The Weird Science of Shrunken Coins: Big Changes Turn Coins into Shrunken Change

A very-high powered magnetic field can ‘squeeze’ a metallic coin into a smaller version of itself? It produces...shrunken coins!

 

Shrunken Coins: When Less Genuinely is More

Novelty shrunken coins are being made by some very crafty people, reduced in size to a much smaller diameter. Any coin will do; I have seen images of U.S. Quarters shrunken to the size of a dime. They are slightly thicker than the original, but they are genuine coinage.

I love coins. I am not a bonafide coin collector by any means but I do collect certain coins that I find interesting or unusual. I especially like old and rare coins, foreign coins, and coins with mint faults like 'off center,' 'clipped planchet' and 'missing clad layer' among other faults are part of my collection.

I have some half-dozen 'off center' pennies that I found for sale in a pet shop/collectibles shop that were mistakenly priced far less than their true book value. They were priced about half what I knew the market retail for them should be.

Recognizing the pricing error, I bought most of the best ones that were on display and upon returning a few days later to buy the remainder (if still available,) they had rectified the pricing error. I also have several U.S. quarters that have 'missing clad layer' and they are copper-colored instead of having the shiny overcoat, and other 'mistake' coins too numerous to mention.

Shrunken Coins: Something Completely Different...

A company called Stoneridge Engineering is pioneering a process whereby an electromagnetic envelope is wrapped around a metallic object (copper, silver or aluminum work the best, according to the site) through a rapidly changing field in a very short time period. This process is cited by them to have been commercialized by several companies from the original process developed by aerospace engineers and NASA.

The coil required to do this is only good for one use; it vaporizes from the voltage and leaves a green flame in the coin chamber as seen in the YouTube video above. The coil wires are stretched, destroyed by the ultra-high magnetic field it endured and the coil is completely fragmented. The insulation is blasted away, it unable to stretch far enough or fast enough to prevent exploding not to mention the intense heat. The entire magnetic coil itself is containerized in a 'bullet-proof' box to prevent personal injury as it explodes on discharge.

Just Small Change? Shrunken Coins are Worth More

shrunken coins, image via hackerfriendly @ Flickr

(image source)

These engineers have shown that various energy outputs shrink any coin to an approximately predictable size. They cite that a U.S. Kennedy 50-cent piece at 6,300 joules shrunk to the size of a US quarter, and at 5,000 joules a U.S. Quarter will shrink to a size smaller than a dime! Square coins do something very interesting when they are shrunken; the magnetic field compresses the 'flat' edge faster causing it to 'pinch' towards the epicenter faster than the 'curved' corners. This produces a four-pointed 'star' shape shrunken coin!

While these engineers have successfully shrunk many different metallic coins including gold coins, I wonder why anyone would want to so abuse a gold coin in today's gold market.

Below is an example of the almost perfected result of a Quarter that was shrunken using this process. The site that makes these also retails them for affordable prices (in the $15.00 - 20.00 range approximately.) I can see that I shall have to acquire one or two of these novelty coins myself.

Nearly Perfect: Shrunken Coin

shrunken coin, a U.S. Quarter is shrunken to about the size of a dime

(image source)

These 'smaller size' of such a common coin that by virtue if its altered size, remind me of the Athenian Owl tetradrachm. The so-called ‘Owl of Athena’ coin. In its time it was one of the most common coins and accepted everywhere. Its trusted value was a stabilizing currency of the day. I would LOVE to see what happens when an Owl of Athena coin is shrunken using this process! These coins are already thick so they likely would turn into a 'globe' with the details of both the obverse and reverse remaining relatively intact.

Taking Requests? Show me an Owl of Athena Shrunken Coin...!

Collected mostly for its beauty these days like the Owl of Athena tetradrachm, these modern shrunken coins are also of a common and recognized denomination, made singularly unique as a one-of-a-kind keepsake. No two will ever be exactly the same. I can see these turning up as jewelery items (rings, necklaces, etc.) on eBay and etsy.com in the near future.

I just ordered my first Shrunken Coin from from a dealer and will be including the photo of it shortly.

Less genuinely is more in the case of these very peculiar shrunken coins of weird science.

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