The Engelhard bullion, is a name synonymous with bullion investors for
quality silver and gold bullion.
Since the company's inception, Engelhard has been associated with precious metals.
Charles Engelhard, Sr immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1881.
He came over to the United States as a foreign sales agent, from his employer, a platinum marketer.
Engelhard saw opportunity in the United States and decided to remain in the country.
Over the next 20 years, Charles Engelhard Sr. began to acquire equity
positions in several precious metals companies.
In 1902. Charles purchased the Charles F. Croselmire Company in Newark, New Jersey. He later united several companies he had secured equity positions.
These companies included Baker & Co., Irvington Smelting,
Hanovia Company and American Platinum Works and the Charles F.
Croselmire Company into a Precious Metals Enterprise, under the name
Shortly thereafter, Engelhard became the world's largest refiner and fabricator of gold, silver and platinum metals.
The company was headquartered in Newark, New Jersey.
The company also became a producer of silver and silver alloys in mill forms and the operator of the world's largest precious metals smelter.
In 1950, Charles Engelhard, Sr. died and Charles Engelhard, Jr. assumed control of Engelhard Industries.
After taking over the company, he expanded operations to South Africa, South America and Europe and built Engelhard Industries into one of the world's leading refiners of precious metals.
On a side note:
If you are a fan of James Bond, and think Charles Engelhard Jr. looks familiar in these pictures, your suspicions would be correct.
Ian Fleming, the creator of the James Bond Series, used Charles
Engelhard Jr. as his inspiration for the character Auric Goldfinger, in the novel and film; Goldfinger.
Charles Engelhard, Jr. died on March 2nd 1971. Sadly, he did not live to see some of his company's biggest and most profitable innovations, concerning platinum group metals (PGMs).
In the early 70's, the company developed the first catalytic converter,
for gasoline engines, helping the American auto-industry meet stiff new
The converter's design, used a platinum honeycomb that changed exhaust
from an internal combustion engine in to less toxic substances.
Engelhard Corporation was a former Fortune 500 company, it is now owned by BASF Chemical Company.
On May 30, 2006, Engelhard Industries was taken over by BASF Chemical Company after the board agreed for the takeover of BASF. BASF paid $US39 per share, for the company. The transaction totaled $5 billion.
BASF SE is the largest chemical company in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
Engelhard started offering their 1oz. silver rounds in the 80's and were the first bullion rounds minted to be marketed to the public.
The company started "The American Prospector" gold and silver bullion rounds in 1982 and continued to mint them until 1988. The gold rounds are much harder to find, however they produced were in the sizes of 1/10oz., 1/4oz., 1/2oz., 3/4oz. and 1 troy ounce sizes.
"The American Prospector" silver rounds were produced in 1/10oz., 1/4oz., 1/2oz. and 1 troy oz. sizes.
Just like the gold rounds, the fractional size silver rounds were produced in smaller amounts and are much harder to find. Plus the smaller silver bullion rounds hold a higher premium price than their spot prices, because of the rarity of the round.
The 1oz. sized rounds can usually be found, for sale, near the spot price of silver.
The obverse side of the round shows the image of a prospector panning for gold. In addition the obverse side displays the words "U.S.A", the year of issue and "The American Prospector"
The reverse side displays the Engelhard logo or a Silver Eagle, included on this side is the weight and purity of the round.
Unfortunately, the company no longer produces bullion for the public,
although you can still find them on the secondary market, through
different bullion dealers and auction sites.
Even-though the company no longer produces bullion for investment
purposes, they do still deal in the precious metals industry concerning
the platinum group of metals (PGMs).
In the mid-70's, when inflation was rearing its ugly head more and more into the everyday markets, Engelhard realized that there was a strong consumer demand for precious metals bullion.
Engelhard made gold, silver, platinum & palladium bullion bars during
this time. It wasn't until the early 1980's, that the company started to
produce bullion rounds.
Eventhough the company's expertise was in the Platinum Group Metals (PMGs), Engelhard is best known among bullion investors for their silver bullion.
Most Engelhard bullion bars are marked with a serial number (but not
all), Engelhard bars also displayed it's Name or a large "E" along with
the bar's weight and purity.
Engelhard produced Bullion Bars using three methods
Minted Bullion Bars: are cut from a cast bar that has been rolled to a uniform thickness. The cutting is done with a die to create blanks
that have a specified dimension and weight. All the surfaces are smooth
and even. Markings are usually stamped on the bar using a minting press. (Minted bullion photo provided by the courtesy of Heraeus)
Casting or Poured Bullion Bars - are produced by pouring molten precious metal directly into a mold. Markings are usually stamped on the bar using a hammer or a press.
Note: Engelhard often called their Minted bars, "Cast Bars" and their
Cast Bars, "Poured Bars." See the 10oz. Silver bars below, to see how
they categorized the characterizations, on these bars.
Extruding Bullion Bars - Process in which a metal or other material is forced through a series of dies to create desired shape or shapes. Markings are usually stamped on the bar using a hammer or a press.
More General Information about Engelhard Bullion Bars
In reference to the serial numbers on Engelhard Bullion bars, the
company did not place the number on the bar for a data-base that the
company held or made known to the public.
The serial number was placed on the bar for the purchaser, to keep track of his or her own investments.
As for serial numbers on Gold, Platinum or Palladium Engelhard bullion
bars, there is currently no known web-based database for these numbers.
However, recently while doing research on Silver Engelhard Bullion bars for a client, one website has been found to have photos and serial numbers for the bars.
The website About.Ag has one of the most comprehensive lists of silver bullion serial numbers found on the web.
Below, there are links to the individual pages for the different weights of the corresponding bullion bars.
Engelhard stopped producing investment bullion bars in 1988, after the price of precious metals had fallen and demand had dried up.
Engelhard bullion bars can still be found on the secondary market
through different bullion dealers and auction sites.
However, BASF, Engelhard's now parent company, still produces "Good
Delivery" Platinum and Palladium bars for industrial purposes.
There is no defenitive mintage number for the total amount of investment grade bullion bars Engelhard produced from the mid-70's through 1988.
Engelhard Silver Bullion Bars
When Engelhard was producing bullion, the silver bullion bars were by
far the most popular and widely produced.
Engelhard made silver bullion bars as small as 5gram to as large as a 400oz "Good Delivery" bar.
Odd Sized Bars
Odd sized bars are much harder to find than the more common sized bars.
Eexpect the value of these bars to be higher than the intrinsic value of the bullion bar due to popular demand.
Furthermore they made several silver bullion bars of odd sizes, these sizes include: 5 gram, 10 gram, 1/2 oz., 2oz., 3oz., 100 gram, 4oz., 7oz., 500 gram, 20oz., 25 oz., 1 kilogram, 50oz..
Go here for more information, photos and serial numbers on the Odd Sized Silver Bullion Bars.
One Ounce Silver Engelhard Bars
Most of the one ounce bars were minted and were quite possibly the most widely produced.
These bars were not only made for investors but also given as gifts, made into artbars and at the time corporations handed them out to employees as rewards.
Five Ounce Silver Engelhard Bars
Many of these bars seem to have been cast or extruded, although there
are minted versions of the 5oz bars.
Go here for more information, photos and serial numbers on the Five
Ounce Silver Bullion Bars.
Ten Ounce Silver Engelhard Bars
The 10oz. Engelhard bullion bars were the first produced by the company, in addition these bars probably have the most information written about them through-out the web.
The following information only pertains to the 10oz silver Engelhard bars.
Although many of these bullion bars have been melted down mintages for these bars range from as high as 2 million to as low as 1.5 million. It
is virtually impossible to know how many are still in existance.
10oz Bars were both Cast and Minted. As stated above, Engelhard kind of muffled these definitions in there early produced bullion bars.
10oz. Bars with a "P" prefix before the serial number to signify a "Poured" Bar.
10oz Bars with a "C" prefix before the serial number signified a "Cast" Bar or Minted Bar.
10oz Bars with a "W" prefix before the serial number signified a "Wide
Poured" Bar. "W" prefixed 10oz. bars are very rare.
Bars with no prefix, were the First to be produced in the 10oz. series, like the one in the photo, above right.
Go here for more information, photos and serial numbers on the Ten Ounce Silver Bullion Bars
One Hundered Ounce Silver Engelhard Bars
The Majority of the 100oz Silver bars were poured or extruded.
Unfortunately, some counterfeiter's have taken advantage of bullion investors by drilling these bars and filling them with lead.
About.Ag also has a couple of good pages on noticing the signs of a Fake Engelhard Bullion bar, go Here and Here to see these pages.
Go here for more information, photos and serial numbers on the One
Hundred Ounce Silver Bullion Bars
Engelhard Gold Bullion Bars
Due to the scarcity of these gold bars and because of the odd shapes of the bars, many of these bars carry a collector's premium.
Furthermore, due to the low production of the gold bullion bars, information is scarce.
The known sizes of the gold Engelhard bars are: 1 gram, 5 grams, 10 grams, 1/2 tael (18.75 grams), 20 grams, 25 grams (pictured), 1 oz., 1 tael - (37.50 grams), 50 gram, 2 oz., 10 tolas (3.746 oz.), 5 oz., 10 oz., 20 oz., 1 kilogram (32.150 oz) and 10 tolas (3.746 oz.).
The sizes 1oz and below are known to be minted bars and the sizes 1oz. and above are mostly cast or poured. 1oz. Engelhard gold bullion bars have been observed in both minted and poured.
Odd sized Engelhard bullion bars have also been known to be produced, the most recently observed specimen of this example was a 1.608 poured bullion bar, sold on an auction site.
The majority of serial numbers observed on the gold bullion bars,
have no prefix
Engelhard Platinum & Palladium Bullion Bars
Information on these bullion bars are extremely hard to find. Unlike
Engelhard Gold and Silver bullion bars.
Known sizes of Engelhard bullion bars in both Platinum and Palladium, below the 400oz. LBMA Good Delivery Bars, are 1oz and 10oz. bars.
The 400oz. bars are Cast or Poured bars, the 1oz. and 10oz. Platinum and Palladium bars are minted.
Engelhard Bullion Sources: