollers under tremendous pressure (about 22 tons), which presses the coin into the die, and due to the pressure, simultaneously stretches the coin into an ‘Elongated’ shape. Elongated coins come in all denominations including tokens and foreign coins, with the one cent piece being by far the most common. With its start as a money making souvenir at world fairs and expositions, the elongated coin has evolved into mementos for most any event, activity, or topic. Many are used as promotional or personal cards.
Prices of elongated coins vary depending on the number rolled, age, denomination, popularity of topic or event, even the condition of the coin. There are four published books which catalog elongated coins. The latest and the most comprehensive was authored by Angelo A. Rosato, ‘ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE MODERN ELONGATEDS’ 1990 (1700 pages- hard bound).
Modern elongateds are rolled and sold at many events, fairs, shows, amusement parks and other activities or tourist attractions. The more common elongateds sell for between 50 cents and $1.00, when not used as free hand-outs or tokens. Older elongated coins can be found at coin shops and shows, flea markets, even at garage sales. Prices for older issues and even recent limited edition commemorative elongateds are generally higher. It is estimated that there are well over a thousand ‘serious’ elongated coin collectors with large general collections and many thousands more who collect topical or specialty elongateds. And TEC is a great place to meet these people, find out about elongated coins, and buy, sell or make trades.