This Nevada Silver Company gold specimen is a Tier-1 museum-quality piece from Franklin Hoard lore. It is possible that it is the only example of a Nevada Silver Company gold ingot. It measures approximately 2 inches by 1-1/4 inches and weighs 204.9 grams. Inscriptions on the ingot include “Nevada Silver Company,” “GOLD, “999,” “FINE,” and “6.59 ozs.”
Within the Franklin Hoard, the ingot is listed as plate 15 on page 191 in Karl Moulton’s publication John J. Ford, Jr. and the “Franklin Hoard” are examples of the Eagle Mining Company pieces also attributed to the Franklin Hoard. These generally were silver with a few gold examples, which all are extremely rare with the 1878 Eagle Mining Company $124 gold specimen, which is shown in Moulton’s publication courtesy of the Smithsonian Institute.
This Nevada Silver Company Franklin Hoard piece is an undiscovered gold piece of equivalence to the gold Eagle Mining Company specimens. The estimated production date of the Gold Nevada Silver Company specimen is estimated as 1955 to 1958, with the intention of appearing to have been produced in the 1870 to 1890 range. On page 261 of Moulton’s book are notes written by Eric P. Newman from when he visited Kenyon Painter at his home in Phoenix in July 1968. It shows sketches of the Nevada Silver Company Die workup and records that show the origins and also that the Nevada Silver Company die was contracted through Harry J. Forman, a longtime Philadelphia coin dealer whom for many years was Madison Mint (of Silver Art Bar Collectable fame).
Forman also was an author and American Numismatic Association (ANA) life member who died in March 2008. With partner Ruth Bauer, he ran the firm of Forman and Bauer, Inc., a respected mail-order coin business. Forman was active in increasing ANA membership and encouraging donations to the Money Museum, and became the ANA’s first “grand patron” in 1982. He received the ANA’s Glenn Smedley Memorial Award in 1998, the Numismatist of the Year Award in 2000, and the ANA’s highest honor, the Farran Zerbe Memorial Award, in 2001. The ANA dealer of the year is now named the Harry J. Forman Dealer of the Year Award.
Forman was known to have used various tooling and machining companies to do his die work and striking for Madison Mint pieces. It seemed Forman had most likely contacted the Philadelphia firm of August C. Frank Company to engrave the Nevada Silver Company dies, according to Moulton’s research.
To bid on this special ingot and other bars and coins in the upcoming “Barbers and Bars” auction, visit Vegas Coin Dealer’s auction by visiting their website. The auction closes on May 11, 2023.
Press release courtesy of the Professional Coin Grading Service