By Nancy Covert
The United States Mint, headquartered in Washington, D.C., operates facilities at San Francisco, Denver, Philadelphia, West Point (New York), Fort Knox…and also in Steilacoom! If you’ve never heard about the Steilacoom mint, don’t be alarmed.
Cherrydale Primary students in Kathy Thomas’ class have been “minting” coins this past week as part of a class project to learn about Chinese culture. Besides crafting ceramic coins that mimic the ancient Chinese money (with a square hole in its center,) they’re also writing Chinese characters. To make the coins appear “authentic” they’ve added a greenish patina to the faux coins.
In preparation for a class play presentation in March, they’ll be making replicas (from paper) of the famous Terra Cotta Warriors, discovered in China in the late 20th century. The warriors will be displayed in the school’s multipurpose room.
The students only are creating about 25 warriors, by the way—not 7,000.
JoAnn Lakin, retired Steilacoom Historical School District teacher and volunteer, is assisting with the cultural project. Besides the coins and Chinese characters, a model of a Chinese dragon will be included in the class display.