One-hundred-fifty years to the day after it pressed the first Liberty Seated silver dollars at the Carson City Mint, the very same coin press will be minting medallions in the same building in commemoration of the historic event.
It’s all part of Mint150 — the Nevada State Museum’s celebration of the sesquicentennial of the Carson City Mint. Festivities will start just before 10 a.m. Feb. 4 at the Nevada State Museum, 600 N. Carson St. Admission is free.
It was on Feb. 4, 1870, the Mint began producing coins from the silver and gold ore of the nearby Comstock Lode. The Mint operated until 1893, producing more than $50 million in coins.
Its coin press — now referred to as Historic Coin Press No. 1 — was the only one in the Mint for its first five years of operation. It later did service at U.S. Mints in Philadelphia, San Francisco and Denver before its return to Carson City as part of the Nevada State Museum collection. The Museum has occupied the former Mint building since 1941.
Since 1976, it has produced scores of commemorative medallions.
“I contend it’s the most significant and most unique coin press still in operation in the United States,” said Bob Nylen, curator of history at the Nevada State Museum.
The commemorative medallion planned for Feb. 4 pays tribute to the Mint building; its first superintendent, Carson City founder Abe Curry; and its first press, Coin Press No. 1. They will be cast in both silver and copper and, of course, carry the famous “CC” mint mark coveted by collectors today.
Tom Rogers, a retired U.S. Mint engraver, sculpted the medallion for the Feb. 4 medallion based on a design by museum director Myron Freedman. It is the second medallion Rogers has done for the Mint150 celebration, having sculpted the design for a replica Liberty Seated half dollar that came out in July.
The Mint Sesquicentennial medallions will sell for $75. Attendees can purchase a blank planchet and have it minted on the coin press.
For full details of the celebration, go to www.mint150.com.
Mint150 is sponsored by the Nevada Mining Association, Travel Nevada and the Carson City Culture and Tourism Authority.