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about 1908 but just as quickly dropped in size and was gone about the same time as the Nevada Silver Company charter was revoked in 1927.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



  1. I like the detail in the seal stamped onto each ingot. They look much more "coin-like" than the seals on a lot of the other ingots in your collection. Is anything known about the person who designed the seal?

  2. At this point, information on the hallmark and identity of its designer are still being researched. As you note the Nevada Silver Company ingot hallmark is different than most as it results in raised metal for both the eagle and lettering versus the recessed results of most other hallmarks; yes it is more like the strike of a coin. The pressure required to achieve this is much greater than that required to produce other hallmarks.
    Anything discovered on either the hallmark or its designer will help close the information gap on determining whether these are 60 years old or 100 years old so stay tuned!

  3. Naveda mint Arizona Assay Us mint New York Philly San Fran counting house. All on the top of my list but where i live in Canada i never come across any the Nevada is my Favorite silver ingot i wish hope and pray i get a chance to buy one some day