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Lot
8787

Kellogg & Humbert Gold Ingot. No. 639. Deceptively heavy, ...

2004 July New York, NY Signature Sale #320

 
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Auction Ended On: Jul 21, 2004
Item Activity: 14 Internet/mail/phone bidders Number of Bidders
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Description:
Impressive Seven-Pound Kellogg & Humbert Ingot
Kellogg & Humbert Gold Ingot. No. 639. Deceptively heavy, this historic ingot weighs seven pounds. To give an idea of the relative value of money in the mid-19th century compared to today, when the S.S. Central America was discovered and began to be salvaged in 1988 several people became very wealthy. However, in 1857, because of the enormous amount of gold on board the ship when it went down, the loss of this amount of money was one of the causes of the financial panic of that year, affecting thousands of people nationwide.
While the Kellogg & Humbert ingots are clearly the most "common" on the market today after recovery of this remarkable treasure, they are also the most historically desirable. John Glover Kellogg and Augustus Humbert were two of the most important and influential citizens of California at the time. Their partnership was formed early in 1855 and was reported in the April 2 issue of the Alta California newspaper. Author Dan Owens, in California Coiners and Assayers reproduced an editorial from the May 1, 1855 issue of the same paper. The editorial compared the operations of the Kellogg & Humbert firm to that of the recently established San Francisco Mint: "It is not generally known, but is nevertheless the fact, that the principal private assay office in the country effects over fifty percent more towards the supply of coin to the country than the United States Mint does." Eventually, there is no doubt the United States Mint gained much of the market share, and the Kellogg and Humbert partnership was ended on April 2, 1860.
This is a medium-sized ingot whose face reads: No. 639 / KELLOGG & HUMBERT ASSAYERS / 112.03 oz / 881 FINE / $2040.27. The individual ingot number is repeated again on the top of the back side. The face of the ingot has a deep reddish patina that has accrued from exposure to the rusting iron of the ship. Most of the other sides are bright and golden. Also included is a deluxe edition of Bowers' A California Gold Rush History. (#10229) (PCGS# 10229)

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