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The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

Minting Memories

The Minting Memories P-Week group examines the U.S. coins they received on Tuesday. (@latinschoolofchicago)
The Minting Memories P-Week group examines the U.S. coins they received on Tuesday. (@latinschoolofchicago)

The Minting Memories: A Journey Through the History and Collecting of Coins Project Week had a fascinating, educational week learning about ancient coins, U.S. coins, error coins, and everything in between.

We started on Monday by learning about coins from early cultures (such as Ancient Rome), what these artifacts can tell us about ancient life, and what their embedded symbols mean. The group especially loved the coins depicting the labyrinth on the island of Crete and the dolphins on Sicilian coins. In the afternoon, we visited the Art Institute of Chicago and got to actually see these coins up close.

On Tuesday, we focused on U.S. coins and walked to the Abraham Lincoln statue in pleasant weather.

Wednesday brought a trip to the Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, where many of us saw a cube of a million dollars in $1 bills for the first time. In the evening, the group virtually attended the Chicago Coin Club’s monthly meeting.

On Thursday, we went down to Harlan J. Berk Ltd. The coin store has an impressive collection from the very first coins to more recent ones, and from gold to silver to copper coins. Upstairs, they hold a wide array of artifacts, including an Egyptian sarcophagus in a glass box in the middle of the room.

The group returned to Latin in the afternoon and examined error coins, designed our own coin, and flipped through numismatics magazines.

On Friday, we had a special guest. After sharing his extensive knowledge about coins, John Kent, president of the Illinois Numismatics Association, passed out common U.S. coins for the group to practice grading, or evaluating their condition. The Minting Memories concluded the week by watching a magic show.

Many of us will be checking our change from now on for counterfeits or other rare coins—perhaps one could be worth millions.

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About the Contributor
Edie Park, Staff Writer
Edie Park ('27) is honored to be writing for The Forum during her freshman year at Latin, hoping to focus on uplifting and interesting stories. Having founded an online local newspaper during the pandemic, she is excited to hone and practice her writing skills at The Forum. Outside of school, Edie is a competitive pianist and nature photographer. She enjoys participating in math and essay contests. Edie aspires to become a historian.

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