Rare Coin History and stories in the dirt
By Allen Rowe - Northern Nevada Coin ……….
Here in Northern Nevada history can abound in some of the most odd places. Over the years we have see a number of great coins that have been found around the are, literally in the dirt. Some have been found by people using metal detectors while others have been found by people who were just in the right place at the right time.
Recently a local was walking their dog up in the hills by Virginia City. As they sauntered down the road looking for rocks, one of their favorite pastimes, something caught their eye. In the dirt was a face looking back up at them. Bending down and picking up the coin it was easily discernible as gold due to the weight alone. After wiping off the dirt, which is a big no no, they discovered it was a coin minted in 1870.
Being that the coin had been minted in Carson City it truly became a treasure. It ended up being worth in the five figures. Due to the condition that coin had probably been lying there in the dirt since 1870 just waiting 140+ years for someone to find it.
Finding coins lost in the ground is not uncommon throughout the world, but in this area we have a relatively unique combination that can really spice up a find. In the late 1800′s the west was still untamed and without infrastructure, but there were thousands of people combing the hills in search of fortune and a new life. Many of these miners and explorers lived in crude or very temporary structures. Often the miner would have to find a way to store his wealth without leaving at risk of being stolen. Burying his poke was a common way to hide it from prying eyes. Another way was to sew coins into clothing or saddlery so that it would always be close by.
The second part of the uniqueness to the area is that many of the coins carried by those living out west were newly minted coins from our western mints. Carson City began in 1870 but made coins in very limited quantities. Many of these coins were used until they were worn out due to the lack of coinage available in the burgeoning westward expansion. Today that means that many of these early coins are worth a hefty price.
When coins were buried it was not likely that they would be forgotten, but many a miner did not come back due to tragedy unforeseen. Some of these treasures are still waiting to be discovered.
Lost coins play a large roll in what is found today. Whether a holed pocket, a torn garment, or just coin slipping out after a tumble or bathroom break, over the years there are countless lost coins just laying under the sun awaiting discovery.
We have seen a host of rare and valuable coins that have been found around the area. Whether a dime, silver dollar, gold coin, or rare territorial coin many have tremendous value due to their rarity. If you are lucky enough to find one remember not to wipe or clean off the coin without a professional opinion first because the value difference could be into the thousands. But if you do find a coin from this area it has a better chance of being worth a pretty penny because of the rich history this are does hold.
About Allen Rowe
I have been interested in coins since I was about the age of ten, and the coin bug was always been in my blood. After graduating from the University of Nevada Reno, I decided to follow my heart. In 1993 I formed and incorporated Northern Nevada Coin and Bullion, DBA as Northern Nevada Coin. After all these years I still look forward to going to work and especially which new coins I will get to see that day. Having handled nearly every coin that had been minted in the United States and many great foreign rarities, experience has taught me to appreciate every aspect of collecting and dealing in coins.
Northern Nevada Coin specializes in all Carson City coins, all silver dollars, US gold coins from 1795-1933, rare or key date type coins, and high grade US coins. Coins we especially like to buy are Carson City coins, C and D mint gold, rare O and S mint issues in gold, high relief’s, territorial gold, and high grade gold in all denominations. We also want to buy all major silver dollar errors.
Our mission is to serve our community with integrity, but also to create a destination for all coin collectors. Being located next to the Carson City mint, we aim to make your rare coin experience the best it can be when you visit Northern Nevada Coin.