Silver ingots get snapped up hot off the press
November 22, 2008
Collectors and railroad buffs lined up for the latest opportunity to support the reconstruction of the V&T Railway ” silver commemorative ingots.
They were minted at the Marshall Mint in Virginia City at 10 a.m. Saturday morning, with buyers lined up at the door waiting to get in.
The 1-ounce, .999 percent pure silver ingots designed by Dayton artist Steven Saylor cost $100 each and were packaged in a special case with numbered cards for authenticity.
The ingot is part of this summer’s Railway Reflections International Art Expo, and the front and back show steam engines, one crossing a trestle.
The minting, originally set for Aug. 2, was held up by a breakdown of the DiMaio press.
Saylor, who with Jim Clark organized the expo, said 60 were sold Saturday. Some are still available for sale at the Marshall Mint, and others will be offered to interested Virginia City shops.
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Saylor also had 100 bronze ingots with the same design minted and available for $10.
“They’re beautiful,” he said. “They look just like gold.”
Doug Walling, who operated the press, said it took 150 metric tons of pressure to make each side of the ingots, which are double struck, just like the U.S. mint makes coins.
Walling said the ingot is specially fabricated, and the cost is reflective not only of the spot market price for silver but also the fabrication.
“As opposed to being just a block of silver,” he said. “They are more valuable than the spot price of silver.”
Saylor said all proceeds from the ingots will benefit the Northern Nevada Railway Foundation, the fundraising arm of the effort to reconstruct the V&T Railway all the way to Carson City.
– Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at email@example.com or call 881-7351.