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Shrunken Coins
Frequently Asked Questions  - FAQ

(Updated 08/06/16)

What are Shrunken Coins, and how do you make them?

They are normal government-issued coins that we have "shrunk" (reshaped) by applying extremely powerful magnetic fields. The technology is known as electromagnetic forming. See our simple 1-page PDF explanation. More technically-inclined folks may wish to also see our technical explanation. Since each coin requires sending a lightning-like discharge through a hand-wound coil that violently explodes while the magnetic field shrinks the coin, the process is both labor-intensive and dangerous.

Do the coins weigh the same as before?
Yes. Although the diameter is reduced, the coins become correspondingly thicker. Their weight (and density) remain the same.

Is making shrunken coins legal?
Yes. Although shrunken coins can no longer be used as currency, creating or owning shrunken coins is perfectly legal within the US. Shrinking coins of some other countries may not be legal. Our shrunken coins make excellent educational gifts for children and adults alike, and are very popular with science instructors, home-school teachers, physicists, and engineers. They also make great "stocking stuffers" and birthday presents for budding amateur scientists and coin collectors.

Can you make custom sizes or do "custom" shrinking?
Yes. We can shrink coins to nonstandard sizes, and we can also shrink many foreign coins. Magicians have incorporated them into various magic tricks. Some coin alloys work much better than others. Coins made from copper, brass, bronze, silver, and aluminum work best. Coins made of copper-nickel alloy or nickel don't shrink quite as well, and plated steel coins hardly shrink at all. Bimetallic coins show mixed results. Because their high profile of surface features cause internal force imbalances during shrinking, proof coins do not work well at all. See our custom shrinking price schedule, or contact us to discuss your requirements.

Who invented Coin Shrinking?
I wish I did.... but I didn't.  However, we've had LOTS of practice, so we're currently the BEST at doing it! Now, if you're asking WHY do we shrink coins, it's a nerdy-guy thing. We do it because we can... and, it makes a very satisfying BANG! And no, we can't reverse the process to make coins larger.

How much does the electricity cost to shrink a coin?
The amount of electricity to needed to charge up the capacitor bank for shrinking a US quarter is about 5000 watts-seconds. At current electrical utility rates within our service area, this amounts to less than 0.02 cents/coin.  

Can you shrink other objects?
Yes. Small (1.25" or less) disk-shaped metal objects work best. We also have successfully shrunk transit tokens, tax tokens, and we've also done can crushing to create "hourglass" shaped aluminum pop cans or necked-down copper and aluminum tubing.

Can I order online if I don't have a PayPal account?

Although we use PayPal to support our shopping cart and secure credit card processing, you do not need a PayPal account to order your coins. Our secure checkout system accepts MasterCard, Visa, Discover, or American Express. Payment can optionally be provided from your PayPal account if desired. 

Can I place an order by phone instead of ordering online?
Some customers may not feel comfortable ordering online. These customers may want to use a check or money order for payment, or may want to place a custom order. We also accept phone orders at +1 630-964-2699 and we can accept major credit cards..

How quickly can you ship?
We usually ship within 1-2 business days after payment. However, this may increase for large orders or during especially busy times such as during the Christmas season. We will alert you if any delays are expected. We ship via USPS First Class mail for domestic and international orders. Please contact us if your schedule requires expedited shipping.

Do you ship internationally?
Yes. We ship to all countries supported by PayPal. Our secure checkout process supports seamless conversions to US Dollars from 23 other currencies. Please note that international customers need to add a USD $4 surcharge to cover additional shipping and processing costs. Customers are responsible for any in-country VAT or postal system customs handling fees. Large orders may require using a bank wire transfer.

Do you offer volume discounts or dealer discounts?
Yes, for quantities of 25 coins or more. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Do you have any other "interesting" products?
We also make "Captured Lightning" sculptures. These are beautiful permanent "fossils" of man-made lightning that we've captured within crystal clear acrylic. Visit Gallery 1, Gallery 2, and our special "Eye Candy" web pages to view them. You may also wish to view our 8-minute video that describes how we make them, and a shorter 4-minute video showing us making large, 12 x 12" sculptures. Finally, you can read a brief 1-page pdf  explanation or our in-depth technical explanation.

What is your Customer Satisfaction guarantee?

If you're not satisfied, you may return any item for a full refund or replacement within 14 days after receipt.

Have other questions?
Please contact us. We're happy to discuss any special needs or answer any question(s) you may have. We love to delight our customers!

Contact Information:

Bert Hickman
Stoneridge Engineering
info@capturedlightning.com
+1 630-964-2699


Quarter Shrinker Gallery
Buy Shrunken Coins
Single-Page Explanation (pdf)
In-Depth Technical Explanation


 

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Link to 345 kV Switch MPEG
10" Tesla Coil Deleware Quarter
Tesla Info Center
The "Quarter Shrinker"
BIG Arcs & Sparks
10" Tesla Coil
Get Shrunken Coins!

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