Medallions feature state fossil, ichthyosaur

Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson and Assembly Speaker John Hambrick will mint the first commemorative medallions of the 2015 Nevada Legislative Session 12:15 p.m. Thursday at the Nevada State Museum, 600 North Carson Street, Carson City.

The medallions will be struck on the historic Carson City Mint Press Number 1 in the former Carson City Mint. Medallions will be minted in silver and bronze.

The face of the medallion features the ichthyosaur (genus Shonisaurus) which was approved as Nevada’s state fossil in 1977 in Assembly Bill No. 794. The reverse of the medallion depicts the Great Seal of the State of Nevada.

Limited-edition, numbered silver medallions will be presold for a special first-day-of-issue drawing 12:30 p.m. March 18. These special medallions will be allocated by drawing, with the first name drawn receiving commemorative medallion number one, the second name drawn receiving commemorative medallion number two, and so on.

All entries for drawings must be received by 11 a.m. March 18. Orders for multiple commemorative medallions will receive a corresponding number of entries (that is, if 10 medallions are ordered by one person, that person’s name will be entered in the drawing 10 times).

Silver medallions are 1½ inches in diameter and are minted of one troy ounce of .999 silver. Medallions will also be available in a bronze version that is not a limited edition.

Any remaining first-day-of-issue and additional silver and bronze medallions will be available for purchase in the Legislative Gift Shop, 401 South Carson Street, Carson City, or by calling (775) 684-6835, beginning March 20. Gift Shop hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, year-round.

The Nevada State Museum is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults, and free to those under 18.

For additional information about the Museum, call (775) 687-4810.

The ichthyosaur is an extinct, carnivorous, prehistoric marine reptile designated the official Nevada state fossil in 1977.

Nevada holds the title for the largest and the highest concentration of Triassic ichthyosaur fossils found in the United States.

Nevada’s Shonisaurus was discovered in 1928 at an elevation of 7,000 feet in the Shoshone Mountains of central Nevada, which was once a warm, tropical sea.

Excavations in the 1950’s and 1960’s unearthed approximately 40 ichthyosaurs throughout the 1,540 acres of what is now the world-famous Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park east of Gabbs.


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