When Garrett Ziss, 13, held the 200-year-old half-cent piece, he felt a direct link to the days when Baltimore’s Washington Monument rose on what was then the edge of the city.
His imagination came alive: Had President George Washington’s contemporaries held the same one? Had any of the holders fought in the War of 1812 in Baltimore’s harbor?
Sitting around a table inside the Maryland Historical Society, the young numismatist joined local historians to inspect and record details about two dozen coins and medals discovered two years ago in the monument’s two time capsules.
“These coins have been hidden away for 200 years,” said Garrett, of West Chester, Pa. “The last people who held these coins were probably people who knew George Washington.”