1857 Harris, Marchand and Co. gold ingot No. 6520, 55.48 OZ., 928 FINE, Ex.SS Central America

It is with great pride that we at AUCM offer a great rarity found on the ocean's floor: an 1857 Harris, Marchand and Co. gold ingot, No. 6520, 55.48 oz. .928 Fine. Among the sunken treasure of the SS Central America were 32 gold ingots or assay bars produced by the firm of Harris, Marchand and Co. This attractive ingot is produced as a rectangle. At the top it says NR. 6520. Below that is HARRIS MARCHAND & CO curved above the assayer's round hallmark with the image of the Eye of Providence (the all-seeing eye of God) with rays emanating from it. Below that is 55.48 OZ. Below that is 928 FINE. Near the bottom is the price (in 1857) of $1064.50.

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."

More Information
Grading Service NONE
Year of Issue 1857
Grade NONE
Denom Type California Gold
Mint Location Private Issue
Designation NONE
Circ/UnCirc Not Specified
Strike Type N/A
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
Holder Type N/A
Is on Sale No

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