One of the best ways to bring history to life for your child is to give them something tangible from the past. A coin is an excellent choice of tangible object because they aren't fragile and are tied into the socioeconomic conditions of the time period in intricate ways. You can hand your child a coin that was passed between people over a thousand years ago. This will help them feel much more connected to the history they are reading about in books. Also, you can find ancient coins for sale at reasonable prices-- certainly cheaper than ancient statues or works of art.
Ancient Greek Coins
One of the best coins to get for your child is an ancient Greek drachma. The drachma was used in ancient Greece and was also used in modern Greece until it was replaced by the Euro.
While any ancient drachma would be impressive, and will help bring the stories about ancient Greek myths and politics alive, a very cool choice would be a drachma minted during the period of Alexander the Great. These coins were used during the reign of one of the most important military leaders in world history. During this period, the drachma featured the image of Hercules on the front, and Zeus on the obverse.
United States Civil War Ear Coins
You don't have to limit yourself to ancient coins. Another great time period is the Civil War. This is one of the most important time periods in the history of the United States of America.
The coins minted during the Civil War are a fantastic way to teach about the economic aspects of the war. In particular, the coins can help to illustrate the way metals became scarce during wartime.
Indian Head Penny and Civil War Toke
These two coins share an intertwined history. The toke is a result of the shortage of silver and the subsequent run on copper coins.
The unique story about the Indian Head penny is that they became very popular because of a shortage of gold and silver. The price of silver began to rise and people hoarded silver coins, effectively keeping them out of circulation. The government began to produce paper money (greenbacks), which left the copper Indian Head pennies the only coins that were commonly used in everyday transaction.
However, alternative coins were minted by private companies using inferior metals such as bronze; these are known as civil war tokes. They were later outlawed, but they are now collector's items. For more information on ancient coins, contact a dealer like Harlan J. Berk, LTD.