Legislation seeks 2021-CC Morgan dollar struck at old Carson City Mint
- Published: Jul 16, 2019, 3 PM
Collectors could be getting a 2021-CC Morgan dollar. House Bill 3757 was introduced July 16 to authorize production of Morgan and Peace silver dollars to mark the centennial anniversary of the production transition between the two designs in 1921 — including Morgan dollars struck at the former Carson City Mint and a high relief Peace dollar.
An unspecified number of Morgan dollars from the maximum combined output of 500,000 Proof and Uncirculated Morgan and Peace silver dollars authorized in the legislation would be struck with the CC Mint mark at the former Carson City Mint in Nevada, which now houses the Nevada State Museum.
The production would likely be executed on a coinage press hauled from a current U.S. Mint production facility, presumably Denver or San Francisco.
The enabling legislation was jointly introduced in the House by U.S. Reps. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., and Andy Barr, R-Ky.
The commemorative coin initiative is been spearheaded by two longtime collectors, Thomas J. Uram, chairman of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, president of the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists, and a departing member of the American Numismatic Association Board of Governors, and Mike Moran, a member of the CCAC.
Uram said it also the intent to offer a limited-edition Coin & Currency set of 25,000 or 50,000 maximum units to include a 2021-CC Morgan dollar and an intaglio print from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing of the back of a Series 1886 $5 silver certificate. That note features the obverse of a 1886 Morgan dollar flanked on each side by two silver dollar reverses as its central vignette.
The 2021-CC Morgan dollar could be struck in Uncirculated condition, and the Proof version might be struck at the San Francisco Mint with the S Mint mark. Discussion is also ongoing concerning what finish will be on the Morgan dollar for the Coin and Currency set and at what Mint the coin would be struck.
The Proof and Uncirculated 2021 Peace dollars would be struck at the Philadelphia Mint with the P Mint mark, if things go as planned, Uram said.
According to the proposed legislation, “The conversion from the Morgan dollar to the Peace dollar design in 1921 reflected a pivotal moment in American history. The Morgan dollar represents the country’s westward expansion and industrial development in the late 19th century. The Peace dollar symbolizes the country’s coming of age as an international power while recognizing the sacrifices made by her citizens in World War I and celebrating the victory and peace that ensued.”
The Morgan dollar, designed and engraved by Assistant U.S. Mint Engraver George T. Morgan, was struck by the U.S. Mint between 1878 and 1904, and again in 1921. The Carson City Mint struck Morgan dollars from 1878 through the facility’s closing in 1893. The Philadelphia, San Francisco Mint and New Orleans Mints also struck Morgan dollars, with the Denver Mint striking the coin in 1921 only.
In December 1921, the Peace dollar, designed by sculptor Anthony de Francisci, was struck exclusively at the Philadelphia Mint, in high relief. The Peace dollar ended its run in 1935.
Uram said it is the intent that the 2021 Peace dollar be struck in the same high relief as the original 1921 output. Uram said although the Nevada State Museum has on its premises a coinage press once used for production at three different U.S. Mint production facilities, that press has been primarily used to strike commemorative medals for the museum in recent decades.
Coin Press No. 1
The six-ton steam-powered Morgan and Orr press made in Philadelphia was the first installed at the Carson City Mint to begin production in 1870.
In 1878, the press’ arch cracked, and was replaced with one made by the Virginia and Truckee Railroad, whose name plate replaced that of Morgan and Orr.
In 1899, six years after the Carson City Mint ceased coinage operations, the press was transported to the Philadelphia Mint and modified to electrical power.
The press was assigned to the San Francisco Mint for production until 1955 when the press was to be scrapped. The state of Nevada bought the press in 1958 and returned it to the former Carson City Mint facility.
With a severe coin shortage in 1964, U.S. Mint Director Eva Adams secured permission to have the press loaned to the nation’s coin producer to strike circulation production at the Denver Mint.
The press returned to Carson City in 1967 and was modified again to a slower electric drive.
The output of the 2021 silver dollar issue will likely involve transporting a press currently used to strike U.S. coins, according to Uram.
Uram said he met earlier in 2019 with U.S. Mint Director David J. Ryder, who was receptive to the idea of the commemorative coin and its striking in Nevada with a current U.S. Mint coinage press.
Striking coinage outside a Mint facility requires congressional approval, with the legislation to have a provision permitting production at the former Carson City Mint.
In the last such striking, the U.S. Mint ceremonially struck 1989 Bicentennial of Congress copper-nickel clad half dollars and silver dollars on three seven-ton coinage presses hauled from the Philadelphia Mint on a flat-bed trailer and parked under a tent in the east parking lot of the U.S. Capitol.
Under the proposed legislation, the price of each 2021 Morgan dollar and 1921 Peace dollar will carry a $10 surcharge. Net surcharges, after the Mint has recouped all of its production and associated costs, are to be distributed as follows, to three beneficiaries:
➤ 40 percent of all surcharges shall be paid to the American Numismatic Association for the purpose of numismatic educational activities.
➤ 40 percent of all surcharges shall be paid to the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, for the purposes of education and commemoration activities relating to World War I and its enduring impact.
➤ 20 percent of all surcharges shall be paid to the Nevada State Museum (formerly a United States Mint facility) located in Carson City, Nevada, for the purposes of supporting the preservation of the historic features of the museum relating to the United States Mint; designing interpretive programs that connect visitors to the significance of minting in the United States, the Comstock Lode, and the American West; and to support the activities of the Nevada Division of Museums and History.
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