Commemorative Coins

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Pony Express - First Ride

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Material: Copper

Acquired:

Value: $

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1960 Pony Express Centennial, Mummy Dollar

Size: 39.5 mm

Material: Silver

Acquired: October 2002

Value: $10

Description: This medal commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Pony Express 1860-1960. It was designed and issued by Dr. Nolie Mumey of Denver, Colorado, as his "contribution to the Centenary of the Pony Express". Issue limited to 500 sterling silver pieces, sold for $7.50 to $10. In November 1960, issuer advised that all medals had been sold and no more would be struck.

Condition: AU-Unc, but has probably been cleaned.

Listed in Hibler and Kappen as number 584: "Silver, antiquated. Size 25. Rare - $35.00".





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Centennial (Copper)

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Material: Copper

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Value: $

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Centennial (Silver)

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Material: Silver

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Value: $

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Centennial (Heraldic Art)

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Material: Silver

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Value: $

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Official California American Revolution Centennial Medallion

Size: Larger than a silver dollar

Material: Sterling Silver

Acquired: April 2003

Value: $15

Description: "The Pony Express" designed by Jack Cornett of Alta Loma.

The 1975 California Revolution Bicentennial Medallion recalls the days of the Pony Express and depicts a rider spurring his steed across a California landscape in the early 1860's. Jack Cornett, 16, of Alta Loma High School received a $1500 scholarship for this award winning design.

Only a freshman when he entered the statewide design contest, Cornett credits his 7th grade art instructor with teaching him to draw and his parents with encouraging him to pursue this talent. He already plans to use his scholarship award to further his art career after high school.

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Pony Express National Historic Trail

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Material: Silver

Acquired: June 2003

Value: $10

Description: This silver medallion, struck as one of two hundred, commemorates the designation of the Pony Express National Historic Trail on August 3, 1992.












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Nevada Pony Express

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Material: Copper

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Value: $

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Nevada Commemorative Medallion Pony Express

Size: 1-1/2 inches

Material: Silver

Acquired: March 2003

Value: $22

Description: Carson City Minted Coin. One side has the engraver's rendition of the original press in Carson City and states that the coin was struck on that press. The other side of the coin has a rendition of the Pony Express Rider on Horseback. It is marked with "Lesnick" which I believe is the artist for the coin. The coin measures 1 1/2 inches across.

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Nevada Commemorative Medallion Pony Express

Size: 1-1/2 inches

Material: Bronze

Acquired: July 2003

Value: $7.00

Description: The medallion is struck in bronze on Carson City Mint's Press No. 1. There is a picture of the press on the back of the medallion.

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1923 Pony Express Wells Fargo Medal

Size: 25mm

Material: Bronze

Acquired: April 2003

Value: $160

Description: The front of the medal pictures a Pony Express Rider surrounded by "Pony Express Race 1923, St. Joseph, Mo. to San Francisco, Cal." The back is stamped "Wells Fargo Nevada National Bank of San Francisco, Since 1852."

Scarce medal struck in 1923, on the occasion of the re-enactment of the famous Pony Express ride, from St. Joseph Missouri to San Francisco. Teams of riders, just like the original Pony Express, competed against each other for the fastest time to complete the ride. This medal was struck in two forms, with a loop and without a loop. One was given to the riders who participated in the ride, while the others were given to employees of Wells Fargo Bank, which sponsored the re-enactment. Both are scarce and seldom seen today. I am told that medals were struck in silver and gold also, and they were awarded to the team of riders that won the race in the fastest time.

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Coin Press No. 1

Built: 1869

Maker: Morgan & Orr, Philadelphia, PA

Weight: 12,000 pounds

Production capability: 1869-1,500 coins per hour

Today: 1 medal takes 10 seconds to strike

Striking pressure:1869 and Today: 200 tons

Although legislation authorizing the creation of the US Mint at Carson City was passed by both houses of Congress on March 3, 1863, actual construction did not begin until three years later. Work proceeded so slowly that three more tears passed before coining machinery arrived.

Manufactured by Morgan & Orr in Philadelphia, who created many of the steam-powered coining presses then in use throughout the world, the first six-ton press arrived at the Carson Mint in 1869. As was the custom of the day, it was painted with a large "1" to signify the first press located in the coiner's department.

On February 11, 1870, this press struck the first coin bearing the soon-to-be-famous CC mintmark, a Seated Liberty dollar.

For nearly a quarter of a century it was used to strike most of the larger denomination pieces produced during the years the mint actually produced coins, from 1870 to 1885 and again from 1889 to 1893.

When the press suffered a cracked arch in 1878, it was repaired at the local shop of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad. Proud of their handiwork, V&T machinists replaced the original brass Morgan & Orr plate with one bearing the name of their famous railroad.

The Carson City Mint ceased coining operations in 1893 and the presses were removed in 1899, along with all other machinery in the coiner's department. Press No. 1 was moved to the Philadelphia Mint, where it was remodeled in 1930 to operate with electric power. In 1945, it was transferred to the "new" San Francisco Mint and renumbered "5" to correspond with its place in the coining department there. Finally, when all coin production was temporarily halted at San Francisco in 1955, the old press was due to be scrapped.

Through the efforts of Judge Clark J. Guild and other local businessmen, the antique press was purchased by the state of Nevada for $255 and arrived back in Carson City in 1958. After a thorough cleaning and painting, it quickly became one of the favorite attractions in the Nevada State Museum, (Only 20 Miles from where I live) now housed in the original mint building.

However, when US Mint Director Eva Adams, who was herself a native Nevadan, was faced with a severe coin shortage in 1964, she requested the loan of the venerable press. It was soon trucked to the Denver Mint and placed in operation, striking more than 188 million coins during the next three years.

Once again returned to the Carson City Museum in 1967, Press No 1 was converted to a much slower electric drive. In 1976, it was used to strike Nevada Bicentennial medals in gold, silver, copper and bronze, and in following years created some of the medallic pieces in a lengthy series produced by the Nevada State Museum.

Since Morgan & Orr presses manufactured in the 1860s and 1870s are still in use today in the San Francisco Mint, Carson City's press No 1 May well have years of active service ahead.

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Rarity of each medal is pedicated on the best information obtainable as to number of pieces extant and not necessarily on number originally struck. The following table is used by Hibler and Kappen as a guide in establishing indivigual rarities:

Extremely rare 5 to 20 pieces known
Very rare 21 to 50 pieces known
Rare 51 to 250 pieces known
Very scarce 251 to 500 pieces known
Scarce 501 to 1500 pieces known
No rarity indicated . More than 1500 pieces known