Okay, latraviata has infected me. =) I went to Science World and the Vancouver Aquarium to get pressed little-unminted-copper-disks-the-size-of-a-penny.
They're not real pennies, which kinda takes some of the fun out of it. All you do is put your looney (CDN$1.00) in, it drops a little penny-sized copper disk from its reservoir into the contraption and presses it for you.
Science World only had one, but there were two designs at the Aquarium: an octopus and a killer whale. I got 5 of each - one for myself, one for LaTraviata and 3 to trade. I'm going to send all my tradies to LaTraviata and she'll send me 12 different pressed coins back whenever she gets trades. It's a bit of a loop, but until I can find someone here to bum a mailbox from, I'll just do this.
B mentioned to me that the Canadian government doesn't take too kindly to defacing Canadian coinage. I said that doesn't make any sense to me - but, then again, very few things about the government do make sense. They were talking about abolishing the penny altogether a while ago. It costs 3 cents to mint one penny. Pressed pennies are $1.00 each. You'd think that the gov't would actually be all over it like a dirty shirt... have a monopoly on owning, running them AND commissioning the plate designs.
I've also heard that it isn't about the cost of it, it's about defacing the image of Queen Elizabeth. Like, whatEVER. This is the same woman who was upset at having her face line up directly with the polar bear's butt on the other side of the Canadian $2 coin (the tooney).
It's MY money, I should be able to do whatever I want with it as long as I didn't intend to try spending it as legal tender again.