For this week's Snippets, Somer tells of a frightful experience, and what the "CC" mintmark means to her.
My First "CC" Coin and What it Means to Me
By Somer Athari
This week's Snippets may be somewhat different. It was inspired by a traumatic event that recently occurred in my life, and I would like to share it with you. Let me begin by telling all of you about my collection of coins at home, or rather my coin at home. When I began working at Southgate Coins, I had no interest in coins whatsoever. In fact, I was overwhelmed at the thought of working with thousands of coins that I had absolutely no idea even existed. Nevertheless, I was accepted into the Southgate "family," and I began to learn the coin trade.
Learning the names was probably the most difficult: St. Gaudens, Mercury, Standing Liberty, Seated Liberty, and Morgan. I know it seems horrible even thinking about it, but until just recently I was informed that Morgan was not in fact Ms. Liberty's first name, but rather the artist who designed the U.S. version of a Mona Lisa portrait. So you see I have learned so many things since I began, and continue to learn new things everyday.
When it came down to learning about the Carson City Mint, my interested ears were wide open. I became romanced by the idea of a mint so close to here. The thing that really hit me the most about the Carson City Mint was the obvious fact that I had driven past it a million times and yet it was hidden from me; such a momentous building slipped right under my nose.
Before I left the country to study in Spain, I decided that I was going to set aside a bit of money to invest in a coin. I wanted it to mean something to me and quickly decided to buy a "CC" Morgan dollar. But which one? Well, they began minting the Morgan dollars in 1878, so I thought the first year would be a good place to start. I could not, nor still can not afford anything in Brilliant Uncirculated condition, and it really didn't matter to me. So I purchased an 1878-CC Morgan dollar and tucked it away in a memory box to stay for as long as I could permit it to.
Last week, my house was broken into and everything I owned was thrown about, like a tornado had twirled across the landlocked state of Nevada and landed solely in my room. As I stared at the devastation and annihilation, I thought of all my valuables, mostly valuables that hold my identity; social security card, billing statements, my laptop. As instructed I touched nothing until everything was dusted for fingerprints. When the 20 or so police had evacuated, I was informed that the mysterious burglar was caught with some foreign money of mine, which I had brought back from studying abroad. Immediately I thought about my memory-filled "CC" Morgan. I dashed through the damage and started throwing boxes full of my previous years aside, looking for my Ms. Morgan Liberty dollar.
Under thousands of old notes from high school and dried crushed roses, I found her. It's funny how minute little pieces of money can mean so much. I worried at first about my actual life on paper, where someone could steal my identity, then I became more worried about pictures, notes, memories, and a coin. A coin that meant absolutely nothing to him, and yet the world to me.
Thankfully, they caught him and I have received all of my possessions back, yet I wonder how he could have missed such a valuable treasure (at least to me it is). Then of course, I remember when I had missed such a valuable treasure like the "CC" Mint for all those years.
I wonder if maybe the State of Nevada at times forgets the important memories that the Carson City Mint inspired, and what it stood for in our state all those years ago. I think that it is a crime that the legacy is so often hidden to the public. Could it be that some of the folks placed in custody of the Old Mint don't fully understand what they have, like I used to feel about my priceless 1878-CC treasure until I thought it may have been lost?
Your relieved correspondent,
PS: I would like to thank Weimar White for inspiring this week's article.
PPS: In case you were curious, the Preakness is this weekend, and I will give a full report in next week's Snippets. Tune into the race, it should be a good one. Giacomo has plenty to prove, according to the headlines. Go Giacomo!