Author Paul Franklin to lecture on Carson City Mint assayers June 15

Nevada State Mseum Carson CityYou may know that the Carson City Mint produced coins bearing the famed CC mint mark, but did you know it was a United States assay office?

Learn about this history of the Carson City Mint at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 15, at the Nevada State Museum, 600 N. Carson St. in Carson City. Paul Franklin, a retired semiconductor industry executive and frequent lecturer at Stanford University, will talk about Carson City Mint assayers and their role in analyzing and refining gold and silver.

Franklin is the author of “Anatomy of an Ingot,” which follows the careers of three mining engineers and assayers who figured significantly in Nevada’s early silver mining boom, and he also speaks locally on history topics.

Carson City Assay OfficeSeven U.S. Mints were established by Congress to receive, analyze and refine the gold and silver from the various mining districts. They were authorized to coin the metals to meet the monetary needs of a growing nation. However, the U.S. Mints were not enough to meet all the local mining output, so the government approved eight more dedicated regional assay offices that analyzed and purified the precious metals but did not produce coinage. The Carson City Mint was the last mint to be established, and even after halting coinage operations, continued as a U.S. assay office.

The Carson City Mint turns 150 in 2020; the Nevada State Museum currently is celebrating the sesquicentennial with a regular program held on the third Saturday of each month on a different topic of the Mint’s history, followed by a demonstration of Coin Press No. 1.

Museum visitors can purchase a silver blank in the museum store for $60 and see it minted on the historic machine. This Saturday, the museum will continue to mint the popular USS Nevada medallion from noon to 4 p.m. Also, Nevada State Museum Curator Bob Nylen will lead 1870 Mint Building Tours at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Regular admission, free for members and children younger than 17. Coeur Rochester, Inc. is a sponsor of The Nevada State Museum’s Mint 150 Celebration.


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