Many Penny questions...
I have a little penny side biz selling a kit that allows you to make a portrait of Abe Lincoln out of old pennies. (I'm pleased to announce the U.S. mint just started selling them in their gift shops and both Philly and Denver have a completed portrait on display. How cool is that!)
I have two nagging questions about pennies.
- I have a lot of 1943 steelies that are in bad shape. (Maybe 2000 or so...) I'm not sure what to do with them. I've tried cleaning a few and they look great for a while, but then they get a rusty bloom on them and they are worse than when they started.
Somebody somewhere must clean and reprocess these as I've come across batches of reprocessed steel cents on occasion. Does anyone know who does that or where one can get it done?
- I'm looking for a homemade way to darken pennies. As my kit relies on people gathering pennies of various shades, it is sometimes hard for folks to acquire darker pennies in the wild. It's easy enough to shine pennies up using ketchup, vinegar, etc. but I'd love if there were an equally efficient way to darken them. (I've heard of Deller's Darkener, but I don't want my customers to have to buy something else. Would be more in the spirit of the project if they could use materials they found around the home to darken some pennies. Anyway, I threw a $50 challenge up on my blog if anyone has any ideas.
Thanks for any advice/feedback. I realize I'm not your typical coin enthusiast but appreciate the chance to post here all the same.