HEY KIDS! YOU KNOW WHAT DAY IT IS!!?? mÉTαL pºRÑ FRIDAY!
May I present to you the latest addition to what is becoming an increasingly difficult stack to add to:
The Sheffield Smelting Co., Ltd 50 troy ounce .999 silver bar, with Mocatta & Goldsmid counter mark:
Sheffield Smelting of Sheffield, England is one of the oldest precious metals refineries in the world, in continuous operation since 1760. They started as a small firm and eventually grew to over 150 employees during the industrial revolution of the late 1800s to early 1900s. In 1974 they were purchased by Engelhard, and produced co-branded Sheffield/Engelhard bullion for a decade before being sold and eventually re-merging with another Engelhard subsidiary (Engelhard-Clal). Today they operate the same business under the name Thessco in the same location they've occupied since 1787!
Moses Mocatta started his bullion business in London in 1671. The company changed its name to Mocatta & Goldsmid when Asher Goldsmid joined the firm in 1787. They, too, still exist, now known as ScotiaMocatta.
I purchased a 100 ounce Sheffield Smelting old pour "bathtub" style bar from my local B&M over a decade ago, and it's still one of my favorite bullion bars. I've reached pretty much what I want in terms of a metals stack. I don't feel I'm lacking much in order to protect my other assets and my family. So as with my coin collection and the "box of 20" style of collecting I adopted several years ago, I'm trying to limit my further accumulations to pieces that I really, really like: Liquid, interesting, old, original skin, and no more than a moderate premium if I can help it.
I reached out to the guys at allengelhard to ask their opinion about an age on this bar. They gave a range of 1970-1972, so right at 50 years old. They have a little information about Sheffield, primarily as it relates to Engelhard:
And though Sheffield isn't yet one of their "other refiners" currently, they told me they hope to add Sheffield soon.
If you're a collector of vintage bars, you've likely seen the M&G countermark on early Engelhard and Johnson Matthey pieces.
--Severian the Lame