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    Justh & Hunter Massive Gold Ingot, 179.50 Ounces
    Sole Example Recovered From This Mold
    Heavy Incrustation From the Rusted Ship's Hull

    Justh & Hunter Gold Ingot. 179.50 Ounces. CAGB-314. One of the earliest records of the partnership between Justh and Hunter is a May 15, 1855 article published by the Daily Placer Times, based in San Francisco: "An Assay Office -- Messrs. Justh & Hunter have opened an Assay office at No. 188, Montgomery street. Mr. Justh was over a year in the employ of the U.S. Mint, and is highly recommended by the officers of that institution."

    Nine days later on May 24, an advertisement for the firm appeared in the same newspaper:

    Assay Office,
    No. 188 Montgomery street, 2d door south of Jackson street.

    We guarantee our Assays, and bind ourselves to pay all differences arising from the same with any of the U.S. Mints.

    Returns made in 24 hours. We refer to the annexed certificate.


    All Bars Assayed by us can be cashed at any time, at the usual rate of discount.

    We hereby certify that Mr. E. Justh was Assistant Assayer in the U.S. Branch Mint, from April, 1854, to this date, during which time he performed his duties most faithfully and intelligently, and we take pleasure in recommending him to the public as a competent and faithful assayer.

    San Francisco, May 10th, 1855



    Sup't U.S. Br. Mint.

    The advertisement ran through the summer months, and the firm steadily grew as it gained a reputation for quality. In May 1856, Justh and Hunter opened a second operation in Marysville, 125 miles northeast of San Francisco, with S. H. Hunter in charge. October 1856 saw expansion of the San Francisco office, as seen from an October 13 advertisement in San Francisco's Daily Evening Bulletin:

    "Justh & Hunter have removed their assay office to No. 108 Battery street, corner of Merchant, where they are now prepared to execute all orders in their business, on the shortest notice. Returns made in Bars or Coin, at the option of the depositor."

    On May 29, 1857, a new partnership was announced between Justh, Hunter, and Charles Urzay, a former partner of Agoston Haraszthy at the Eureka Gold and Silver Refinery. The joint venture was short-lived, and Urzay left the partnership on August 15 of the same year. Less than one year later on July 5, 1858, Justh and Hunter issued a statement confirming that "no bullion for refining and coinage will be received by us until further notice ..." Their relatively brief but remarkably successful partnership formally ended on July 10, 1858 upon S.H. Hunter's withdrawal from the firm.

    This ingot is remarkable in several ways. First, of course, is its massive size. Second, this is the only ingot cast from this mold size. Third, it retains evidence on all six sides of the rusted iron hull of the S.S. Central America. For those collecting by mold size, this is from mold J&Hsf-09, and is the only one as such. The devices are laid out horizontally on the top side and can be somewhat of a challenge to read because of the heavy incrustation of iron oxide. The top side is laid out: NO. 4250 / J&H logo / 179.50 ozs / 886 FINE / $3287.50. The last two numbers of the serial number (50) are repeated on the back side. The ingot measures 124 x 51 x 47 mm.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2017
    4th-9th Wednesday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 20
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,627

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