Coin dealers, collectors and admirers and amateurs will find fun at the 2015 Carson City Mint Coin Show and Fair. Professionals will buy, sell, trade, and offer their numismatic expertise in a lecture series during the two-day event Aug. 21-22. Held this year at both the Nevada State Museum and the Carson Nugget, the fair includes activities for children, prize drawings, lectures, coin sales, and free appraisals with admission.

As the site of the former U.S. Mint, the museum has a long history in coinage.  Guests are encouraged to share the heritage by enjoying lectures about coin collecting, the history of Nevada State Medallions, hidden secrets of the Carson City Mint, double dimes, and a recently discovered matching die, plus the story of mint employees who introduced baseball to Carson City, says Jim Barmore, museum director. “Coins relate to all aspects of life; we even have a lecture on conditions in a civil war prison camp and the scrip they used to survive.” The museum’s new exhibit “Ranching in the High Desert: Five Generations, One Family,” featuring the work of photo-journalist Jeff Scheid is included in admission to the fair.

“We will also be minting special commemorative medallions on the original historic Coin Press No. 1 at the museum.” Dealers will be at the Carson Nugget where rarities and famous coins that circulate the country will be shown and sold. The 2015 show and fair also offers gold panning ($5 each), mine tours, a rock and mineral lab, and a treasure chest of foreign coins for children. New this year are drawings by Steve Lesnick, who designed the first Nevada State Medallion, and a special display by John Frost showing a rare twenty-cent piece with matching die.

The annual raffle supports programs at the museum throughout the year. The grand prize will be awarded at 3 p.m. Saturday. “We sell the $1 tickets in advance at the museum or by mail, and people donate some great stuff. More than $3,000 in prizes will be awarded.”

Special talks are also a popular part of the fair. This year, the first 100 lecture attendees will receive a free one-year membership to the American Numismatic Association, a Gold Sponsor of the show.


“Double Dimes and the Amazing Find at the Carson City Mint” will be presented by John Frost, director of education of the Liberty Seated Collectors Club and co-author of “Double Dimes-the United States Twenty-cent Piece.” Frost will offer a detailed overview of U.S. twenty-cent pieces, including interesting varieties and a discussion of the legendary 1876-CC rarity.  His highly-illustrated presentation also describes the discovery and restoration of discarded coinage dies at the U.S. Mint in Carson City and the role the study of 20-cent pieces played in this remarkable tale of discovery. The analysis includes matching one of the recovered dies to a recently discovered rare 1875-CC coin.

“The History of the Nevada State Medallions” is another special lecture available to guests presented by Steve Lesnick, an internationally recognized artist, art instructor, author, historian, newspaper columnist, inventor and art consultant. The Nevada State Medallion story began when artist and author Lesnick won the United States Bicentennial award, sponsored by the Franklin Mint. His design, which focused on Nevada’s contribution to the Union, was then minted on Coin Press No. 1, the original press of the U.S. Mint in Carson City.  Medallions were minted in gold, silver, and bronze. Soon after, Lesnick was contacted by Bill Wright to design the first Nevada State Medallion. Their first design choice was The Nevada State Museum. Then Lesnick went on to create seven more medallions. His presentation will focus on the design process from concept to final product.

Be sure to attend a lecture of historical interest by Susan Trask, Editor of the Civil War Token Journal: I Fear I Will Never Leave This Island: Life in a Civil War Prison and Related Money Issues. Trask invites you to travel back 150 years to witness glimpses of prison life and its relationship to the issuance of Sutler Scrip and paper money on the island… the means by which prisoners and camp personnel purchased items to make life a little easier.

Coin Show and Fair gold sponsors include the American Numismatic Association (Numismatist Magazine), Reno Gazette Journal, Carson Nugget. Silver sponsors are Nevada Magazine, The Nevada Appeal, Numismatic News, Downtown Coin Club, Northern Nevada Coin, and Vams and More, Inc. Other sponsors are the Reno Coin Club, S&T Coins, Camelot Party Rentals and Friends of the Nevada State Museum. Our event partner is Downtown Coin Club.

Admission is half price at $4 and one ticket will admit guests to both sites for one day. Museum members and ages 17 and younger are always free. The event runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 21 and to 4 p.m. Aug. 22 at 600 N. Carson St. and the Nugget ballroom, 507 N. Carson St.