Engelhard Corporation, based in New Jersey and founded in 1902, quickly became the world's largest refiner and fabricator of gold, silver, and platinum products. Over the past century, mergers and acquisitions have expanded the company into the chemical and mineral industries. In 2006, Engelhard was purchased by the German company BASF, and as of late, they no longer produce new silver products.
Engelhard Silver Bar History
Engelhard first began minting silver bullion bars during 1970s, due to increased demand by investors interested in silver bullion as a form of wealth protection. The company minted silver bars in 1, 10, and 100 troy ounce sizes, which at the time were the most popular in the industry due to Engelhard's reputation for quality and purity. However, in the mid-1980s, the company stopped making silver bars due to lackluster demand, and they are no longer available directly from Engelhard.
Despite this brief history, Engelhard silver bars remain an industry standard, sought after for their name recognition, quality, and purity. Many investors favor Engelhard because the company continues to be one of the top names in the precious metals industry.
Buying Engelhard Bars
Although the company no longer produces silver bullion for the public, their products can still be found through secondary dealers. Though no Engelhard silver bars have been produced for nearly 20 years, the company's name is still synonymous with investment-grade silver bars. Their silver bars remain in high demand, and are carried by many major silver dealers.
However, since they have not been produced in many years, it can be difficult to find them, especially when shopping locally. The best places to look for Engelhard bars are online bullion dealers. Note that Engelhard silver bars frequently command a premium over other brands of silver bars due to their high reputation for investment-quality silver. Offsize bars like 2 oz or 5 oz variations, along with rare designs, can command immense premiums over the spot price of silver, and are really more numismatic than bullion.
Engelhard silver bars were produced in 1, 10, and 100 ounce sizes, while gold bars came in sizes ranging from 1 gram to 1 troy ounce. Engelhard silver bars are marked with the company name, purity, weight, and a serial number. Each silver bar was produced with .999 fine silver. These investment-grade bars changed slightly in appearance over the production timeline, though each bar contains the same basic design, seen below:
Engelhard was among the first companies marketing 1 ounce silver bullion rounds to the public. First produced during the 1970s, these rounds included the popular “American Prospector” series, made from 1982 to 1987. “The American Prospector” was also made in fractional sizes, including 1/10, ¼, and ½ troy ounce sizes. These silver bullion rounds tend to hold a higher premium over the spot price of silver due to their rarity. The obverse depicts a prospector panning for gold, while the reverse contains the weight and purity, along with either the Engelhard logo or an eagle.
Smaller-sized Engelhard bars are sealed inside a flexible plastic casing, which protects the silver from wear due to handling. Larger-sized bars were not shipped in such packaging. Because Engelhard bars are only available through the secondary market, and even the most recently produced bars are nearing two decades old, be aware that many Engelhard bars do show minor wear due to handling.