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Important Harris, Marchand & Co. Gold Ingot
From the S.S. Central America, 18.41 Ounces

Small- to Medium-Sized Harris, Marchand & Co. Gold Ingot. CAGB-127. Serial number 6510, 18.41 oz, 712 fine, stamped value $270.96. An infrequently encountered assayer compared to Justh & Hunter or Kellogg & Humbert, though at just over three dozen ingots recovered, the Harris, Marchand & Co. imprint is more accessible than a number of others. In his A California Gold Rush History, Q. David Bowers lists a number of attributes for the Harris, Marchand & Co. ingots as a class: "Nearly all of the ingots display irregular alignment of numerals and many have irregular letter alignment as well. Most bars have rather rough surfaces ... Save for the finely crafted hallmark and the curved logotype with the company name, most imprinting is rustic."
The hallmark bears further attention; as Bowers notes, Harris, Marchand & Co. "... [original italicized] is the only firm that used a coin-die style hallmark on its ingots." This hallmark takes the form of an all-seeing eye surrounded by rays and flanked left and right by five-pointed stars, which separate the words MARCHAND / ESSAYEUR. The broad circular field is the only significant area on which this ingot shows truly smooth surfaces.
The ingot's main face, read as oriented with the corner cut at upper left, states NO [line below O] 6510 / [curving] HARRIS MARCHAND & CO / [hallmark]. From there, the north face lists the value of $270.96, the south face has [upside down] 712 FINE, and the east face has 18.41 OZ, with dots below both letters. Overall color is light yellow-gold with deep red encrustation at parts of the hallmark, the beginning and end of the curved imprint, a line at the lower right part of the main face, and at the bottom halves of the digits in 712. A memorable shipwreck ingot that offers a different perspective on the California Gold Rush.
Ex: FUN 2002 (Heritage, 1/2002), lot 7904.

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Auction Dates
January, 2010
Internet/Mail/Phone Bidders: 8
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