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    Justh & Hunter Gold Ingot, 266.97 Ounces
    Third Largest Marysville Office Ingot Recovered

    Justh & Hunter MS Gold Ingot. 266.97 Ounces. CAGB-360. This is the third-largest Justh & Hunter ingot from the Marysville office recovered from the S.S. Central America. It just misses the Extremely Large Size category, but takes top billing in the Very Large Size class. It is of nearly unparalleled historical and numismatic significance as a massive Gold Rush relic.

    Marysville, California sits at the confluence of the Feather and Yuba rivers 40 miles north of Sacramento and 125 miles northwest of San Francisco in the heart of Gold Rush territory. It was founded in 1842 as New Mecklenburg by Theodore Cordua, who held a 19-year lease on the land from John Sutter. Cordua sold half his interest to Charles Covillaud in October 1848 and the other half to his brothers-in-law in 1849. By that time, gold fever had firmly taken hold in the surrounding areas. The enterprising Covillaud saw an opportunity and hired August LePlongeon to lay out plans for a new city named after his wife, Mary. A year later in February 1850 Marysville was home to roughly 500 inhabitants and 1,000 itinerants, according to Q. David Bowers' A California Gold Rush History. The town continued to develop rapidly and became an important depot for outfitting miners. Both the post office and local newspaper, the Marysville Herald, debuted in the summer of 1850. By 1852, the population had swelled to more than 4,000 people. The town's proximity to the northern gold mines made it an ideal location for San Francisco assayers like Harris, Marchand & Co., and Justh & Hunter to expand their businesses. The latter placed an advertisement in the Marysville Herald on May 27, 1856, as published in Dan Owens' California Coiners and Assayers:

    Assay Office ... Of .. Justh & Hunter
    First Street, 3d door from D, Marysville
    At the solicitation of our customers in the interior, to save time in their returns, we have opened a branch of our Assay Office in this city. Our bars can be cashed at all the Banking Houses, either in Marysville or San Francisco, or at either of our offices.

    Rates of charges as in San Francisco. All claims against the firm can be settled either in Marysville or San Francisco.

    S. Hillen Hunter, Marysville.

    E. Justh, San Francisco.

    Additional advertisements in the May 29 issue announced: "The office is under the immediate supervision of Mr. Hunter, of the firm. The reputation of the San Francisco house is so well established as to preclude the necessity of any further remarks." Two days later, the Herald include another notice: "The reputation of our Bars being well established in San Francisco and New York, they can always be cashed on the most advantageous terms."

    Thanks to the recovery of the S.S. Central America treasure, we now have a much better understanding of what was well-known to those in Gold Rush-era California - that Justh & Hunter was a preeminent assayer of the highest repute. The size and number of ingots included in the cache speak for themselves. The ingot measures 177 x 66 x 39 mm. All the imprints are on the top side and there are two company hallmarks: NO. 9434 / company hallmark left / 266.97 OZS. / company hallmark right / 906 FINE. / $5000.00. The surfaces are bright yellow-gold with only the slightest trace of patina from the rusted ship's hull. An important and very scarce Very Large Size ingot from the Marysville office of Justh & Hunter.
    From The Marcello Collection, Part VII.

    View all of [The Marcello Collection, Part VII ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2019
    6th-9th Thursday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 17
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,571

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