Carson City’s gold has both history and value |

Carson City’s gold has both history and value

Allen Rowe
For the Nevada Appeal

At our store we are often asked what we perceive is a good value in gold coins.

Bullion is by far the simplest way to buy gold, but there are other options as well. Numismatic coins are popular and offer a wide range of collecting genres. But one of those genres is our favorite, Carson City gold.

Carson City has long been known for its famous silver dollars, but what many people do not realize is that the Carson City mint made more than just Morgan dollars. Dimes, 20-cent pieces, quarter dollars, half dollars, seated dollars, trade dollars and Morgan dollars were all coins struck here in the Silver State, but we also struck gold. Carson City minted $5, $10 and $20 Liberty gold coins, albeit in limited quantities.

Carson City gold is far rarer than its silver counterparts and has become a popular arena to collect in. Carson City minted less than two million gold coins in its 23-year existence (of which it only minted coins 20 of those years).

Lets look at the $20 series. An interesting fact is that in 1870 (the year that the Carson mint opened) the San Francisco mint struck 982,000 $20 coins, where as the Carson City mint only made a total of 864,128 $20 coins in the 19 different years it struck them.

In 1904 more than 11-million $20 coins were struck in Philadelphia and San Francisco, more than 11 times the entire out put of $20 gold coins ever minted in Carson City. Carson City gold coins by comparison are scarce.

So does that make Carson City gold expensive? Yes and no. Yes in the fact that some of the issues are extremely rare, and no in the fact that some of the coins trade for less than twice the price of a common gold coin.

Today an ounce of gold trades for just a little over $1,000.

Numismatic $20 gold coins trade for $1,100-$1,500 for some of the most common dates in average conditions. Carson City $20 gold coins can be obtained in average condition for about $2,000. Not a bad price considering that these coins are many times rarer than their counterparts.

Of course not all of the dates of $20 Carson City gold coins are that inexpensive. We recently sold an 1870-CC $20 gold coin (the rarest Carson City $20 gold coin) in very average condition for around $200,000.

If you are looking to buy gold coins and want to explore more than just bullion, Carson City gold can be a fun endeavor. Not only can you buy scarce numismatic coins, but you can also own a piece of our rich Nevada heritage.

Whether you just want to get an example or embark on the quest to complete an entire set, we perceive Carson City gold to be a good value.

• Allen Rowe is the owner of Northern Nevada Coin in Carson City.