Heads or tails? You win either way with coining in Carson City


Carson City’s coin heritage is an invaluable part of its history and an active part of its present. During Nevada’s silver rush, the federal government established the Carson City Mint in 1858. The Carson City Mint, where coins were made for Federal Reserve Banks, began operation in 1870 and minted both silver and gold coins for 21 years then ceased production in 1893. Today, the entire Carson City Mint building is now the Nevada State Museum. While official U.S. coins are no longer minted at the museum, the Carson City Mint’s legacy lives on.Carson City Mint

History buffs, coin collectors and vintage machine enthusiasts are in for a real treat because the Nevada State Museum houses a permanent exhibition of Coin Press No. 1. This machine is the original coin press that was churning out official U.S. coinage back in the 1800s. Coin Press No. 1 has been faithfully restored so that it can be fully operational and running as if it were 1872 again. Talk about living history!

The Nevada State Museum proudly prints medallions and replicas using Coin Press No. 1. Currently, the press is awaiting a new part and is scheduled to be working again by late December. Still, every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., visitors can attend interpretative talks and presentations by coin press experts, and purchase silver medallions or contact the museum directly to place orders. Once Coin Press No. 1. is running again, live coining demonstrations will replace the interpretive talks every Saturday.

Seeing an interpretative talk costs the standard Nevada State Museum admission price of $10 for adults and is free for children ages 17 and below. Attendees will also have the chance to see all of the museum’s wonders such as the underground mine exhibit that shows how mines looked during Nevada’s Comstock era. All exhibits are ADA accessible.

For those interested in learning more, every last Saturday of the month, the Reno Coin Club shares a display of rare coins in the museum concourse from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Visitors can see historical coins, learn more about coin collecting and purchase new American Women quarters at face value.

 Carson City Coin Shops: More than meets the eye

The passion for coin collecting has permeated throughout Carson City making it an ideal weekend travel destination for coin collectors – whether you’re a novice or seasoned coin collector – those interested in finding a memorable souvenir who are on the hunt to complete part of their collection, are encouraged to see what turns up in Carson City. There are multiple shops to collect coins from: Carson Valley Currency & Coins, Carson Jewelry & Loan, Downtown Coin, Northern Nevada Coin and Ranger Industries.

Northern Nevada Coin has its flagship store in Carson City across the street from the Nevada State Museum. Incorporated in 1993, the store provides a variety of coins to choose from and is experienced in dealing with coins, bullion, antiques and other valuables. Northern Nevada Coin’s President and Owner Allen Rowe provided Visit Carson City with some insights into coin collecting.

Allen said that Carson City Morgan Silver Dollars are popular coins at his store and can be a good starting point for collectors. These coins were printed from 1878 to 1893. They start in price from $100 and some cost thousands of dollars. Beginners don’t have to purchase coins in this price range but many see coin collecting as an investment, especially given how the value holds up for coins that are more than 100 years old!  

 Make it a travel experience where you truly feel rich!

 Carson City’s past and present coin heritage is alive and well. Visit Carson City for a weekend, go to the Nevada State Museum, check out the local coin shops and see what treasures they have on hand Then, watch the western sunset at Riverview park and stop by Shoe Tree Brewing Co., recently crowned the second best brewer in the U.S. by the U.S. Open Beer Championship with friends or family.