Sunday, February 12, 2017

New York Assay Office Silver Ingots - Part VIII


The recently acquired New York Assay Office silver ingot pictured in the first plate below bears a hallmark similar to that of the earliest NYAO known to exist, but is not dated within the circular hallmark center. Another extremely rare U.S. Government silver ingot example from Edward A., the missing hallmark date is only the beginning of the mysteries to be solved on this ingot.

Starting in this post with dating of this ingot; I can match the hallmark to my 1892 Type I hallmark example shown in the second picture which is the earliest dated U.S. Government silver ingot known to exist. In my registry photos, I have one example bearing the same hallmark dated 1909 and a second 1909 example with the eagle vignette and Type II hallmark indicating a transition from Type I hallmark to Type II hallmark in 1909. 

I have found a 1981 Bowers and Ruddy Auction of the Garrett Collection with a written description of a 1911 New York Assay Office silver ingot that would seem to describe the Type II hallmark. And certainly the 1920 New York Assay Office silver ingot in my collection shows that the transition had been made at some earlier date. Both of these points, while not proving it so, also lend support to the transition occurring in 1909. 

Evaluating everything discussed so far, a date range of 1892 to 1909 can be established. Photos of all ingots discussed follow.     


The 1892 New York Assay Office silver ingot is the oldest known dated U.S. Government silver ingot. Under magnified examination, the upper loop of the second digit closes enough that it has to be an "8" while the third digit could then only be a "9" since 1802 is not a possible date of production as it predates the New York Assay Office origin in 1854.


The following photos are from the collection of Gerow Paul Franklin at the time of his passing and provided to me by his son for use in continuing research on U.S. Government silver ingots.




The 1920 New York Assay Office silver ingot if from my collection bearing the Type II NYAO hallmark.


In the next post we will tackle the mystery of the reverse.

Silver Ingots
Ken