Monday, January 14, 2013

Penny Collection

Abe received a small collection of pennies for Christmas this year. I wanted to do something special with them, so I put together a quick shadowbox to hold the collection.

In 2009, the US Mint issued four new pennies in honor of Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday. Abe's collection had all four pennies, plus the newest design that features a shield on the back (instead of the image of the Lincoln Memorial that most of us grew up with). I didn't like how most of the collection consisted of shiny, new pennies, so I threw in a slightly tarnished shield penny to mix things up a bit. 

I started by printing a US topographical map on my printer. I removed the insert from my Ikea shadowbox frame to determine what part of the map I wanted to use, then traced around the insert and cut along the lines to make the background. 

I could have made a perfect grid but decided to just wing it. I measured my background to determine the center and placed the first penny, then I just eyeballed it when placing the rest.

Glue dots seemed to work well for holding the pennies in place (probably not archival but I doubt any of these pennies are worth much).

I wanted at least one penny to show Lincoln's head, and since the silver colored steel penny from 1943 was a "wheat penny" I showed the front of that one and the back (wheat side) of a copper penny from the 1950s.

Four of the pennies are from 2009 and commemorate Lincoln's life. 

The oldest penny in our collection isn't even a Lincoln penny, but it's from 1903. I'd love to see a complete collection with the coins that were issued before the Indian Head penny!

I collected all of the 50 State Quarters but haven't done anything with them yet. Maybe this year I'll get around to framing them. Anyone else enjoy collecting coins? How do you display them? Ever find one that was actually worth something?!


  1. Oh I just love this idea. My daughter and her sweet family are on their way to set up home in Chaska, MN. I think I will share this idea with her!

    1. I grew up not too far from Chaska. I hope they love it! :-)

  2. isn't the 1943 penny worth 1,000,000 dollars?

    1. No. If you find one made from copper they're worth a lot, but that year almost all the pennies were made of steel so they're pretty common.

  3. Love this! My son is also named Abraham and was born in 09, I'd love to frame some pennies for his room! My husband proposed to me @ the lincoln memorial and afterwards we went into the gift shop that's inside of the memorial to buy postcards and got back exactly two pennies! Best souvenir ever! We framed those two!

  4. I know this post is old but I just saw it...I collected the state quarters as well, I got a 5x7 scrapbook album, each page has a diecut of the state, and all it's facts, like capitol, state tree, motto, flag, etc...then the quarter was placed in a little clear envelope and adhered to the page. 50 pages 50 states. I love it!
    Love your pennies, I have some coins from europe trip so I will display them from your idea, thank you!