The Carson City Mint is an important part of our history. Operating between 1870 and 1893, it was the shortest-lived mint in our nation’s history, yet it is probably the most famous. If you have not toured the mint, a great opportunity is just around the corner.
In the late 1800s, the whole country was expanding west. Land and resources abounded with the promise of a new start. One of the greatest lures to the West was its minerals. As the California rush waned with the lack of new prospects, a monumental deposit was discovered just to the east. The Comstock lode of Virginia City was one of the richest silver deposits in the history of the world. With such a large discovery, needs for a booming mining town were in short supply. Timber had to be cut from the Sierras and transported to the mines. Carson City became the middle of this bustling area. When the mines kept growing and the infrastructure of the west kept pace, new needs arose. One of those needs was coinage. Carson City was selected due to the proximity of the silver deposits being mined. Thus just a few years after statehood, we also became the host of one of the expanding country’s mints.
This weekend the Nevada State Museum is hosting its annual coin show. This once-a-year event supports our mint and the education programs that it provides. The show is not only a place where collectors can congregate, but where they can gain even more insight into the history of one of our local foundations. Kid-friendly and educational, this is a great activity for those seeking to learn something or families wanting a purposeful activity.
Often we overlook what we have right in our own backyard to seek something to do or explore. Friday and Saturday will provide a great opportunity to explore one our own treasures. Take the tour through the building responsible for coining much of the money our earlier Nevadans used. Even if you do not plan on buying coins, knowing more about our history can be rewarding. Sharing it with a younger generation will help preserve a Nevada legacy, and this weekend is a perfect time to get in touch with the mint. Come check out a local treasure.
Allen Rowe owns Northern Nevada Coin in Carson City.