Friday, July 1, 2011

My Pig Ate It

No, I'm not blaming a four-legged animal for lost homework; I'm blaming it for lost coins. If you've ever dropped half-dollars into a piggy bank, you may have ended up in this predicament. The slot on the top of the pig, through which one deposits coins, is plenty large, but the diameter of the hole in the bottom of the ceramic porker is much smaller. Drop large coins in, like half-dollars, and they'll go in fine...but they won't come out.

Benjamin Franklin half-dollars ($0.50)

I've spent hours reaching through the bottom of an overturned piggy bank, grabbing the large coin inside, and attempting to drop it directly through the slit from which it came. The process is frustrating and painstakingly slow. Having been asked to assist with the stuck coins predicament recently, however, I've coined a new solution.
All you'll need to MacGyver this fix is a pair of tweezers and a rubber band. Wrap the rubber band around the tweezers many times, until the rubber is squeezing the metal tool closed. From the bottom of the piggy bank, grab one of your coins (in this case, we had six of the buggers in there...that made the old drop method especially tricky!) with your fingers.

Wrap the rubber band tightly so that the end of the tweezers touch

Now, and you may need an extra set of hands for this one, pry open your tweezers and clamp them around the coin, allowing the rubber band to do the work of keeping the tightly closed around your prize.

Clamp down on your coin from the underbelly of the beast

This is the easy part: Push your coin out the other end of the piggy bank, though the coin slot! Thanks to the length of the tweezers, you can actually traverse the entire piggy bank while maintaining control of the coin - no need to drop! Once the coin is peeking out the other end, snatch it away - your pull is stronger than the rubber band's grip. Collect, reset, and repeat as needed.

Presto! The coin is pushed out the top!
That's all there is to it. And it's animal-friendly: No pigs need be harmed. Happy coin collecting!


  1. Happened to me too about 4 years ago with my piggy bank but do you have Ben Franklins half dollars or Kennedy because Franklins are so much rarer, at least through my collecting experience

  2. Franklins were only minted from 1948–1963, so they probably are harder to find! Mine are just the Kennedy kind, though I may have some others lying around. Coin collecting is awesome!


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