Thursday, May 30, 2013

The "F" List

Before publishing the "F" list, an update to the last blog post; Chris emailed the picture below of a Foster hand stamped poured ingot weighing in at 8 oz. I had written that they were produced in 1 oz, 3 oz, 5 oz and 10 oz so add 8 oz to that. Edward  has an example slightly over 8 oz and the right hand ribbon is blank so that part of the research pans out that the right hand ribbon remains blank if the weight does not border on a whole number.

The "F" list follows:

Federal Silver Refinery
Federated Bullion
Finer Inc.
First Majestic 
Foster Company
Foster Mint
Franklin Bros., F.B.
French & Associates
As always, let me know if anyone has something to add.

Silver Ingots

Monday, May 27, 2013

Just A Neat Picture

Andy from Crossroads Coins in Vandalia, Ohio emailed me the other week and said he had something for me, he had traded a guy for the canvas money bag pictured below and thought I would like it. Makes a neat picture, my 103.22 oz United States Assay Office San Francisco bar laid out on a canvas money bag from the exact same place. The bag is dated 1970 so not sure what the 1949 in writing is for. I believe the bar dates to the early 60's which would be consistent with the timing of the US Mint San Francisco's suspension of official mint status and operation as an assay office.

Silver Ingots

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The "F" Box Part II

Foster Incorporated, located in Walla Walla, Washington, was another one of the first companies to promote the hobby of silver collecting. Foster's offerings include hand stamped poured ingots, hand stamped planchets and pressed or struck silver bars. Presented first are a pair of the hand stamped poured ingots in the 5 oz class. These were produced in 1 oz, 3 oz, 5 oz and 10 oz; the 5 oz examples have proven most difficult to come by.  

The hand stamped planchets are the thin wafer style examples, produced in 1 oz and 3 oz.
An interesting find in my research for this post; we have all seen Foster old pours like those above, and planchet examples with the right ribbon segment where the weight would usually stamped, blank. I have read that this was done when the actual weight did not border on a whole number. So if one of the ingots above had weighed in at 4.5 oz, it would have remained blank. 
Foster produced two completely different boxed sets, "From Out Of The West" series in 3 oz annually in 1968, 1969 and 1970; and the Silver Eagle Nest sets in 1969. (For information on the 3 oz sets, check out Tom's very informative listing). The Silver Eagle Nest set includes 1/4 oz, 1/2 oz 1 oz, 2 1/2 oz 5 oz and 10 oz examples and were produced in two versions pictured below.
Identical on the obverse, one set was reverse struck as being exclusively manufactured and distributed by Silver Eagle Sales Inc. and the second set reverse struck with Hercaimy Enterprises. While both sets are rare in the box and nicely preserved, the Hercaimy Enterprises set is most rare of the two.
"F" list to follow and as always let me know if anyone has anything to add.
Silver Ingots

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The "F" Box Part I

The "F" box contains the only boxed sets in my collection. For this first "F" post I am going to start with a name that most blog readers will not associate with silver ingots, The Franklin Mint. I will follow up in a later post with the Foster Incorporated boxed sets.
Starting in the mid 1960's, the Franklin Mint made popular a new class of collectible precious metal; coins, medals and bars minted in silver, gold and platinum. Most were sold by direct subscription with one or two produced monthly over the term of production. Very few Franklin Mint examples were made in .999 silver, the vast majority produced in .995 silver, and generally much smaller in size than the set below.

I had seen these being individually sold and of course the combination of .999 silver and the commemoration of the ten largest and best known mines in the western United States caught my attention. Tom had given me a heads up on these early on and even though they weigh in at 4.16 oz each, they make a nice compliment to my 5 oz class collection.

The Franklin Mint Collection of Official Silver Ingots of the Great Western Mines were produced in 1973. 3,085 sets were made each containing 10 examples, 2,000 grains each or the 4.16 oz noted above. Subscription charge new was $25 each.

I jumped on the opportunity to acquire the match set pictured below. While the wooden presentation box shows some wear, the 10 examples are absolutely impeccable. The surfaces are so brilliant that they are difficult to photograph  without reflection.

Like I noted above, a nice compliment to my 5 oz class collection, and no, I do not know who Meredith J. Ramsey is or was but if anyone else does, let me know. (name on presentation plaque)

Silver Ingots



The "E" List

As you can tell from the recent posts, not much in the "E" box or on the "E" list. Checked with Chris and here is what I have:

Eagle Assaying & Refining
Eagle Mining Company
Empire Smelting & Refining
Eureka Mine
Euro Gold
Eutectic Metals Company, Inc.
Equitable Trust of New York
Exploration Mines & Smelting

As always, anyone have a name to add let me know.

Silver Ingots

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The "E" Box Part III

About the only other thing in the "E" box is Engelhard of various 5 oz types. I have a few basic examples but nowhere near a complete 5 oz collection, finding that the early examples are both hard to come by and presently command extraordinary premiums.
No expert here on Engelhard but according to Wikipedia, Engelhard was started in 1902 by Charles W. Engelhard with the purchase of the Charles F. Croselmire Company in Newark, NJ. Within just a few years, through the acquisition of a number of other companies, Engelhard became the world's largest refiner and producer of platinum, gold and silver, as well as the world's largest precious metals smelter. Engelhard Industries, Inc. was formed in 1958 and continued to grow consistently, not only through acquisitions but also by product offering expansion.

Pictured first are four of the earlier types, haven't checked with Chris or Tom but according to About.Ag these are four of at least some ten 5 oz varieties known that precede the modern P and C series.

Recently acquired in a trade from Chris, an extremely rare Engelhard 5 oz industrial extruded example.

This merely scratches the surface of Engelhard, anyone interested in more information, Chris or Tom could certainly help. If you don't already know them, let me know and I will make the intro.

"E" list to follow.

Silver Ingots

Friday, May 10, 2013

The "E" Box Part II

As a follow up to the reference in the "E" Box Part II post about a March 1982 Bowers & Ruddy Galleries, Inc. auction listing of Eagle Mining Company ingots, I was able to obtain a copy from Karl and have displayed below the cover and two applicable pages. The 1955 reference is actually specific to Eagle Mining Company gold ingots, one of which is also listed along with two silver ingots. 
Last time I quoted Fred with "no truths have ever come forward about these", this time I'll quote Karl, "Ken, don't believe everything you read!"
Interesting read nonetheless and I would note that Lot 217 is now part of my collection having been acquired last August in Fred's auction.
Silver Ingots