Friday, January 31, 2014

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

After the confirmation of numerical duplication within the small font, curved stem series presented in the last post, I have separated these into two groups in this updated list; first 999.75 and then 999.5.  The numerical sequencing of both Type I and Type II as well as round hallmark ingots remains a mystery for the moment but a similar research exercise to what has been completed on Type I ingots is being undertaken on the other hallmarks and will be presented in future posts. 

Again, I am working with the major auction house archives, eBay listings, coin catalogs and collector's records that I have access to, dating back to 1980 for the registry below. Not claiming that this is the extent that were produced but using the information that can be taken from the registry to advance my work on dating and chronological organization. Thanks to David who has been helping over the past few weeks with excellently maintained records of eBay listings as well as double checking of auction house archives. 

Interesting discovery to post this week; in all of the information above, I have found only three Type I ingots that are outside of the 5 oz class. I hold Type I #754  weighing 10.14 ozs in my collection. 

In addition there is #848 at 15.93 ozs and #928 at 99.99 ozs. If anyone has information on others please let me know. This is tremendously helpful in understanding yet another difference between the Type I and Type II ingots.

All 5 oz class examples that I can find record of are listed in the following sheets. If anyone would like PDF's or an Excel file of these, let me know as well.

Silver Ingots

Thursday, January 16, 2014

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

I have written about the three sizes of serial number fonts used on the Mint Of The United States At San Francisco Type I ingots; large, medium and small. For some time now,having the ability to study numerous examples together, I have felt that in the small font there may be more than one series. I recently acquired a duplicate #5 to one that I had record of from Heritage Auctions in 2005. Last weekend at F.U.N. Steven photographed a duplicate #946 to one that I already hold in my collection. The Heritage Auction photo was not enough to convince me that my suspicion of numerical duplication in the small font series was correct; I believe the combination of that with Steven's discovery last week is.

While this provides yet another opportunity for research and possibly more help with dating efforts, it does what most research does, results in a few answers but more questions. Obviously there is a difference in the fineness between the pairs of similar number. Fred notes that the difference in fineness may be a contributing factor to dating research as we know that is one thing that was tracked at the Mint. The OZ markings on the reverse however, cross back and forth, and are not consistent between ingots of matching fineness to help set series apart. 

A very interesting discovery that I will have much more to discuss in the future as research continues.

NOTE that sizing differences in photos that follow are the result of camera differences or photo file processing and do not represent an actual difference in size between the ingots.

Heritage Auction archive photo from 2005:

From my collection:

Last week at F.U.N.

From my collection:

Silver Ingots

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

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

The following photos of Mint Of The United States At San Francisco Type I ingots speak for themselves. Assembled from reportedly three different original owners, moved to my collection thanks to Edward and Chris, and for the first time ever, presented as one lot. 

Vague information available from the original owners, consistent with my previous writings, dates these to the early 1940's. Interestingly, the original owner of #1 through #9 never had #2, #4 or #6. Ingots #11 and #15 came from two other different original owners.

Acquiring the #1 ingot in this series is a milestone in my collecting efforts; not far behind in significance, #7, #8 and #9 make up the first trio of consecutive ingots I have ever seen, pairs of consecutive ingots being the max previously.  

Certainly no handwriting expert here but the pencil numbering and the number 7's in particular have similar characteristics leading me to wonder if the same San Francisco Mint employee was responsible for marking the weight on the reverse of all of these examples, even though from different original orders. The weight stamping along with "OZS" is also extremely consistent throughout by comparison to other Mint Of The United States At San Francisco ingots, a characteristic that could reflect another single employee's workmanship.

As I have mentioned previously, once through alphabetic presentation of my 5 oz class hallmark collection, my focus will turn to my Government Ingot Collection but this was too good to wait.

Silver Ingots

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The "R" Box Part I

Starting off the new year with the "R" box and Rarities Mint. Rarities Mint was incorporated on May 27, 1983 by Ian Simpson in Anaheim, CA. The company evolved out of a boiler room operation that was involved in precious metals futures and in 1987 contracted with the Disney Company to “mint” coins featuring the Disney line up in silver and gold.

The heyday for Rarities Mint and Disney coins came in the late 1980's with the issuance of the 50th Anniversary of Snow White in 1987 and 60 Years With You Mickey Mouse along with the Steamboat Willie Series, both in 1988. There is no known catalog or register of all of the Disney coins issued but these series remain among the most popular still today.

Dealers contracted with Rarities Mint to receive the coin sets as they were produced but minimum purchase requirements and inflated market prices caused problems for Rarities Mint that ultimately led to Ian Simpson dissolving the company in 1995.

The cast ingots hallmarked with the Rarities  banner are most rare, especially in the 5 oz class. For some reason, among the few that I have seen, finding one with good stamping is even more uncommon, most hallmarks are weak and misaligned. It is believed that these cast examples were produced prior to 1987 with the stamped bars by Rarities Mint coming after coin production began in 1987. The two varieties of cast 5 oz ingots that I have seen to date follow:

Continuing  through the "R" box with a Reliable Corporation extruded example next. I have only found one Reliable Corporation registered, a manufacturer of sewing machines, but the hallmark below is not included in its history of registered trademarks.

And finally for this post, Republic with no further information that I can find about company or location.

Silver Ingots