Annual coin show at mint bigger this year

There's something that sets next weekend's annual Carson City Mint Coin Show apart from others of its kind.

"As far as I know, this is the only coin show that is held in a former U.S. mint," said event organizer Kathi Baker.

The Nevada State Museum at 600 N. Carson Street was a federal mint from 1870 to 1893, stamping $49.3 million worth of gold and silver coins. The rare coins with the tiny letters "CC" were printed there on the same press that operates now.

The historic flywheel coin press in the south wing of the museum will be stamping "CC" -- the only dual-letter mint mark on U.S. coins -- onto four different coins: one with the state seal, one for the Pony Express, a Virginia & Truckee Railroad coin, and a Carson City coin.

The coins will be minted in silver and sold for $25 in the museum gift shop or right off the press.

"They can actually watch their own coin be minted on the press," Baker said.

The historic, working press is a huge draw, she added.

"We've got dealers coming from as far away as Missouri this year," she said.

About 45 dealers will take part in the show Saturday and Sunday. The 42 tables last year have jumped to 48, Baker said. She expects the number of visitors to climb, too.

"We had about 2,700 last year, but we're expecting quite a few more this year -- probably close to 3,000 or more."

There'll be lots for visitors to do. After paying the normal museum admission fee, they can wander through the museum, pan for gold, or buy $1 raffle tickets.

The tickets are for three prizes: two watches with coin face plates (the men's has a "walking Liberty" half dollar, the women's has a Mercury dime) and a framed photo of the museum building when it was an operating mint. The photo has a Morgan dollar bearing the "CC" mint mark inset alongside it.

Gold panning is new this year.

"The exhibit department built these phenomenal flumes," Baker said. "It'll cost people $2 a pan to strike it rich."

Wells Fargo sponsored the production of canvas money bags like those from the original Carson City Mint.

Other sponsors include the Carson Nugget Casino, which will provide coffee and pastries for all vendors; and International Gaming Technologies, which donated $1,000.

The show is 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. both days.


What: Ninth annual Carson City Mint Coin Show

When: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: 600 N. Carson St.

Cost: Regular museum admission fee: $3 for adults, $2.50 for seniors and free for children under 18

Call: 687-4810



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