With an abundance of silver from the booming Comstock
Lode, it was determined that Carson City would make an ideal location
for a U.S. Mint, one of seven buildings serving as mints in the U.S. over
the last 200 years. The mint at Carson City was a physical manifestation
of the success of the Comstock Lode since it showed Federal recognition
of the value of the mines located in the "hinterlands" of Nevada. Although
the Carson City Mint was established by Congress in 1863, the Civil War
delayed its construction. Ground-breaking ceremonies took place on July
18, 1866. The Mint opened in December 1869, with Abraham Curry, founder
of Carson City, as the first superintendent. Beginning in 1870, eight
coin denominations bearing the mint mark "CC" were produced until June
1, 1893. More than $49,000,000 of gold and silver was coined here. Coin
collectors are very familiar with the desirable "CC" marks on gold coins
such as Double Eagles ($20), Gold Eagles ($10) and Half Eagles ($5). Of
course, silver dollars, half dollars, quarters, 20-cent pieces and dimes
were also minted from metal mined on the Comstock.
Photo by Terri McBride,
Courtesy of Nevada State Historic Preservation Office
The Carson City Mint was designed by Alfred Mullett, newly-appointed supervising
architect for the U.S. Treasury Department. The Mint shows Mullett's early
fascination with the Classical tradition, a style that predominated in
the great post-Civil War building programs. In the Carson City Mint, Mullett
combined both Greek and Classical traditions, adding an Italian Villa
cupola. Most of the original building remains intact, and all materials
for the Mint are native to Nevada. The sandstone was quarried at the State
Prison, the brick was manufactured at the Adams Brick Works in Genoa (operated
by John Quincy Adams' grandsons) and the interior wainscoting was milled
from Tahoe sugar pine. The Carson City U.S. Mint's formal mint status
was withdrawn in 1899, due to the drastic decline in mining on the Comstock.
Afterward it served as an assay office. The Mint was remodeled to serve
as the Nevada State Museum in 1941. Today the Mint's Press No. 1 resides
at the museum.
Images of the U.S. Mint, modern and
Color photo by Terri McBride, courtesy of Nevada State Historic
Preservation Office; Historic photo courtesy of Nevada State Historic
The U.S. Mint/Nevada State Museum is located at 600 N. Carson St.
in Carson City. It is open to the public Wednesday-Saturday, 8:30am to
is an admission fee for adults.