1857 Harris, Marchand and Co. gold ingot No. 6520, 55.48 OZ., 928 FINE, Ex.SS Central America
The firm had assay offices in Sacramento and Marysville, California. The bars they crafted ranged from a small 9.87 oz. bar of .777 fine gold, valued (in 1857) at $158.53 up to the quite large 295.20 oz. bar of .877 fineness, valued (in 1857) at $5,351.73. Q. David Bowers, in his introduction to Dan Owens' California Coiners and Assayers, writes, "It is only by merest chance that even these few ingots exist today. Had they reached their destination, the gold would have been deposited in New York or turned into coins. On the other hand, if the gold had remained in California, the ingots would have been melted and turned into coins at the San Francisco Mint once it got into full production." There were California gold miners who chose to have their gold turned into assay, not paying the fee to turn gold dust into coinage. They had it assayed, melted, and poured into ingots for shipping to either the New York Assay Office or the mint in Philadelphia. That was because they would get a better rate than they could in California. Bowers writes that "bars of this type have been termed 'conversion ingots' by numismatic historians."
|Year of Issue||1857|
|Denom Type||California Gold|
|Mint Location||Private Issue|
|Holder Variety||Harris, Marchand and Co. Serial #6520. Sacramento and Marysville, 1857. 55.48 ounces. 928 fine, $1064.30 value in 1857|
|Grade Add On||NONE|
|Is on Sale||No|