US Coins

Bill seeks Carson City Mint commemoratives

Legislation has been introduced seeking gold and silver commemorative coins to mark the 150th anniversary in 2020 of the Carson City Mint in Nevada.

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-NV, introduced the proposed legislation, H.R. 6221, in the House of Representatives on June 26.

The legislation calls for the production and release in Proof and Uncirculated versions combined of 100,000 gold $5 coins and 500,000 silver dollars. The bill permits pre-orders and bulk sales. 

The sale price of each gold coin will carry a $35 surcharge, with a $10 surcharge imposed on each silver dollar.

The net proceeds from coin sales, once the U.S. Mint has recouped all production and associated costs, are to be distributed to the Nevada State Museum Dedicated Trust Fund to support the Museum’s operations and mission.

1806 Mint reportInside Coin World: About those 1805 silver dollars Although an 1806 Mint document claims 321 silver dollar were made in 1805, no such coins are known today. It took a later book to explain the reference.

The Carson City Mint commenced production of coins bearing the coveted CC Mint mark in 1870 and continued production through calendar year 1893. The former Branch Mint at 600 N. Carson St. in Carson City currently houses the Nevada State Museum. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on Sept. 5, 1975.

Branch Mint history

The Carson City Mint was established by Congress on March 3, 1863, to serve the coinage needs brought about by the Comstock Lode, the largest silver strike in the nation’s history.

Before the establishment of the Branch Mint, silver and gold ore mined in the Nevada Territory was shipped to San Francisco for processing. However, the costs of shipping and the risk of theft necessitated a branch coin production facility in the Nevada Territory.

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According to the U.S. Mint, groundbreaking ceremonies took place on July 18, 1866. The cornerstone for the new facility was laid on Sept. 18, 1866, but the building was not completed until Dec. 13, 1869.

President Ulysses S. Grant appointed the founder of the city of Carson City, Abraham Curry, as the facility’s first superintendent. Curry also supervised the construction of the Mint. In 1870, six years after Nevada entered the Union as the 36th state, coinage operations began.

The Carson City Mint building, a sandstone structure of the Renaissance Revival period, was designed by architect Alfred B. Mullett the newly appointed supervising architect for the United States Treasury Department. Mullett was also the designer of the 1874 San Francisco Mint (the “Granite Lady”).

According to the U.S. Mint, “Curry oversaw production of the first coins ever minted in Carson City. On Feb. 11, 1870, ‘Seated Liberty dollars’ with the ‘CC’ Mint mark rolled off the solitary coin press known as (Press No. 1). During its operation, the Carson City Branch issued 57 different types of gold coins and produced eight coin denominations, including dimes, twenty-cent pieces, quarters, halves, Trade dollars, Morgan dollars, five dollar gold pieces, ten dollar gold pieces, and twenty dollar gold pieces.”

In 1873, the Carson City Mint experienced its most eventful year when changes were made to the nation’s monetary system, resulting in different varieties of coins being produced. In 1876, the Carson City Mint joined in the nation’s celebration of its centennial anniversary, which also coincided with peak production levels from Nevada’s Comstock Lode and more coins were struck than in any other year in the history of the Carson City Mint.

Production shutdown

James Crawford served as superintendent of the Carson City Mint for 10 years starting in 1874 until his death in 1885. The Carson City Mint was shut down in 1885 for political reasons and remained closed under a Democratic administration led by President Grover Cleveland from the middle of 1885 until the autumn of 1889. In October 1889, coins once again began rolling off the presses and continued to do so until the spring of 1893, at which time operations ceased for good.

“The Carson City U.S. Mint’s formal Mint status was withdrawn in 1899 due to the drastic decline in mining on the Comstock,” according to “The facility continued to function as an assay office until it closed in 1933. It was sold to the state of Nevada in 1939 for $10,000. Today, it functions as the Nevada State Museum.”

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