Lucky shopper, Richard Labahn found the 1877-CC quarter that Reno coin dealer Rusty Goe had spent at an Albertsons grocery market in Carson City. Labahn will claim the $300 reward Goe offered at this year's coin show held at the old Carson City Mint building on Saturday, August 28.

Museum Verifies Old Quarter Find

Jill Lufrano

Nevada Appeal

August 14, 2004

A Carson City man is the lucky finder of a rare 1877-CC quarter, a Nevada State Museum curator announced Friday.

Standing beside Carson City Mint's six-ton coin press, Richard Labahn checked the coin he picked up at Albertsons in north Carson on Saturday with the museum's picture and found the secret markings matched.

Labahn, 76, will collect a $300 reward. He said he always keeps an eye out for old coins and already owns an 1870 Philadelphia Seated Liberty half dollar. When the quarter showed up in a handful of coins he took out of his pocket later that afternoon, he knew he should keep it.

"It's amazing what you can find sometimes," Labahn said. "I saw that and said 'hell, I'm not giving this away.'"

The 76-year-old said finances have been difficult lately and he recently sold his car, so the lucky find came at a good time. He was planning to keep the quarter in his collection until he read an article about it Wednesday.

Reno coin collector (and dealer) Rusty Goe intentionally spent the coin Saturday, August 7, at about 4 P.M. at the north Albertsons store as a promotion for an upcoming Carson City Mint Coin Show Aug. 28-29.

The Seated Liberty type has Liberty with stars and the date on front and an eagle with the "CC" mark and the words "United States of America Quar. Dol." on the tail side. It's one of the more common coins surviving from the mint and valued at about $200 to $250.

"It's actually a nice looking coin for all the wear it's had," said Bob Nylen, curator of history who met Labahn to make the verification.

Mints around the country produced the Seated Liberty design from 1838 to 1891. Carson City minted the coins from 1870 (the year the mint first opened) to 1878. In 1877, the Carson City mint made almost 4.2 million quarters. Goe, who authored The Mint on Carson Street, estimates fewer than 7,500 of them survive today.

Goe, who offered to pay the reward as part of the promotion, used red fingernail polish to place four small dots on the coin for identification. He was thrilled when he heard it was found.

"This is like a storybook finish to this; if somebody had scripted this it couldn't have turned out better," Goe said. "It was just perfect. We were just hoping it would be just some innocent kind of person who could really use the money."

The upcoming coin show will display a complete set of coins produced at the old mint. Goe is working to get security and insurance in place to bring his 1873-CC Without Arrows dime and quarter to the show. It will be the first time the entire set is complete in the same building. The two rare coins will return to be next to the six-ton press No. 1 that minted them 131 years ago.

Goe recently paid a record $891,250 for the dime this year. It is the only known existing specimen.


What: Annual Carson City Mint Coin Show

When: 9 A.M.-4:30 P.M. Aug. 28-29

(The 1873-CC Without Arrows dime and quarter will be displayed on Saturday only)

Where: Nevada State Museum, 600 N. Carson St.

Call: 687-4810 ext. 239