Book Review – Curry’s Chronicle: Official Journal of the Carson City Coin Collectors of America
Reno, NV – June 30, 2011 It’s unlikely that anyone outside a small group of collectors of coins from Nevada’s Carson City Mint is familiar with this quarterly publication. That’s too bad, because the material in it holds appeal not just for numismatists, but also a wider audience of people who have an interest in the history of Carson City and its old U.S. Mint building, as well as the Comstock Era in which the mint was founded and flourished.
As one would expect of the official publication of a coin collectors group, the main focus of the journal is on the coins that were produced at the Carson City Mint in the nineteenth century. Editor Rusty Goe is the proprietor of Southgate Coins in Reno and the author of two major books about the mint: The Mint on Carson Street: A Tribute to the Carson City Mint and A Guide to a Complete Set of “CC” Coins (2003) and James Crawford: Master of the Mint at Carson City – A Short Full Life (2007). Curry’s Chronicle, which started in 2005, reflects both Goe’s passion for “CC” coins and his abiding interest in the history of the Nevada mint itself.
Alongside stories about the mint’s coins, commentary on coin collecting, reports on numismatic events, and news of the CCCCOA, the journal features articles on such historical topics as “Father of the Mint” Abraham Curry, Annie H. Martin and other superintendents and assayers-in-charge of the mint, picture postcards that have featured the mint building, a theft of Carson City Mint coins from the Nevada State Museum in 1952, Nevada Congressman Tom Fitch’s fight to save the mint in 1870, LaVere
Redfield’s famed silver dollar collection (hoard), injuries sustained by mint workers as the result of accidents, and early Carson City coin collector Harold Budd. There are pieces on “How Monetary Policies Influenced Coinage Production at the Carson City Mint from 1875 to 1877” and “19th Century Mint Refining and Metallurgical Practices,” as well as snippets of contemporary comment on such subjects as the “healthful” qualities of sulfuric acid fumes that wafted over Carson City from the mint in the 1870s, and stories about notable area personalities, buildings and communities, such as, respectively, Matthias Rinckel, Piper’s Opera House in Virginia City, and the Comstock mining town of Gold Hill.
This journal is profusely illustrated with images of coins and mint-related documents, coin club members and their activities, and historical personalities and places that have connections to the Carson City Mint.
In summary, Curry’s Chronicle constitutes an invaluable source of information for anyone interested in Carson City Mint coinage, as well as a generally overlooked resource for those looking into the history of the mint, Nevada’s capital city, and the mining area that surrounded and supported the mint during its colorful but relatively brief heyday.
Annual dues for the Carson City Coin Collectors of America are $30, which includes a subscription to the club’s journal, Curry’s Chronicle (www.carsoncitycoinclub.com).
Author – Eric Moody
Former Curator of History at Nevada Historical Society in Reno, NV
Founder and Editor of Nevada in the West Magazine