Coin club donates rarities to Carson Middle School |

Coin club donates rarities to Carson Middle School

Nick Coltrain

When the Downtown Coin Club handed Gavin Ward a plaque filled with vintage U.S. coins, the Carson Middle School vice principal couldn’t take his eyes off it.

He pointed to the World War II-era pennies minted in steel instead of copper and the nickels from that time made of silver instead of nickel. The war effort made the coins’ usual materials too valuable to be minted.

The coin club, based at Downtown Coin in Carson City, donated the plaque to CMS to give students there an idea of how U.S. money has changed over time – something Ward relished.

“As a former history teacher, I appreciate anything to help get kids interested in history,” Ward said.

The coin club members said they plan to present similar plaques to other schools in the area over the next several months.

“The future of coin collecting is in kids, because it is certainly not in the baby boomers,” Downtown Coin owner and club president Dan Wilson said.

At Carson Middle School, Ward and librarian Ananda Campbell scoped out locations for the plaque in the library, trying to find a spot that’s eye-catching but where it won’t get damaged.

“That’s pretty spectacular for them to just come out and support the kids like that,” Campbell said. “Obviously, they (club members) have a real strong sense of civic duty, and I just love that.”

Club member John Syrotynski echoed the other members in saying that they just want to give the students a new perspective on history while spreading the joy that club members get from their hobby.

“With the coin club, it’s not a mission but it’s almost a passion,” he said.