It Doesn't Get Any Better Than The Carson City Coin Show

Southgate Coins was well represented at this year's edition of the coin show at the Nevada State Museum. Find out what Sharleen, Sarah, Heather, Marie and Rusty witnessed from behind their tables.

Carson City Coin Show a Rousing Success

August 30, 2004

By Rusty Goe

Carson City, NV. This year's coin show at the Nevada State Museum, home of the former Carson City Mint exceeded all our expectations. The pre-show publicity generated by promises of the 1873-CC Without Arrows dime being on display and a $300 reward being paid to the lucky retiree who found the 1877-CC quarter Southgate Coins of Reno placed in circulation brought out record crowds. Another alluring attraction was the silver medallions with images of an 1889-CC Morgan dollar being struck on the Carson City Mint’s old coin press number 1. Rusty Goe was also signing copies of his new book, The Mint on Carson Street at Southgate Coin's table where the Unique 1873-CC dime was displayed.

Richard Labahn was the fortunate 76-year old retiree who found the 1877-CC quarter in change at a local Albertson's market in Carson City and came to the show to collect his $300 reward. Labahn was interviewed by the local press at a picture-taking ceremony. He arrived at 10:00 A.M. and mingled with the crowd for three hours until the press arrived.

The rooms where dealer tables were set up were packed to full capacity almost from the time the show opened to the public at 8:30 A.M. on Saturday, August 28 until almost 3:30 that afternoon. At times, people were five and six deep at the dealer's tables. There was an outdoor auxiliary bourse area where another group of dealers was set up.

The 40 or more dealers attending the show came mostly from Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Arizona, and Utah, although there were a few from more distant states. One collector/dealer traveled from Virginia to be a part of the festivities. Thousands of rare coins and pieces of currency were on display, ranging in price from 25-cents to $110,000. And of course, the two rarest issues (1873-CC Without Arrows dime and quarter) from the Carson City Mint on display at Southgate Coin's table have an estimated value of more than $1.5 million, although they were not for sale.

Sunday's session of the show, although not near as busy as Saturday's, brought curious visitors who read about the exciting events in the local Sunday paper. Southgate Coins did not display the two scarce "CC" issues on Sunday, to the dismay of many who came out just to see them. Security and insurance matters were a major concern said Southgate's co-owner Marie Goe. "The Carson City police and several undercover guards were just great on Saturday," said Mrs. Goe, "they gave us a real sense of protection." Mrs. Goe kept the company's store in Reno open on Saturday until 3:00 P.M. with the faithful assistance of Southgate employee, Heather Wirtz.

Southgate's staff kept tally of the visitors to their table on Saturday when the two celebrated coins were on display. "We counted 386," said assistant Sarah DeArman, "and we probably would have had more if Rusty had not taken the coins from the table on two separate occasions for photo shoots with the press." DeArman referred to when Rusty Goe carried the coins to the room inside the museum housing the famous collection of 109 of the 111 examples of coins produced at the Carson City Mint between 1870 and 1893. When Goe held his two coins next to the museum's collection, it was the first time in history that examples of all 111 coins issued at Carson City were together in that building. The two coins Goe now owns are the only ones missing from the museum's collection. The estimated value of the 111 coins displayed briefly in that room was more than $2.5 million.

By the end of the show on Sunday, staff workers at the museum were dragging their feet. They had put in many long hours and days on end preparing for the show. To their tribute they were more than helpful right to the very end, assisting dealers in transporting inventories, display cases and equipment to their cars; and then beginning the challenging project of putting everything back the way it was inside the museum. Southgate staffer, Sharleen Flansaas, who participated in the event from set-up on Friday afternoon until returning everything to the company's store in Reno late in the day on Sunday, agreed that our hats are off to the fine men and women working at the Nevada State Museum who contributed so much to the success of the coin show held there.

Now it's time for all of us to get back to the basics of running our coin shop in Reno. We brought back some great new purchases from the show and made many new friends. I know that by next year around July we'll be anxiously anticipating another edition of the best small coin show in America... The only one held in a former U.S. Mint building.