Thursday, January 19, 2017

U.S. Mint Philadelphia - Part IV

U.S. Mint Philadelphia examples remain the absolute most rare of all three U.S. Government Mint & Assay Office silver ingots, New York Assay Office, Mint Of The United States At San Francisco, and U.S. Mint Philadelphia. Unconfirmed reports indicate that these were limited in distribution to jewelers but even if that is not completely accurate, no one has ever heard a story about a private individual getting one of these directly from the U.S. Mint Philadelphia like the stories we hear and read about that happening at the New York Assay Office and the Mint Of The United States At San Francisco. 

The following pictures are from one of Fred H's old auction catalogs and represent the most uniquely shaped U.S. Government ingot I have ever seen, almost like a coffin.

I've always assumed this was a one of a kind example like the Mint Of The United States At San Francisco loaf or cube; that was until now. My most recent acquisition has given me reason to think that this shape may have in fact happened more often that just the one time for #216.

The picture below is the "shaved off" hallmark piece from my collection that I wrote about in previous U.S. Mint Philadelphia blog posts. I've always looked at it with the writing right side up but if you flip it, starts to look like a piece from another coffin ingot maybe.

I never looked at the piece above with this in mind until I recently acquired the ingot pictured below. This could easily be the end of a coffin ingot. Obverse and reverse pictured.

What I am referring to as the reverse sure looks a lot like the obverse of the ingot from Fred H's old auction catalog. The indentations in the obverse look like other coffin ingots were staked on top of this one leaving their mark; so much so that I had to test the fit as shown in the picture below.

The shaved hallmark is not only a perfect shape and size match to the reverse of the 15.20 oz ingot, it is a perfect fit into the indentations as shown above.

Not exactly sure what all of this means but I am going to go out on a limb and bet that at one time there were at least three U.S. Mint Philadelphia coffin ingots!

Silver Ingots