Nevada Millennium coin hot for holidays | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada Millennium coin hot for holidays

Rex Bovee

Shoppers were lining up early for them, showing up a day early and, when it was obvious demand outstripped supply, asking when the next batch would be available.

For pokemons? For $69 four-head VCR’s? Or tickets to Streisand’s recently added second New Year’s concert in Vegas?

Nope.

It was one-ounce disks of silver “hot off the press” of the old U.S. Carson City Mint, now the Nevada State Museum, that drew hundreds to people to downtown Carson City Saturday morning.

Don Schmitz and his family were stamping another run of the Nevada 2000 Millennium silver coin on the historic coin press inside the museum’s front entrance.

Though there’s no specific limit on how many of the coins will be created during the 15-month run of its production, an article in a Reno newspaper incorrectly gave the impression this weekend’s run would be the last, Schmitz said.

He, wife Josephine and daughter and son-in-law Donna and Peter Kilburn had come from Nevada City, Calif., on Friday to set up and stamp about 500 coins. Friday’s run was to be for the museum’s gift shop, while Saturday’s was to be sold to customers as they came off the machine.

“When we got here Friday, people were buying them as quick as we finished them. We sold about 250,” Schmitz said.

The family was back at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and about 15 people were already in line for coins, he said, so the coins went on sale as soon as the press was fired up.

The coins were supposed to be available at 10 a.m. – by then, the hallway of the museum’s first floor was filled and the line began running out the door. Only 100 of the day’s supply of 250 were left and customers were warned the supply would soon run out.

Schmitz said that 500 blanks was all he could get from his supplier because the holiday market demand was high for silver “rounds.”

“I’ve got 400 more coming my next shipment and 1,000 on each of the next two,” he said.

The Schmitz family, which operates the commercial Nevada City Mint, usually comes to Carson the last Friday of each month to create a variety of collectible silver coins to be sold through the museum’s gift shop.

But he said they would try to make another trip here once more blanks are delivered to stamp more millennium coins before Christmas. He said the intent would be to sell those in the gift shop, rather than at the press.

The silver coins cost $25 each and checks and credit cards are accepted. The bronze Nevada Millennium coin is stamped at the Nevada City Mint, goes for $3.50 and is available at the museum’s gift shop.

The silver coin was designed by Carol Foldvary-Anderson of Carson City and features a starry sky over the Nevada Capitol. The bronze coin was designed by Carson City’s Kaleb Temple.

The coin editions are time-limited and will only be produced during the 15-month Nevada 2000 Millennium celebration, which ends Jan. 18, 2001. The first pressings of the coins were on Nevada Day.

Proceeds from the sale of the millennium coins will help fund the 15-month-long observance of the end of the millennium.