Millenium coin draws a crowd

It was barely 10 a.m. Saturday and already the line of people wanting silver Nevada Millennium coins had spilled out of the old mint's front door and down the sidewalk.

"Are we gonna get our coins?" people were starting to yell. "Was it gonna get ugly?" others may have thought.

Bob Meares, security officer for the Nevada State Museum housed in the former Carson City U.S. Mint building, knew the day's run of coins would not come close to satisfying the demand.

He came out on the front steps, asked for quiet and gave the crowd the news.

"My name is Bob Meares and I personally assure you that what I'm telling you, you'll be able to do," Meares said.

"Now, I can't let anybody else inside yet because of fire safety codes, but I want you all to understand what's going on.

"Nobody had any idea there would be this much demand for the coins, but I can guarentee you will be able to get your coins," he said, and several in the crowd stepped closer to hear. "Everybody will be able to be satisfied, because the governor won't stand for anything else. You might not get them by Christmas, though, and we apologize for that."

While a few people left, most stayed while Meares explained that the shortage was only temporary and that plenty of coins would be minted over the next 14 months.

Meares told potential purchasers that they should call the museum gift shop, 687-4811, later in the week so they could get details about how they could order the coins by mail or when they could come back and buy them in person.


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