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Faceplate for Kellogg & Humbert Gold Ingot
Faceplate for a Kellogg & Humbert Gold Bar (Current Weight
26.3 Troy Ounces). This is the faceplate for a Kellogg &
Humbert assayer's ingot, recovered from the wreckage of the S.S.
Central America, a ship that sank in the western Atlantic Ocean
with close to 100,000 ounces in gold coins and bars as lost cargo.
The faceplate was sawed away from the rest of the bulk, which then
was melted down to provide gold for a series of "commemorative
restrikes" aimed at a mass collecting audience. Several other large
ingots with nearby serial numbers from Kellogg & Humbert, by
far the best-represented assayer among the Central America
ingots, met the same fate. The faceplate's current weight,
approximately 26.3 troy ounces, represents only 6-7% of the ingot's
Broad, Hefty S.S. Central America Artifact
Current Weight 26.3 Troy Ounces
The faceplate holds the records of what the ingot once was, in vertical format. Three elements are bunched at the top: serial No. 906 highest, followed by the boxed "KELLOGG / & / HUMBERT / ASSAYERS" logo and weight 385.23 Oz. Near the middle is the purity, 926 FINE, uncommonly high for the time; two-thirds of the way down from the fineness toward the bottom is the value expressed in 1857 terms, $7,374.11.
The faceplate's approximate physical dimensions are 173 mm x 73 mm x 3 mm, with an "assayer's cut" at the lower right corner where the bar was tested for its purity in the 1850s. Though the thickness of 3 mm may seem small, this faceplate has rigidity and heft in-hand, unlike many of its fellows. The yellow-gold surfaces show bubbles and other curves from the casting process that made the ingot, as well as several sizable areas of copper staining, one covering the 4 in the value.
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