The Local Scene in Carson City

The following is from the Carson Daily Appeal published in Carson City, Nevada, April 3, 1873:

"Dies for the stamping of half-dollars and a new set of test weights came to the Mint yesterday. The new regulation half-dollar is to be something heavier than the old one; and it is to have a device indicating its weight—reversed arrow heads each side of the date. Very soon we will begin to have the new "trade dollar"—a beautiful and massive coin, superior in beauty and value, doubtless to any other silver coin made in any mint."

The same publication on May 8, 1873, noted this:

"We saw in the mint yesterday between two and three hundred pounds of silver bullion from Benton, Inyo County, California, which is to be coined into trade dollars as soon as the arrangements are perfected for their coinage."

On July 22, 1873 this appeared in the Appeal:

"The new dies for the coinage of the silver trade dollars were received yesterday by the Superintendent of the Carson City Mint and will be put on the press today for the trial. They differ somewhat from the old dollar stamp.… 8,000 will be coined with the new dies today."

This was followed by another report the next day:

"THE FIRST TRADE DOLLAR ever coined west of Philadelphia was shown to us yesterday. Superintendent Hetrich had it all nicely swathed and cuddled in a bit of tissue paper. It is by far the most beautiful silver coin we have ever seen issued from an American Mint—handsomest we ever saw of any make, we think. It looks like a beautiful medal—the Mademoiselle Liberty side does. She is just near enough to the scrawny to be classical-like—pre-Raphaelite, is the word, to be technical. She seems to have rather got tired of that ostentatious bit of business-like piety of our coinage and scratched ‘In God We Trust’ on the base of her pedestal of emblematical express packages and let it make a very modest and different showing there. Good taste would cause its entire obliteration, we think. Consider the baseness to which a coin may be put at the hands of godless people, and then somewhat intrusive incongruity of this pious label becomes apparent.

"The eagle, on the side which we should say was ‘tail’ were we tossing trade dollars for keeps, is by all odds the best eagle we have ever seen stamped upon any of our coins. More than any piece of money of Uncle Sam’s mintage this looks free from an appearance of being crowded. In most of the others the eagle is too big, too coarse, too evident and lacking in artistic proportions. The man who designed the dies for this trade dollar is an artist. We have always felt an indescribable sense of backwardness in taking any of the more clumsily constructed coins. We would take a million of these and never experience any but the most pleasurable emotions!

"U.S. MINT—The total amount of mixed bullion, gold and silver, received yesterday by the superintendent of the Carson Mint, was 2,385 pounds sent in from mines on the Comstock Lode for melting and assay. The coiner ran through the press 4,500 trade dollars, $2,580 of which were paid out to parties who had deposited with the Mint silver bullion to made into the new dollar coin. A large number of quarters were also coined, making the coinage of silver for the day $9,500. On the same day the Cashier of the Mint delivered on order to Wells, Fargo & Co., Carson, 21 unparted bars of gold and silver worth the sum of $65,634.02 to be sent by them to the Bank of London and San Francisco (Limited), London, England, to the credit of the Crown Point Mine, Gold Hill, Nevada. The Carson City Mint is the first on the Pacific Coast to coin and put in circulation the trade dollar."