Start making money

21st September 2007 at 01:00

Ages 14 and over

Design your own gold coins that are worth different amounts of money. The only rule is that the measurements must be precise because gold is expensive and, if lots of the coins are to be minted, they need to contain the exact quantity of gold.

Pupils can find the up-to-the-minute price of gold per gram at statistics_current.htm, or the teacher can check that morning. It could be interesting to talk about why the price varies whereas other relevant factors, such as the density (19.3 gcm3), are fixed.

Questions learners might discuss could include:

1. What denominations are possibledesirable?

2. How thick should coins be?

3. What shape is best?

4. Why aren't coins made out of gold any more?

Able pupils might design coins consisting of two different components (eg, gold and silver), like the UK pound;2 coin, or coins with holes in the middle. Making a coin in the shape of the UK 50p piece is a significant challenge for a GCSE pupil with a knowledge of trigonometry and sectors of circles

Colin Foster teaches mathematics at King Henry VIII School in Coventry

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a TES/ TESS subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


Get Tes online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to Tes online and the Tes app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off Tes Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the Tes online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order today