CARSON CITY — A drawing showing a bearded miner holding a pick ax was chosen Tuesday by the state Sesquicentennial Commission as the second medallion for the state’s 150th anniversary.
The miner looks like someone out of the 1972 Robert Redford movie about mountain man “Jeremiah Johnson.”
The new medallion is scheduled to be minted on an 1868-vintage press in the Nevada State Museum in Carson City within six to eight weeks. The museum is the building that housed the Carson City Mint between 1870 and 1893.
Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, chairman of the commission, said the miner design is one that was submitted to his office in 2004 when he served as state treasurer. Krolicki held a public competition in 2005 to select the state quarter and state residents selected a design of running wild horses over the miner design.
The U.S. Mint had made engravings of the five final coins for the coin competition. Then in 2006, the three U.S. mints made the wild horse quarter as part of its 50 State Quarters program. About 600 million Nevada quarters were minted, although the San Francisco Mint created only proof sets for collectors.
“It is going to be splendid,” said Krolicki, mentioning he wants to get a chance to help mint some of the first new medallions.
In preparation for anticipated demand for the coin, the commission is buying 3,000 ounces of silver from the Coer Rochester mine near Lovelock. The mine donated the first 1,000 ounces of silver that were used to create the first medallion, one that shows the state seal.
The demand exceeded the supply and the commission needed to buy additional silver from Coer Rochester for the first medallion.
Krolicki said two more medallions will be chosen by the commission before the 150th anniversary of Nevada statehood on Oct. 31. The silver medallions cost $100.50 each, while copper medallions of the same designs cost $15.
No system has been set up yet for people to advance-order the second medallion. Krolicki said that eventually the commission will be selling sets of all four medallions.
The engraving for the medallion could vary slightly from the drawing that the commission picked.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Commissioner Bud Hicks reported the commission has earned $16,300 in profit from medallion sales, $52,000 off sale of 150th anniversary license plates, and has a budget balance of $315,975.
The commission is sponsoring or sanctioning 150 events across the state that celebrate the state’s birthday.
While almost everyone refers to the state medallions as coins, only the federal government can mint coins. But since the silver medallions contain 1 ounce of silver, they are worth at least $20.24, the current price of silver. The price of silver has been falling.
Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-687-3901. Follow him on Twitter at @edisonvogel.