Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mint Of The United States At San Francisco Type I Ingots - Part XIV - Unique Examples

Achieving a solid die strike of the oval hallmark was a difficult task given the inconsistency of most obverse surfaces of Mint Of The United States At San Francisco silver ingots. You will see them in almost any alignment thinkable in an effort to strike the most surface but never before have I seen this approach.

The die was actually struck twice on this Type I oval hallmark, medium font with curved stem nines in 999.5 fineness. There is a slight "ridge" running down the center of the ingot from the trailing edge to the leading edge, (top to bottom). The hallmark die was first struck on the right side of this ridge and then struck again on the left side. With magnification you can see the actual overlap.

Very interesting and another first.

Silver Ingots

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Mint Of The United States At San Francisco Type I Ingots - Part XIII - Trifectas

As rare as consecutive pairs of Mint Of The United States At San Francisco silver ingots are to come by, consecutive trios are so much more rare,  I can honestly say that before my collection, I know of no others. Certainly original purchasers were in possession of trios and more, (and may still secretly be), I am talking about those in circulation since the silver highs of 1980. Technically, these trios are not trifectas but putting three consecutively numbered ingots together sure feels like a win!

The greatest collection of US Government ingots previously assembled was that of Alan Bingel which according to a write up by Fred H (yes, that Fred H) contained some 66 examples. The Alan Bingel collection was sold by Heritage Auctions over a number of sessions beginning in 2005 and according to their auction archives, contained no consecutively numbered examples at all.   

With my collection now of over 200 examples, consecutively numbered acquisitions are always a treasure. I have some 16 pairs and the trifectas pictured below:

Silver Ingots

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

U.S. Mint Philadelphia - Part II

The photos below represent my collection of U.S. Mint Philadelphia silver ingots. The two class sizes represented, 5 to 10 oz and 25 oz, can be found in a wide range of thicknesses and weights within the particular class. 

The Table at the bottom of the post includes all U.S. Mint Philadelphia silver ingots that I have been able to find through my research to date. Again, I have researched major auction archives including Goldberg, Heritage, Holabird-Kagin and Stack's Bowers which provide information back to the early 2000's. I also obtained information from a number of fellow collectors and dealers, in particular Chris from Old West Gold.

This particular example fascinates me; someone took the time to shave the hallmark off of an ingot that probably was heading for melt!

U.S. Mint Philadelphia silver ingot Table follows:

Silver Ingots

Friday, April 1, 2016

FAKES? - Part II

In the last post about FAKES, I used the page below from the May 1972 Numismatist. This week Fred H (no, not that Fred H, a different one) contacted me with a photo of the actual ingot used in the column article below. The Mint Of The United States At San Francisco silver ingot #858, Type I oval hallmark, small font with curved stem nines in 999.75 fineness, is presently in Fred H's collection.

If you read the Featuring Fakes column in the May 1972 Numismatist, you are left with the impression that the ingots pictured are representative examples of the author's claim that "Mint Of The United States At San Francisco bars also are counterfeited", and would be fakes.

As far as #858, I would attest to its authenticity based on close examination of two high resolution photographs in my possession. Numerically, it is just before ingots on a receipt in my collection for the same type and style, #982 to #1018. Close examination of hallmark along with unique numerical features like the specific shape of the seven and small curled tail of the five match ingots on my receipt pictured below. Based on the date of my receipt, December 28, 1942, I would date #858 from mid to late 1942. 

No question; #858 is no fake.

Silver Ingots