Engelhard silver bars are a rarity in the silver marketplace these days and many silver investors may wonder what the story is behind this mint and its highly sought after bars. Engelhard Corporation was an American Fortune 500 company headquartered in Iselin, New Jersey. The company performed mineral, chemical, and pigment manufacturing but Engelhard was most famous for creating the first catalytic converters sold to Ford Motor Company in 1973, not surprisingly an invention that utilized precious metals.
Engelhard Corp. was founded by Charles W. Engelhard Sr. in 1902 when he purchased the Charles F. Croselmire Company in Newark, New Jersey. Charles then founded the American Platinum Works in 1903 and it acquired several other companies. In 1904, Charles purchased Baker & Co., a platinum smelting and refining business located in Newark and in 1905, he established Hanovia Chemical and Manufacturing Company also in Newark. Engelhard became the world’s largest refiner and fabricator of platinum metals, gold and silver, a producer of silver and silver alloys in mill forms, and the operator of the world’s largest precious metals smelter. The company was also the inventor of a liquid gold for decorations.
The Engelhard Mint, a subsidiary of Engelhard Industries, had over 100-years of experience in manufacturing precious metals by the time it was closed and had grown to become a respected precious metals mint by the late 1950’s. It’s top competitor was Johnson Matthey.
One of the reasons for the popularity of Engelhard’s bullion products is that they had precise stamping which acted as an anti-fraud measure that assured the weight, purity, and authenticity of their products. Engelhard silver bars have on their obverse the Engelhard name, mintmark inscription, weight, and purity mark. The most common weight options are 1 ounce, 10 ounce and 100 ounce bars. Certain hand-poured silver bars by Engelhad are very rare and are therefore sold for much higher premiums.
Engelhard’s most famous silver bullion product is their Engelhard Prospector Round, composed of 1 oz. of fine silver. The Prospector round depicts the image of a miner who is panning for gold in a river on its obverse side and an eagle along with the “E” on its reverse side. Due to the fact that Engelhard stopped producing its bullion products even before the BASF takeover, their bullion became more difficult to attain, and the demand for it is constantly increasing as more retailers are running out of their Engelhard bullion stocks. This is why their prices are notably higher than those established for other items of similar weights. The company was purchased in 2006 by the German chemical company BASF.