Defacing currency question?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by peanut3342, May 5, 2010.

  1. peanut3342

    peanut3342 Junior Member

    I know when I was growing up my parents always told me that defacing the United States currency was illegal. However, I see all kinds of mutilated a.m. altar coins on eBay and other sites. Does anyone know if it is still illegal to destroy US currency as a currency?:secret:

    PS I always see those penny minting machines at fairs and coin shows for souvenirs.
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  3. Fifty

    Fifty Master Roll Searcher

    It's only illegal if you try and pass a coin or bill off as something that it isn't. You can't spend one of those "carnival pennies". I'm sure that the Secret Service knows about "where'". It's all about good taste.
  4. Jcoin

    Jcoin Junior Member

    Apparently it is illegal...

    Although, im not too sure of the validity of that website.

    Personally I love receiving 'defaced' currency. I think it gives a note real character! haha

    PFCBEGA Staff Numismatist

    I always thought Washington was somewhat of a superhero but wow! :p
  6. LewR

    LewR Junior Member

    I thought you folks would like this one. It is a sticker that attaches to the bill. My buddy's company sold them as a novelty, but were shut down by the secret service faster then you can imagine. This was more than 30 years ago - but I thought it was pretty neat.

    Attached Files:

  7. peanut3342

    peanut3342 Junior Member

    I always thought that it was illegal due to the fact that if people were mutilating and destroying the currency than the taxpayers would have to pay more money to have additional currency minted. Which makes common sense but who knows!

    Thanks for the replies I'm going to like it here...
  8. Info Sponge

    Info Sponge Junior Member

    I believe the key word there was "fraudulently", in other words it's illegal if you're trying to trick somebody, for example by spending an underweight coin.
  9. CheetahCats

    CheetahCats Colonial & Early American

    You are correct. The operative word is 'fraudulently'.
  10. Billyray

    Billyray Junior Member

  11. CheetahCats

    CheetahCats Colonial & Early American

  12. Billyray

    Billyray Junior Member

    And for coins ...

  13. CheetahCats

    CheetahCats Colonial & Early American

  14. Just Carl

    Just Carl Numismatist

    Regardless of such laws it is apparent that not much is ever done to stop all the so called mutilations of our coins. Those machines that press out something from a cent are everywhere. Montel Williams had that advertisement for Obama added on stickers to coins. People throw them in wishing wells, ponds, lakes all the time. It is considered good luck to place a coin under a newly poured slab of concrete and it is done all the time. Coins are place on RR tracks by kids everywhere and no one runs over and places them under arrest. I wonder how many kids melt coins in Chem labs all over the world. Think anyone placed Annie Oakly in jail for shooting coins? And if you check out any magicians web sites or stores you would see numersou mutilated coins.
    I suspect the government has some more pressing issues to keep them busy rather than running down such affenders.
  15. peanut3342

    peanut3342 Junior Member

    just Carl I agree with you 100% in fact this is not a confession but in my younger days I put many of pennies on the rail road tracks. What I am waiting for is to find out if they are going to allow the melting of pennies.

    As far as the government having other things to do you are right! The problem with that is the more the government gets involved the worse things get. LOL
  16. LewR

    LewR Junior Member

    The urband legend passed to me from my folks was that pennies were the only piece of US currency that could be legally defaceded (like in the penny presses).

    Seems we are short on facts and big on urband legends. After all, how many penny presses existed even in D.C. at the national museums?

    Illegal to kill a bat?

    Illegal to kill a praying mantis?

    Get my point?
  17. mpcusa

    mpcusa "Official C.T. TROLL SWEEPER"

  18. CheetahCats

    CheetahCats Colonial & Early American

    I won't forget that one... I had one scare the sh*t outta me when i was about 6... it was trying to get into the house via a storm-door... I tried kicking it out... my parents stopped me in time and it didn't get hurt...

    Needless to say, I got yardsticked real good over that incident!
  19. hrhomer

    hrhomer Member

    I am an avid user of Yes, the Secret Service is aware of the site. Years ago, when the site started, the webmaster/creator was visited by them. It was determined to be legal, as long as the bills were not intentionally rendered unfit for circulation, and not used as advertising. He had to stop selling the stamps used to mark the bills, but other people sell them, or one can have one custom-made.

    I presume that the bolded statement above would apply to any currency, not just Where's George bills.

  20. mpcusa

    mpcusa "Official C.T. TROLL SWEEPER"

    Iam going to have to check that site out! sounds like fun! :)
  21. CheetahCats

    CheetahCats Colonial & Early American

    Looks cool. I wonder how many people take the time to enter in serial number info, zip, etc...
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