New York - The 1892 Ingot
The 1892 United States Assay Office New York silver ingot No. 10, 6.61 ozs & Melt No. 682 is the oldest known, dated fine silver ingot produced by the United States Government. Irregularities of the obverse surface, along with some possible wear, have resulted in less than a full strike of the year. There are only two possibilities of the actual date, 1892 or 1902, as the first and last digits leave no question. No other possibility would exist in the known date range of the New York Assay Office, and with photographic research conducted on the collection of Gerow Paul Franklin with the help of his son, Paul Franklin, this original Type I, two-piece hallmark, can only be found to change to a Type II in 1909.
Upon close inspection, the circular closure that can be seen of the top loop on the second digit, on both the left and right sides, leaves no question that is an eight and not a nine. The top of the third digit appears to begin to close on the left side ever so slightly but just enough to confirm that it is a nine rather than a zero. My determination of date has been confirmed by both Fred Holabird, historical mining and ingot specialist, as well as Mark Van Winkle, Chief Cataloger for Heritage Auctions.
All other markings on the 1892 United States Assay Office New York silver ingot represent placement consistent with marking standards used in United States Government precious metal bar production according to the now historical website www.goldbarsworldwide.com The weight of 8.93 ozs is on the right side facing.
The ingot serial number 10 is on the leading edge facing and the melt number 682 is on the top edge facing.
The only markings on the reverse are the initials "A G B".
I have researched numerous historical New York documents from the period, trying to find a prominent name to match the initials "AGB". My focus had been in banking and finance but if you Google "AGB New York 1892", the page will fill with articles and photographs of Alexander Graham Bell in New York City, placing the inaugural long distance phone call to Chicago on October 18, 1892. I'm just saying.............