This is our frequently most asked question. If you have our Pennies from Heaven with a cross cut out of them, you may have been asked the same thing. Everyone has an opinion and there is a lot of misinformation on the web about this, so to clear this up we went directly to the source - The U.S Treasury, to get the answer.
"Section 331 of Title 18 of the United States code provides criminal penalties for anyone who “fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined at the Mints of the United States.” This statute means that you may be violating the law if you change the appearance of the coin and fraudulently represent it to be other than the altered coin that it is. As a matter of policy, the U.S. Mint does not promote coloring, plating or altering U.S. coinage: however, there are no sanctions against such activity absent fraudulent intent. " Excerpt taken from https://web.archive.org/web/20220323203719/https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/faqs/Coins/Pages/edu_faq_coins_portraits.aspx
This statute means that you may be violating the law if you change the appearance of the coin AND fraudulently represent it to be other than the altered coin that it is. The law is requiring both items (fraudulently + deface) to qualify for violation, not just altering.
The key word is “fraudulently.”Basically you can’t make it something it’s not, like whittling down a penny to be the shape of a dime and inserting it into coin machines to get a 10 cent credit.In the case of our Pennies from Heaven it is still a penny, an altered penny.
Think of the coin smashing souvenir machines at amusement parks and museums. If it were illegal to turn a coin into art, those machines would not exist.
The Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky has 3 penny smashing machines, this one pictured is on the second deck of the ark.
So the next time someone asks you if it is illegal to damage or deface coins you can explain what the law really means and point them to visit the U.S. Treasury website for all the facts about the law.
If you have never shared your faith with cross pennies, why not try them out?
I used to be afraid to start a conversation with a stranger to share my faith. I felt more comfortable after I found that it was easy to offer someone a free unique gift, most people like gifts.
So now I carry cross pennies in my pocket and I use them as a witness tool on a daily basis. They are portable and definitely a conversation starter.
I do not "force" my beliefs on anyone, but I ask them if they got one of these and hand them a cross penny.
If they ask questions (and they will when they see these), it gives me the opportunity that I am looking for to share my faith.
Get yourself some cross pennies and do your part in the Great Commission. You can find cross pennies on our website. These are so compelling that people will ask you for more.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Airstrike from Ambassador, Bernadine Cantrell
Money is The Root of All Evil: True or False?
10 Easy Ways to Share the Gospel with Cross Pennies
42 Great Ways to Use Cross Pennies
There were Swords, There were Cops!
See What People are Saying!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“These pennies with the cross cut out are perfect. When we witness to someone we like to give them a little something to remember our conversation. These pennies with the cross cut out are perfect. No one has turned one down yet. At least we’re planting the seed.”
-Carolyn W., Gulf Hammock, FL
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Each person was happy to receive this gift of love. I recently gave out during a luncheon with classmates from 1959 high school. Each person was happy to receive this gift of love. Giving them to high school football players this week. I will be ordering more to go in Christmas cards.””
-Bonnie G., Meansville, GA.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“LOVE THE PENNIES... LOVE THE LITTLE BAG THEY CAME IN.. very quick delivery . Cant wait to hand them out...I will recommend your company to others, because they will undoubtedly ask , "where did you get these ? "THANK YOU AIRSTRIKE... Peace be with you...”
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“I ordered the penny with the cross cut out and also ordered the cross that came out of the pennies. When my order came in the order was wrong and I got pennies with the cut out only, so I simply emailed the company and they shipped out the crosses at no extra cost and told me to just keep the wrong order as appreciation. This is a great company that takes care of it customer. I will share with friends and tell them about this company.Thank you for all your hard work.”