Sunday, August 2, 2015

Mint Of The United States At San Francisco Round Hallmark Ingots - Part I - REPOST

I am re-posting this from March 2014 because in the next blog post I want to continue discussion of the Mint Of The United States At San Francisco round hallmark ingots. 

To date, in a number of posts, we have looked at ingots with the Mint Of The United States At San Francisco Type I oval hallmark, 

and the Mint Of The United States At San Francisco Type II oval hallmark.

In this post we will begin to look at ingots with the Mint Of The United States At San Francisco round dated hallmark, introduced in 1956. This hallmark not only appears independently on the obverse as shown below, but also as a secondary hallmark on the reverse of a number of Type II cast ingots. (The use of this hallmark on the reverse helps with chronological organization as demonstrated on previously posted tables.) 

The round dated hallmark was used from 1956 through 1960 when ingot production ended entirely at the San Francisco Mint. It has been thought that introduction of the round dated hallmark ended use of the Type II oval hallmark but recently discovered receipts from 1958 that include both round and oval hallmark ingots proves otherwise. 

The only examples that I have seen in the 5 oz class ingots with this round hallmark are all dated 1959.

More to come on the round dated hallmark ingots in future posts and as always, if anyone has anything to add, please let me know.

Silver Ingots

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Mint Of The United States At San Francisco Type I Ingots - Part XI - Duplicate Numbers

Duplicate numbers on Mint Of The United States At San Francisco silver ingots are most rare to find. In my entire registry, among 5 oz class examples, I have only come across five examples of duplicate numbers. Discovering them in registry research is one thing; getting them together into any collection is even more amazing. The photos below represent two such pairs of duplicate numbers now held in my collection. 

I knew of the first #5 from Heritage Auction's archives, they sold it on September 24, 2005, as part of The Alan Bingel Collection of Gold & Silver Ingots Part Two (ingot on left). On a side note, in the Heritage Auction introduction to Part One, (and credited to Mark Van Winkle), the following was written, "Alan Bingel has specialized in an area of numismatics that is arguably one of the most ignored; ingots of precious metals. After a decade of dedicated pursuit of these important historic artifacts, he has assembled one of the finest private collections ever - approaching 100 examples. Mr. Bingel chose to pursue these rarities because he is a contrarian in his collecting as well as his investing: "I wanted to be one of the few rather than on of the many. I chose this singular pursuit because few others wanted them, and I believed they were undervalued. As more numismatists came to understand their significance, I felt sure they would solidly increase in value."  

An accurate prediction of future value by Mr. Bingel! Approaching 200 examples, I hope that my collection and research can continue to expand the interest that Alan Bingel started with his collection in the late 1980's. 

When Edward A came across the second #5 (ingot on right) in the photo, it was the first real proof of my theory of multiple series of similar size font. I've had that ingot in my collection since 2013 and thanks to Tammie H from AU Capital Management LLC, the Alan Bingel #5 has now joined it. 

The second pair of duplicate numbers in my collection represents the same two series of Type I oval hallmark, small font ingots. 

I am working on a complete serial number analysis across the spectrum of ingots produced by the Mint Of The United States At San Francisco and will have more on this topic in upcoming posts. As always, if anyone has information to add, please contact me or reply on the blog

Silver Ingots

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Mint Of The United States At San Francisco Ingots - Missing Link Part II

Recently I acquired a Type II oval hallmark ingot that makes a significant contribution to the scenario I presented in the last post about the production timeline represented by the three ingots pictured below.

I was originally looking to fill the gap between the mid to late 1940's and the early to mid 1950's. I believe that the last 5 oz class serial numbered ingots produced at the Mint Of The United States At San Francisco are the Type I oval hallmark, small font in 999.5 fineness. That would transition perfectly to the Type I oval hallmark, 999.5 fineness on the left of the picture below. I then supposed that the Type II oval hallmark ingot in the center, filled the gap in the production timeline up to the 1959 dated round hallmark.

The recently acquired Type II oval hallmark ingot in the center below lends itself to this argument by bearing the exact same lot number stamping as the 1959 dated round hallmark ingot on the right.

Bits and pieces continue to fall together, hopefully some day I will have the entire story to tell!

Silver Ingots

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Mint Of The United States At San Francisco Ingots - Missing Link? REPOST

I am re-posting this from last July because in the next blog post I want to discuss some new information that helps support the conclusion I present below.  

To date, my research has left me with a timeline gap between the Type I oval hallmark, small font ingots, for which I have a receipt dated December 28, 1942, and the first Type II oval hallmark silver ingot dated 1952, a large sheared plate example. 

Once again, thanks to my recent New York Assay Office ingot research with Mark, I found that the Type II oval hallmark was actually used on gold ingots from the San Francisco Mint beginning in 1946 until the early 1950's. If the hallmark itself dates back to 1946, is it possible that Type II silver ingots that are not dated were produced earlier than 1952?

A possible gap filling scenario, the "missing link", could be that unnumbered 5 oz class ingots were produced between the mid 40's and early 50's. I have not yet found any dated material regarding these particular ingots and have struggled to determine exactly where they fit into the timeline.

The Type I oval hallmark ingots mentioned above that were produced in 1942 are 999.75 fine; I have placed the Type I oval hallmark, small font ingots that are 999.5 second, to date only because they tend to have a newer look but now the 999.5 being last in line starts to make more sense. That would transition 999.5 production right into the following.

The pairs of ingots below represent Type I oval hallmarks on the left and Type II oval hallmarks on the right. This possible missing link scenario would have them in the production timeline just as they appear filling the gab between the mid 40's to the early 50's.

Yet another argument in favor of this possible scenario is the exact match of casting size between the Type I oval hallmark, the Type II oval hallmark and the round 1959 hallmark. This is a unique size, larger than all Type I numbered ingots and consistent (if this idea holds water) through the end of 5 oz class production. 

Throwing this out as a distinct possibility but really looking for input for further analysis.

Silver Ingots

Sunday, February 8, 2015

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

The photo below is of a most unique pair of ingots; two Type II oval hallmark, 5 oz class, serial numbered ingots. In fact, these represent the only two that I am aware of and both are now held in my collection.

The first registry table section below lists un-numbered 5 oz class Type II ingots. As I have previously written, I now believe these to bridge the gap in time between Type I and Type II oval hallmark ingots. The casting is unique to this series of Type I oval, Type II oval and 1959 round hallmark ingots; all are without serial number and the majority are without weight stamping.

On page two above, cast Type II oval hallmark ingots are listed. Among all I have found to date, only two fit in the 5 oz class. As with all of my registry tables, the Type II oval hallmark listings represent results of research of major auction house archives, eBay listings, coin catalogs and collector's records that I have access to, all dating back to 1980. It is certainly possible that other Type II oval hallmark, 5 oz class, serial numbered ingots exist but clearly the trend in this entire series is towards the 20 oz class and larger. 

Silver Ingots

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Mint Of The United States At San Francisco

We know that Mint Of The United States At San Francisco Type I oval hallmark, large font, curved stem nine ingots like the one below, were the very first to have been produced and date to the early 1930's.

Recently I have found a few photos of the Old Mint that date back to this era. The one that follows is the neatest of the lot. From the information on the back of the photo, it is a night time shipment dated November 10, 1934

More photos to follow but had to get this one up first.

Silver Ingots

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Silver Ingots Tops 20,000 Pageviews!

Silver Ingots Blog reaches another milestone as we celebrate the New Year; we top 20,000 page views! An amazing feat that is only made possible by the tremendous support of all of my blog followers and readers, thanks to all of you.

I am looking forward to 2015 and continuing to post primarily about government ingots but from time to time we will look at non government examples as well. A few recent acquisitions that you can expect to see more of in upcoming posts follow.

First from the U.S. Mint Philadelphia, a hallmark that escaped the apparent fate of the remainder of the ingot that it was once a part of. It appears to have been separated as a thin slice and is now all that remains.

And a one of a kind Arizona Assay Office ingot with "SILV." on the obverse in a font and size that identically matches the edge stamping of Eagle Mining Company ingots. This one has really sparked my interest! 

Happy New Year from Silver Ingots!