Some things always seem unattainable. Along with coin collecting, I play baseball. In particular, I am a pitcher, and I work very hard in the off season to perfect my game. For the longest time, it seemed that it would be impossible to hit the magic speed of sixty miles per hour. Sixty was so special because it is the speed of a car on the highway. A train blazing across the tracks. One step closer to becoming a great pitcher. In coins, I also had an impossible goal of owning a coin from the Carson City mint. Well, I did end up hitting 60 mph, and likewise, I recently purchased my first Carson City coin.
Before I get into the details about the coin, let’s talk about the Carson City Mint. Established by Congress on March 3, 1863, the mint was created to convert silver from the recently discovered Comstock Lode. Groundbreaking ceremonies took place on July 18, 1866. The mint then opened in December 1869 and Abraham Curry, the founder of Carson City and a huge proponent for the mint, was appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant as superintendent. The first production of coins took place shortly thereafter in February 1870. In its lifetime the mint produced eight different 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. The Carson City Mint had a run of 29 years before it eventually was demoted to an assay office in 1899 as a result of decreased silver mining from the Comstock Lode.
When I walked into the coin shop, I had no clue that I would find the treasure that I discovered. I had always thought that Carson City coins were out of my reach because of the advertisements for expensive CC Morgan dollars in the coin magazines I read. However, I did not realize that the mint produced denominations other than dollar coins. As I walked around looking, I saw a bin that I did not recognize before. I went over and was ecstatic to realize that it was a bargin bin full of coins that had not been in the display cases. I started to shuffle through the tub, passing over cull large cents and common date silver dollars and then I saw something that stopped me in my tracks. A 1875 CC seated liberty dime. It was remarkably affordable for me, and I could hardly believe my eyes. I quickly snatched it up and bought it for the low low price of only nine dollars.
By the time I got home, I had studied every millimeter of the coin in disbelief. Unbelievably, I had just bought a coin made in the same mint where such rarities as the CC Morgan dollars and the unique 1873 CC Without Arrows dime were produced. While it is still a rarity in my eyes, the coin was certainly in the bargain bin for a reason. To start with, the mintage for that issue is pretty large- about four and a half million. Second, my coin grades good, with problems, with the most notable being the series of scratches in a circle on the reverse. Also, there is some discoloration on the obverse.
Despite these flaws, I love this coin and it is one of my favorite coins in my collection. Through purchasing this coin, I have learned that nothing is impossible. While some things like gold, rare coins, and key dates may seem out of reach, you should know that it is always possible to add coins like that to your collection.
"Carson City Coin Collectors of America Carson City Mint - A Brief History of the Carson City
Mint." Carson City Coin Collectors of America Carson City Mint. Carson City Coin Collectors of America, n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
Office of Corporate Communications. "The History of the Carson City Mint." Inside the United
States Mint. United States Mint, 5 Aug. 2015. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.
United States. National Park Service. "U.S. Mint--Three Historic Nevada Cities: Carson City,
Reno and Virginia City--A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary." National
Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.