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    Description

    Kellogg & Humbert Gold Ingot, 48.30 Ounces

    Kellogg & Humbert MS Gold Ingot. KH #634. Mold KH-03. The Panic of 1857 was caused in large part by land speculation. However, the presence of gold bullion from California played an important role in the economy on the East Coast at that time. An extended quote from David Bowers' A California Gold Rush History gives valuable background about the importance of gold at the time:

    "Record amounts of consumer goods and other cargoes were imported from Europe, the Orient, and elsewhere. These overseas purchases required payment in gold, but that was no problem. So much gold had been found in California (and also in Australia) that silver was becoming "scarce" by comparison. Freshly minted gold coins--usually $20 gold pieces, as these were most convenient to handle--flowed to overseas banks and merchants at a record rate.
    "In Washington, D.C., the Secretary of the Treasury expressed alarm that a gold coin shortage might be in the offing. It was popularly thought that the periodic arrival in New York City of treasure-laden ships from Panama pumped vitality into the eastern markets with "new money" to help alleviate the situation, although few took the time to look at the actual numbers involved."

    When the S.S. Central America sank in September 1857, more than two million dollars in gold went to the bottom of the sea. The Panic was already underway, but the loss of that much "new money" caused further instability in financial markets.
    The firm of Kellogg & Humbert was a highly respected California firm, and the vast majority of the gold that went down on the Central America was from this company. The top side of this medium-sized ingot reads: No 634 / Kellogg & Humbert imprint / 48.30 Oz / 840 FINE / $838.69. The individual ingot number is repeated at the top of the back side. Assay chips are out of opposing corners, as always. Bright yellow-gold color with none of the often-seen rust stains from the iron hull of the ship.


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

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2008
    9th-12th Wednesday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,854

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