The Comstock Lode. USA's first Major Silver Find.

Named for Henry Comstock, the man who first officially claimed the land of the original silver discovery, the Comstock Lode was the first major discovery of silver ore in the United States. Located in the state of Nevada, the discovery of this large silver deposit sparked a rush of prospectors after the find was made public in 1859, creating the greatest “rush” since the famous Californian Gold Rush a decade earlier.
Running for a total of just two decades, and all but over by 1880, the Comstock Lode mining nevertheless produced nearly 7 million tons of precious metal ore, with the peak year of production, 1877, yielding a total of US$14,000,000 in gold and US$21,000,000 in silver. Today, that amount represents a combined total of over US$700,000,000 worth of precious metal…!!!
Such was the huge amount of metal coming from Nevada, the US Mint of the day decided to commission a mint in Carson City specifically to process the silver coming from the mines and transform it into coinage including, amongst other things, the infamous Morgan Dollar that circulated widely throughout the Old West.
On a side note, and appropriately, given that Halloween is just three days away from the posting of this article, the Carson City Mint Building is today thought to be haunted by two former Mint employees!
Today, though perhaps now more famous for the gambling cities of Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada is still often called the “Silver State” due to the massive commerce resulting from the Comstock Lode between 1859 and 1880. And that is despite the fact that, for the past 134 years, Nevada has been a relatively low silver producer!



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