ANCIENT COINS FOR THE CLASSROOM
This information was
received by email but I cannot find my original source.
Essentially, an organization is offering free ancient coins for
classroom use. I am
reprinting the rest of the information as received.
Upon receiving a request from or a
nomination for a specific teacher / school,
whose students would
like to take part in the ACE Project, the teacher is sent and completes
an application form so we at ACE have some basic information about the
school and its facilities, the ages of the students to participate, etc,
the next steps are, providing, of course, that the criteria are
met and we have the donations to fill the application
The Coins & a CD or a Book, which are
sent FREE to the participating schools
The teacher has returned the
ACE sends by UPS or USPS the following
a) 45-50 Uncleaned Ancient Roman Coins,
sometimes, by agreement, more for a large class..
b) 2 or 3 cleaned and Identified Roman
coins as a visual sample
c) Various Lesson Planning aid documents
book or CD about ancient
We estimate 45 uncleaned coins as needed
for a class of about 25 students - each student gets a coin - we suggest
that these are picked by them, sight unseen, as some coins are in
much better condition than others ( this, of course, is normal in
The cleaning and identifying
The students then follow the basic cleaning
What each student needs for this cleaning
process is :
1 cleaned small glass jar with screw
top, i.e. baby food size or smaller, or cleaned RX container.
1 cleaned old toothbrush or denture brush
Wooden toothpicks and/or bamboo wooden
skewers, and Q tips
which can be purchased for around 70c a gallon and which can be
shared amongst the students.
Distilled Water Cleaning is our recommended
Cleaning Method -
it is both Safe and Cheap.
The theory is that distilled water will,
because it is hungry for minerals, remove the ion particles attached to
the coin, which in turn
loosens the dirt. (Some people have noted that when using olive oil,
that some encrusted coins become more difficult to clean and even turn a
First step is to clean the coins using a
toothbrush, water and soap or Dawn-type dishwashing liquid. The Soap
must be well removed as any remaining on your coin will reduce the
effectiveness of the distilled water soakings which come next, and can
cause a white film to develop on your coin while soaking.
Sometimes this first step alone can reveal enough detail to
attribute a coin, which is when they say you should stop cleaning.
Next comes the distilled water soak. Ensure
that you don't have too many coins in the container (plastic or glass-
a good clean baby food jar or prescription bottle does the trick
) as it is easy to dilute the power of the water by having too many
coins throwing off ions. Next, you need to change the water frequently
if not daily. If the water becomes cloudy or discolored, with bits of
dirt in it, then it is overdue for a distilled water change.
Every couple of days, remove the coins and
give them another toothbrush scrubbing.
people prefer using denture brushes, as they are harder and remove more
than normal brushes. It is important to make sure that you rinse the
coin thoroughly. This is where a fine mesh strainer comes in handy!
Then, the coins go back in the little containers with fresh
Silver or silvered coins, (if you have received any !!!) should soak by themselves in individual containers. Apparently they don't get along with the other coins. Monitor them closely!
Further cleaning instructions available at
the ACE Web site
At some point during the brushing and
soaking cycles, some features should start to appear on the coin.
Students who have picked coins, which appear featureless are then
allowed to pick another coin. Those who have picked what appears will be
a good coin, stick with their one good coin.
Not every coin will turn out to be identifiable.
with the aid of the CD or book, and the various links in the Bookmarks
section at the ACE sites: http://www.bitsofhistory.com/ace/
should start trying to identify the emperor on the coin, fill out their
Coin Information sheets (sent with the coins) , etc. They should be
positively encouraged post questions to the above site for members to
answer and help them. The
first student in each school who correctly identifies his or her coin,
as confirmed when posted to the ACE site, will receive a special ACE
some cases, in arrangement with the teachers, a local ACE Donor or
Member visits the school to talk about the coins.
This can be used as an occasion for publicity in the local press.
The Contests held this past season,( which
will probably change somewhat in
the Fall season)
There were 2 contests: -
The initial Level of these contests were
within the class/school :
was for the best cleaned and identified coin, combined with a test sent
by ACE (with Right/Wrong answers, not subjective – and the teacher
gets the answers) This test
was given to do over a weekend since some research was required for the
students to answer all the questions.
was a Report/Essay, which would take as its subject
the student's coin, the emperor concerned, that period in history etc.,
should highlight some aspect/s of life in Roman times - - this
choice we felt enabled research and creativity at different ages.
We compiled some images at the ACE site, as
well as detailed instructions, which
helped teachers to select the best cleaned and ID'd coins within
their classes/school for the 1st contest at the initial “Within
the school” level. For
those schools with active donors or friends of donors or University
The two winners at each school for the first round received small
nearby, the teacher can get help from those local sources
The Test part of the 1st contest
counts for 50% of the judging marks, and the coins 50%.
Regarding the 2nd competition, the Report/Essay,
we asked that these Essays be computer written, and saved in PC
format such as Word or Wordpad files, showing the name, age of
the student, as well as the special Reference No for
each school allocated by ACE for the
contest since the winners from each school would be going on
to submit their essays for the second level, Final inter
school/ state contests
Then the winners of the 2 contests at each
school submitted their entries into the overall Finals;
these Final entries, which
were posted at the Web site, were judged by
Donor Members, and Prizes were
awarded to the
winners of the overall Inter School/State Final contests, -
there were 5 categories and a couple of runner up prizes..
Remember that the students also get to keep their coins.
The Deadline for the receipt by us of entries into the overall
Final contests was
The winners are shown at our Web Site