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    Q & A Series: Is It Illegal To Alter U.S. Currency?

    Terry dives into the number one question and the most common misunderstanding he hears everyday.

    I wanted to take a quick minute and just answer that question.

    Basically, the way all the laws read are that it's not illegal to deface currency. What's illegal is to deface currency with the intent to defraud somebody. You can't take a nickel and whittle it to the size of a dime and put it in a vending machine (for resale as a dime). That would be fraud. You can't add a zero after a one on a $1 bill and try and pass it off as a 10. That would be fraud.

    What's illegal is to deface currency with the intent to defraud somebody.

    If you alter a coin for jewelry or art purposes, there's no issue. You can even go to the Treasury's website. They say as much on their FAQ. If it was illegal, I'm sure that you know the penny stretcher machines that you see at amusement parks and other places, they would be illegal and wouldn't exist if it was illegal to just deface or alter a coin.

    Go ahead and order your coin turned into a ring. Just don't try and buy groceries or gas with it. That's what would be illegal. Thanks for listening.