Saturday, March 26, 2016

U.S. Mint Philadelphia - Part I

In my last post as well as in previous posts, I have talked about the rarity of U.S. Assay Office New York silver ingots; U.S. Mint Philadelphia silver ingots are equally as rare. In my research to date I have only seen a total of 31 examples, the exact same number of U.S. Assay Office New York silver ingots that I have seen.

Out of the 31 U.S. Mint Philadelphia examples, all are dated 1946 with the exception of one ingot that is dated 1956. They are all generally consistent with incising of date, weight, fineness and a serial number; the hallmarks however, all over the place.

For ingots all date stamped in one year, 1946, it is truly amazing that three different hallmarks can be found. To date I have found no rhyme or reason to their application and in a number of examples, one is on the obverse and another on the reverse. The three hallmarks follow; the second is not from my collection and I apologize for the poor photo.

The first hallmark is unique to the U.S. Mint Philadelphia. The second hallmark is very similar to a number of hallmarks used by the U.S. Assay Office New York on both silver and gold ingots. The third hallmark is the same hallmark eventually used by all three producers of U.S. Government silver ingots, the U.S. Mint Philadelphia, the U.S. Assay Office New York and the Mint Of The United States At San Francisco.

Silver Ingots

Saturday, March 19, 2016

U.S. Assay Office New York Silver Ingots- Part V

If you are a reader of my Silver Ingots Blog, you already know that all U.S. Assay Office New York silver ingots are extremely rare. Most recently I was able to add two of the three in the first picture below to my collection.

The 40 oz class U.S. Assay Office New York silver ingots that I have come across in my research, represent the widest range of dates in any of the three common sizes; 40 oz, 100 oz and 1,000 oz. In the 40 oz class, I have come across the following dates; 1908, 1928, 1946, 1949, 1952, 1954 and 1957. The examples below are dated 1928, 1949 and 1957. 

As with most U.S. Assay Office New York silver ingots, the government control markings are complete with dated hallmark, fineness, weight, lot number and serial number. The lot numbers are visible in the photo below being on the leading edge; the serial numbers are on the top edge.

My collection of U.S. Assay Office New York silver ingots pictured together below. The two small ingots are by far the most rare of all and the one on the far right dated 1892, is the oldest known date on any U.S Government issued silver ingot.

Silver Ingots

Saturday, March 12, 2016

REGOLD Rounds It Out

There were only four hallmarks that I knew of over the years that were missing from my 5 oz collection; now there are three! REGOLD was one of the hallmarks on the Doyle's Mint castings that eluded me until now; it now rounds out my ensemble of Doyle's Mint ingots. Just to be clear, I'm sure there are others still out there that I do not know about yet; these were the ones I knew of.

Crazy how it goes, I was contacted three weeks ago by a dealer that had one, my very first opportunity but before I could convince myself it was worth the asking price, another guy contacts me with a small hoard of them and the price was right. Thanks to Dorian LB for checking this one off of my list.

Still on the hunt for 5 oz class Hauser & Miller, Nevada Mining Company and Nevada Refining & Smelting.

Silver Ingots

Sunday, March 6, 2016

FAKES? - Part I

A bold title for sure but a legitimate question. The issue of fake silver ingots comes up frequently during my presentations to coin clubs and while it is a topic far too big to cover thoroughly in a blog, (Karl Moulton's book is almost 1,000 pages!) I want to touch on it in a few upcoming blog posts.

Articles similar to the one below from the May 1972 edition of The Numismatist, the monthly publication of the American Numismatic Association (ANA), were not uncommon and have left their mark on the mindset of collectors to this day.  At the height of the fallout of the exploits of John J. Ford and Gerow Paul Franklin, the general numismatic attitude changed to "guilty first", considering it a fake until proven authentic. Mint Of The United States At San Francisco silver ingots were thrown right into this mix as you can see from the article below.

When I began collecting US Government Mint & Assay Office silver ingots, this attitude still existed towards at least one complete series pictured below from the Mint Of The United States At San Francisco; the Type II series pictured center top row of second photo. 

Over a few blog posts we will look at some of my research that authenticates the US Government Mint & Assay Office silver ingots and why the others on these pages are more accurately identified as something other than "fakes".

Silver Ingots

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

David C. Davis Company

The David C. Davis Company of San Francisco became well known for its involvement in the Silver Certificate Redemption Program, working with the Mint Of The United States At San Francsico in the 1960’s. The end of the program on June 24, 1968 was marked with a commerative coin designed by V. M. Hanks, Jr. (ANA 034390) and David C. Davis of San Francisco as a counterpart to the famous $50 gold slug of the California Gold Rush Days. 

While these commemorative coins are somewhat common, David C Davis Company unique balance scales hallmark on a 5 oz class silver ingot certainly is not; I have only ever seen two of these in the 5 oz class. 

While researching another topic in old Numismatists, I came across the advertisement below. This makes a neat story with a similar ingot in hand!

Silver Ingots