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Dirty Old Coins Review by Christine (and Caitlin) Field

PO Box 9066481
San Juan, PR 00906-6481
Orders: 1-800-613-8136
Information: 1-612-281-8989

"This is a fascinating, unique project!" -- The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

Talk about your hands-on history! Imagine cleaning up a funky piece of something-or-other to discover an authentic Roman coin. What a neat idea! Dirty Old Coins can provide you with such specimens, some perhaps last used over 1,500 years ago.

I turned this project over to my eleven-year-old daughter (Caitlin Field) and here is what she said: "Dirty Old Coins is a good project for patient people. I'd recommend it for ages nine and up. Some tools you will need are: tweezers, a magnifying glass, and a toothbrush or small utensil with which to scrub. In the pamphlet that comes with the coin identification database CD, you will find that it suggests soaking the coins in vegetable or olive oil. You may also use white vinegar and, of course, water. It may take months or weeks to get the coins into an identifiable state. If you patiently scrub and soak the coins until the engravings become visible, it works! I do recommend this product, even though it can be quite difficult to clean them. The results are interesting - and worthwhile."

Think this is interesting, but probably too expensive for your homeschool budget? Not really. At the Dirty Old Coins website, they note, "For about the price of a fast food lunch you can get a handful of coins which will likely be the oldest man-made items you have ever held in your hands.";

You can get un-cleaned coins from the Balkan region (Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and neighboring countries) at 10 for $17.50 or 100 for $150.

The Dirty Old Coins kit combines 10 high-grade un-cleaned Roman coins with the coin image database on CD. You also get cleaning instructions and historical background in a 19-page color booklet and tutorials provided on CD. The kit also includes a magnifier, stiff brush, and coin flips and sells for $35.

This is a fascinating, unique project!

-- Product Review by: Christine (and Caitlin) Field, Resource Room Columnist, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine