Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Mint Of The United States At San Francisco Type I Ingots Part IV

Reading through my latest shipment of old auction catalogs from Bryce and came across a 62 year old "Holiday Gift Suggestion" to share on this Christmas Day 2013. Towards the bottom of the left column, check out U.S. Assay Bars with serial numbers and official U.S. Mint seal. "They make ideal paper weights"!
Merry Christmas
Silver Ingots

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Happy Holidays 2013

Happy Holidays to all Silver Ingots Blog followers and readers. My thanks to all of you for your support and continued interest throughout 2013. I hope you enjoy this holiday season with your families and friends.
Silver Ingots

The "P" List & The "Q" List

The "P" list and the "Q" list follow:

Pacific Bullion Exchange
Pacific Silver Refiners
Panamerican Silver Corporaion
Paradise Precious Metals
Parker Industires
Patriot Mint
Peace Arch Refining Corp
Pease & Curren Incorporated
Pedley Ryan & Company
Phoenix Precious Metals Ltd.
Phoenix Refining Corporation
Pilolli's Stamp & Coin
Pioneer Mint
Placer Sierra
PM Refining
Portland Mint
Precious Metal Consultants
Precious Metal Recovery
Precious Metals & Refining Incorporated
Precious Metals Refinery
Primo & Stellar Refining Company
Pro Built LLC
Prospector's Gold & Gems
Pure Silver Refinery
Quality Refiners Incorporated
Quatre Bonded
Queen Elizabeth 2

Silver Ingots

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The "P" Box Part II & The "Q" Box

Combining what remains in the "P" box with my one and only in the "Q" box in this post. Pictured first a few "P" collectibles, Primo & Stellar Refining Company; PMTARCO; and PGM from Anchorage, Alaska.

Peace Arch Refining Corporation presented in the next photo.

A unique cylindrical casting by Pro Built LLC, Plainfield, Illinois. These examples were available as late as the early 1990's; not all that old but a neat presentation of silver casting and stamping.

And finally from the "Q" box; Queen Elizabeth 2. I have stayed strictly domestic to date but this is the only ingot in the "Q" box so it makes it to the blog. I acquired this from Tom shortly after we met so in some four years, this remains one of a kind, I have not seen or heard of any others.
Most likely dating back to the Queen Elizabeth 2 launch time frame of September 20, 1967, I can stretch what I see into the "Q" wrapping a reverse "C", possibly representing the ship's original owner, the Cunard Line.
Not necessarily a typical hallmark per my collection, and probably not domestic, but what a neat piece to post as the sole example from the "Q" box. 

Silver Ingots

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The "P" Box Part I

OK, a few of the letters in the alphabet just do not work quite right in my titles with the word "Box"; "P" is no exception, but here we go. 
I have been working in Ohio for a number of years but we still have our home in Phoenix so ingots with Phoenix and Arizona in names or with ties to origins rank high among my favorites. We looked at Arizona Assay Office ingots some time ago, with this post we look at hallmarks that include Phoenix.
Phoenix Precious Metals Ltd. ingots are fairly common in the later series, pictured below are the three varieties I have acquired to date in what I believe to be chronological order. I can find no information on the company other than a listing of Phoenix Precious Metals Ltd. as a refiner that processed and sold bullion products. The first examples bear a hallmark that marginally fits on the 5 oz ingots.

The next examples show a much smaller version of the hallmark. The second photo is of a refinery pack obtained through Dr. Silver from the original purchaser who reportedly bought it in the early 1960's. 

And the final Phoenix Precious Metals Ltd. example which I believe to represent the latest of the three types.

Phoenix Refining Corp. is registered as being incorporated on January 26, 1981 in New York, New York. Todd has a 5 oz example in his collection that only has the "rocket" symbol on it which I would guess dates earlier than the one pictured below.

Not much information on either of these hallmarks so anyone with something to add please let me know.

Silver Ingots

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The "N" List & The "O" List

Not a lot in either so combining the "N" list and the "O" list in one post as follows:

N 999
NA Boles
National Bank of Commerce
National Dallas
National Refinery
National Refining Corporation
National Refining Systems Inc
National Texas Refiners
Nevada City Mint
Nevada Coin Mart
Nevada Coin Minting
Nevada Metallurgical Inc.
Nevada Mining Company
Nevada Refining & Smelting
Nevada Silver
Nevada Silver Company
New Hope Gold & Silver
New Orleans Silversmiths
New Silver & Gold Mining & Milling Company
Noble Metals
Noble Mining Company
North Star Silver Mining Company
North Texas Refinery
Northstar Mint
Ohio Precious Metals
Oklahoma Federal Gold & Numismatics
Omega Metals Company
Omega Refining
Orchid Island Metals
Original to Constitution Mint Inc.
Oxford Assaying & Refining
Oxford Mint
Oxford Precise Casting

Silver Ingots

Monday, November 25, 2013

The "N" Box Part III & The "O" Box

Finishing up the "N" box and including the only two I have in the "O" box with this post. New Orleans Silversmiths pictured first. I have only ever seen three of these in class, all acquired from Tom. New Orleans Silversmiths can be found as a company in New Orleans established in 1938 and still in business today. Inquiries to New Orleans Silversmiths regarding the ingots have gone unanswered to date but I will post any information I receive from them in an update.    
The first of the following two examples was paired with a larger, similar cast example hallmarked by Noble Metals when I acquired it from Edward. I have these examples catalogued under Noble Metals but the casting is common enough that the afore mentioned pairing with a larger  ingot alone is not conclusive evidence of its origin.

The only two from the "O" box pictured below. No information on Ozzie's; Oxford Mint, more modern and commonly represented by smaller pressed examples .

Silver Ingots

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The "N" Box Part II or "N" Is For Nevada Silver Company

Nevada Silver Company ingots come with endless entertaining stories. According to a number of old auction listings and Nevada State Corporate Records (via reference in the listings), The Nevada Silver Company was incorporated in Rawhide, Nevada on January 18, 1919. The expressed nature of business included land acquisition and development, mining operations, ore and mineral preparation and sale, and financial undertakings associated with these operations including capital and investment management. Rawhide was an exceptionally active mining camp that boomed about 1908 but just as quickly dropped in size and was gone about the same time as the Nevada Silver Company charter was revoked in 1927.
Beyond this point, facts cease to exist and the stories take over, at least as to the origin of the Nevada Silver Company ingots or their association with the  afore mentioned company. It is written on numerous accounts that a small hoard of these ingots was discovered by Paul Franklin in a safe in Tonapah, Nevada, in 1955. I have seen the quantity discovered reported as "50" and as "hundreds", but in Karl's recently published John J. Ford, Jr. and The "Franklin Hoard", a most comprehensive compilation of letters and reference materials is presented that summarizes the story as much as factually possible. While Karl's work includes letters and notes from the likes of Eric P. Newman, Harry J. Forman, Dr. Philip Whiteley, W.W. Turner, and Harvey G. Stack, Karl concludes with "As always, John J. Ford presented no written validation to sustain genuineness".   

So, in the best case scenario, some day a direct link between the hoard discovery in 1955 and the original Nevada Silver Company will surface; worst case is Nevada Silver Company ingots, now almost 60 years old, remain highly collectable and certainly entertaining.

Photos of Nevada Silver Company ingots from my collection follow:

Silver Ingots


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Silver Ingots Blog Tops 5000 Pageviews

Nine months ago I could only hope that a blog about silver ingots would be so well received. Thanks to everyone that subscribes or follows for making this such a success. The information exchange continues to improve and I am looking forward to the next milestone.
We are just over halfway through the alphabetic review of my 5 oz class hallmark collection, that will carry us well into 2014.  I am beginning to cover specific components of my US Government Mint and Assay collection and will post full coverage of it after we finish the hallmark collection.

A taste of things to come:

United States Assay Office New York

US Mint Philadelphia
Mint Of The United States At San Francisco

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mint Of The United States At San Francisco Type I Ingots Part III

Thanks to a box of 30's and 40's auction catalogs from Bryce Brown's Coin Auction Catalogs, there is a Part III this week. Bryce searched his early inventory for ingot reference and came up with a very nice group from M.H. Bolender, B. Max Mehl, Celina Coin Co., and Elder Coin & Curio Corp'n. Thanks to Bryce for his time and effort.
As I have previously written, regarding my ongoing efforts to date and chronologically organize the Type I 5 oz class ingots, the earliest documented reference to a date that I have found was 1939. On June 21, 1939, the American Numismatic Society recorded a donation from the collection of David Bullowa. (According to a note on the box, the donor claimed that the ingot dated back to 1935 but there is no supporting evidence.) From the inventory of Coincats Auction Catalogues & Numismatic Reference Books, Karl had previously found an ingot listing in a June 14, 1939, Motor City Coin Company mail bid catalog with weight and number only, but no photo / plate.
I've used the ANS photo to identify the large font, curved stem nine series and placed them at the beginning of all of my work to date. Even without photos / plates in any of the early catalogs received from Bryce, there appears to be continued support for this scenario and now, even earlier date references. Highlighted entries in the list below represent early auction catalog discoveries and while information is not complete without every listing including a number or any photos / plates, the fineness of 999.75 is unique to this series and the numbers, when available, all fit into a documentable range based on present day available photographs and ingots in my collection. (non-highlighted entries are from my previously published list of ingots that have seen the light of day in the past +/- 15 years)
There is one listing of 999.0 fineness without a number but this matches the fineness of the highest numbered examples in this series, No. 1772 being in my collection.
In the M.H. Bolender 100th Auction Sale catalog dated November 30, 1935 there are two examples listed (first two highlighted entries below). In both listings there is reference to pricing of "recent auction records" so we are on the hunt for even earlier listings but as of this writing, the earliest  documented date that I have found is now November 30, 1935. There are no listings throughout the mid 30's that would prove not to be in this series so my research also continues for the first introduction of another series. 

Silver Ingots

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Engelhard 5 Oz Special Post Update

The following is republished from my original post on June 8, 2013; I am reposting it to announce the launch of Chris's new website, An amazing compilation of Engelhard information, past and present, with unbelievable display of examples across the board. Check it out and congrats to Chris for a fine job! 

Silver Ingots

From June 8, 2013

Thanks to Chris for making this Engelhard 5 oz special post possible, the following are from his world class Engelhard collection with some bull logo help from Mark. The order of presentation is of no special significance.


Silver Diamond Corporation



Top logo five digit non +

Top logo five digit +



Mid logo large, five digit

Mid logo five digit

Mid logo large 5, five digit

T oz


C series

P series

And finally, Engelhard Australia


Silver Ingots

Friday, November 1, 2013

Mint Of The United States At San Francisco Type I Ingots Part II

A few weeks ago I published a post that contained a list of every Mint Of The United States At San Francisco Type I ingot in the 5 oz class that I have been able to obtain information on or a photo of to date. Thanks to Brett and Edward I have added a few to the list and obtained some additional information on two that I already had listed.
I hope to soon have some additional information that will help with my continued efforts in dating and chronological organization of the Type I examples. Bryce is on board and researching old auction catalogues in his vast inventory for early ingot listings or references. Early coin auction catalogues have proved to be a great source of historical information as proven by Karl's input to date.
As stated in the last post, I am not making any claims about what this information really means but continue to see more and more in this information as I study the list. For example, years ago I heard that there may have been tens of thousands of these cast given the popularity of trading scrap silver for government issue ingots. If we fill in the blanks of the numerical ranges represented in each series, that number would look more like 5,000. I like the sound of that but if the next discovery is #9999 I will be posting Part III sooner than expected.

Updated lists follow:
Silver Ingots

The "N" Box Part I

Not a lot in the "N" box in comparison to the "M" box that we just finished. I'll start off with the Nevada City Mint, not nearly the oldest name in the box only dating back less than 40 years, but one with a very colorful story.  

Don Schmitz opened Nevada City Mint in May,1975, at the former Jas. J. Ott Assay Office in Nevada City, California. Nevada City Mint produced commemorative coins reminiscent of California $50 slugs as well as custom order ingots. Don was also the official Minter for the State of Nevada, operating the infamous Carson City Mint's Coin Press #1 on weekends between 1977 and 2001. I've had the opportunity talk to Don who has since sold the business and now operates an antique store in Grass Valley, California, but still enjoys talking about the history of both the Nevada City Mint and the Carson City Mint.

I acquired the first two  Nevada City Mint ingots  below from Mario Veltri who retired from the accounting department at The Comstock Lode Silver & Copper Mines Inc. Mario received these as gifts during his tenure from his employer. ("STC" on the mining cart recognizes the Sutro Tunnel Company.)

Mario was kind enough to also share the stock certificate pictured below, in his name from 1971.

I acquired the third example from Mary some time later and in discussion with Don found that unlike the ingots acquired from Mario that were made specifically for a customer, extras that Don made were stamped with the Nevada City Mint hallmark.

Don's recollection is that there were no more than a total of 50 of these 5 oz class Comstock Lode ingots ever made and I have found these to be amongst the rarest of Nevada City Mint examples.
Silver Ingots

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The "M" List

Still working on a way to photograph my favorite "M" hallmark ingots so until I figure that out, thought I would post the "M" list:

M & B Mining, Inc. 
MacKay, B. R. & Sons, Inc
Magnum Drew Company
Manfra, Tordella & Brooks
Mark Refining
Market Harmony Bullion
Marshal, E.D., Refiners
Martin Metals, Inc.
Mastiff Metals
Materion Mining Company
Medallic Art Company NY
Mehlos Refinery
Metal Refiners LTD
Metallic Industries, Inc.
Metz Metallurgical Corporation
MFR Eagle
MFR World Mint
Mid South Silver
Mid South Smelter
Mid States Metals
Midas Metals
Midland Processing Incorporated
MidPacific Gold & Silver
Midwest Mining
Midwest Minting
MMM - Colorado
Mocatta Metals Corporation
Mojave Bullion
Molly - T Mine
Monarch Precious Metals
Monetary Metals International, Incorporated
Monex International
Montana Assay
Montana Gold & Silver Corporation
Morgan Mint
Murray, L. C.

Silver Ingots