Sunday, February 23, 2014

The "S" Box Part I

First and foremost in the "S" box is H. Alvin Sharpe. Attempting to properly cover his life or his works in any blog post would be futile but among many lifetime accomplishments, H. Alvin Sharpe enjoyed an international reputation as the premier expert of freehand intaglio metal sculpture. 

The technique was developed in the 14th century but seldom used in modern times. Using hardened steel engraving tools, H. Alvin Sharpe would carve intaglio (in reverse) into a mild steel die. After the carving was completed, the die was hardened and used to strike finished metal forms.

Imagine each intricate detail as well as all writings, carved in reverse on the original metal die. H. Alvin Sharpe's ability to see and execute this stands out as an amazing talent above and beyond his metalsmithing expertise.

Two fine examples by H. Alvin Sharpe are included in my collection. The Tree of Life pictured first.

Two enlargements follow that help to show the intricate details as hand carved in reverse by H. Alvin Sharpe.  

And for the second, regular followers will remember H. Alvin Sharpe's Whither Goest Thou I Will Go, a Christmas gift from Julie in 2012 with accompanying poem by H. Alvin Sharpe. In Julie's calligraphy, she hand wrote the poem and mounted it with the Artist Studio Proof shown in the following photo. 

Both examples are included on the list of Silver Studio Proofs Produced by H. Alvin Sharpe from 1972 to 1976.

Silver Ingots

Monday, February 17, 2014

Silver Ingots Blog One Year Anniversary

Hard to believe that a full year has passed since I decided to start up the Silver Ingots Blog on February 17, 2013. 74 posts and almost 8,500 page views later we have worked our way through my 5 oz hallmark collection "A" through "R" with "S" through "Z" remaining and plenty more to cover about government ingots, in particular those from the Mint Of The United States At San Francisco.

A note of thanks to everyone that follows and reads my posts. It is one thing to have a passion about your collection; it is something else to be able to share that passion in this manner with all of you. Special thanks to a few who have contributed to the success of the Silver Ingots Blog; Julie for her support and never complaining about me "working silver"; Christopher for always giving me first shot; Edward and Steven for significant collection additions; Todd for loaning me examples for my writings; Chris for hallmark name assistance; David for historical eBay records; Tom for getting all of this started and Fred for helping to spread the word about our passion for silver ingot collecting and the search for historical information.

The Silver Ingots Blog had opened up numerous opportunities for me to acquire information about my hallmark collection and I am looking forward to the continuation of our trip through the remainder of my collection.

Even more opportunities have arisen as it relates to my government ingot collection, and with each a possibility of not only acquiring new examples but obtaining information that continues to progress my work on accurate historical dating and chronological organization of Mint Of The United States At San Francisco ingots.

Here's looking forward to year two!  

Silver Ingots

Thursday, February 13, 2014

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

In the first post about Type II ingots I discussed the rarity of 5 oz class examples and presented the varieties that I have identified to date. Working with the same information used to develop the Type I registry, major auction house archives, eBay listings, coin catalogs and collector's records that I have access to dating back to 1980, I have developed the Type II registry below. 

Once again, I am not claiming that this is the extent that were produced but hoping to use the information that can be extrapolated from the tables to advance my work on accurate dating and chronological organization of Mint Of The United States At San Francisco ingots. Thanks again to David for his help with this process.

With stamped dates on two and receipt for a third, the sheared plates appear to be the oldest of all larger Type II examples, ranging in date from 1952 to 1955. #1 is dated 1952 on the obverse, #477 is dated 1954 on the reverse and I have a receipt for #1767 dated April 29, 1955. The #1529 cast ingot is stamped on with reverse with the 1956 round dated hallmark and I have another receipt containing both #1031 and #1032 dated January 30, 1958.

I have used the above information to organize the registry listing. I am not yet sure where the unnumbered 5 oz class examples fall into the timeline but have placed them at the end of the table for now. As always, if anyone has something to add, please let me know.

Silver Ingots

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The "R" List

As always, thanks to Chris for his help with the hallmark names; anyone have a name I am missing, please let me know. The "R" list follows:

Ramplay Silver
Rarities Mint
Refco Metals
RefineMet International Company
Reliable Corp
Republic Metals Corporation
Republic Mint
Republic National Bank
Rhode Island Novelty Company
Rio Grande
Riverside Coin & Gold
Riverside Hotel & Casino
RJ Mint
Rocky Mountain Metals Refinery
Rocky Mountain Mint
Rodman & Yaruss
Roger Williams Mint
Ronel Refining Company
Rosario Mining Company
Rosario Resources Corporation
Ryan Industries

Silver Ingots

Thursday, February 6, 2014

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

Until now I have only written about Type I ingots which make up most of the Government Ingot Collection of Ken Conaway; with this post I introduce and we begin to explore Type II ingots. I have been researching these for some time but mainly as they relate to Type I ingots; recently I took them on as a project of their own.

The Type II oval hallmark series had been the subject of suspicion over the past few years and my first task was to write a paper addressing the various arguments that were being made, challenging the authenticity of the entire series. My paper presented dated examples, documentation of mid 1950's advertising and sales, and US Mint bar delivery receipts along with photos that certify series authenticity. After months of research, my paper was distributed last fall but I will gladly furnish anyone a copy on request. 

First on display, enlarged examples of both Mint Of The United States At San Francisco oval hallmarks; Type I first, followed by Type II: 

Type I

Type II

The earliest date on a Type II oval hallmark ingot that I have found so far is 1952 which places the series logically after the latest records of Type I ingots dated in the mid to late 1940's. In my last Type I post, I noted the rarity of non 5 oz class ingots in that series; the Type II series is just the opposite with 5 oz class examples being the exception.

Presented first and as far as I have been able to determine to date, one of only two Mint Of The United States At San Francisco Type II oval hallmark ingots with serial number and weight, in the 5 oz class, obverse and reverse.

In the next photo, Type II ingot with weight stamping on the obverse;

And in the last two photos, Type II ingots without serial numbers. Neither of these examples are weight stamped which is consistent with all other 5 oz class Type II ingots I have been able to research; if the weight is not on the obverse of these unnumbered examples, it is not included. 

Much more to come on Mint Of The United States At San Francisco Type II oval hallmark ingots.

Silver Ingots

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The "R" Box Part II

Continuing our way through the "R" box, I want to start with two "R" names that continue to elude me; Regold and The Republic Mint. Shortly after beginning my 5 oz hallmark collection, I remember passing on a 5 oz Regold in a Bama auction for $400 thinking that was crazy; have not seen one since. Had no idea of their rarity at the time but wish I had that decision to make again!

The Republic Mint ingots are more common than the Regold, I know where three are in collections and have seen two bad examples for sale that I passed on. Anyway, to start this post, anyone know of either that are available, please let me know.

A few remaining ingots in the "R" box that I consider more collectible than average, first Rocky Mountain Mint in two varieties of extruded examples. I can find a former business listing in Littleton, CO but cannot tie it to these examples.

RMMR in the next photo which I have seen referred to as Rocky Mountain Metals Refinery but have no solid information on this ingot either. 

And finally for the "R" box, RA and RRC. No information on the RA ingot and as I am writing this post, I am questioning the information I thought I had on the RRC ingot. I have had it cataloged since acquiring it in early 2011, as Rosario Resources Corporation but today, wondering why the hallmark stamping would include "INC." Mark this one for more research.

Lots of room for help today, as always comments are welcomed.

Silver Ingots