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    Blake & Co. Gold Ingot, 19.30 Ounces
    S.S. Central America

    Blake & Co. MS Gold Ingot. 19.30 Ounces. CABG-011. Those who were not in the coin market 30 years ago may not know the reason there are such items as assay ingots. A highly readable explanation is given in Tommy Thompson's America's Lost Treasure:

    "Although less common in the consumer marketplace than the coins, the ingots are as revealing of the era and are also more unusual in that they are all private issues. Many began as dust and nuggets in the pockets of miners, who brought the raw gold to private assayers for weighing and valuation. The assayers melted down gold, molded it into ingots, then shaved off a corner for their commission and to measure purity. Finally they would stamp the gold with unique identifying marks, indicating the weight, purity, and value, as well as their own maker's marks, and return the ingots to the owners. Gold in this form was the preferred type shipped to banks and other businesses, as well as to the U.S. government. Commercial shippers also brought their gold to private assayers, but did so in larger allotments."

    Ingots were never intended to be a permanent record of California assayers, but the recovery of the enormous number of them from the S.S. Central America has made them just that. Little was previously known about the private assayers and their recovered gold 130 years after the catastrophic hurricane hit the ship sank it along with hundreds of passengers. Only 33 Blake & Co. ingots were recovered from the S.S. Central America, tying it for the smallest number recovered with the Henry Hentsch ingots. Many Blake ingots are relatively small in size when compared to, say, Kellogg & Humbert ingots. This piece shows all six surfaces polished, an indication that the company may have intended their gold bars for smaller commercial transactions. The top side is neatly laid out: BLAKE & C(O) / ASSAYERS / SACRAMENTO / .746 FINE / VALUE / $297.62. The individual ingot number is impressed on the top side: No 5196. The weight is stamped into the bottom side: 19.30 Oz. The ingot measures: 39 x 50 x 16 mm.

    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Jan-Feb, 2019
    31st-3rd Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,879

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