The Government Assay Office 1852 Gold Ingot. Type I.


Ingot Type ONE front MOOD SF August 2017
The Government Assay Office 1852 Gold Ingot. Type I.
COIN
The Government Assay Office 1852 Gold Ingot. Type I.
QUALITY
Extremely Fine and the only known example privately held.
PROVENANCE
First recorded public sale at Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge London 27 - 31 March 1922, the property of Baron Philip Ferrari de La Renotiere. Acquired by Virgil Brand (USA) lot 693 for £185. Later became the property of King Farouk of Egypt. Sold as part of the Palace Collections of Egypt by Sotheby & Co London 1954 when it was acquired by Spink & Son London on behalf of John J Pitman. The J. J. Pitman Collection was sold in 1999 by David Akers Numismatics Inc., the Ingot acquired by Barrie Winsor on behalf of Australian collector, Tom Hadley. The Ingot was displayed at the opening of the National Museum of Australia, Canberra, in 2001 as part of an incomparable exhibition of gold artefacts from around the world: the opening the centrepiece of Australia’s Centenary of Federation Celebrations.
PRICE
$1.45 million
COMMENTS
The Adelaide Ingot is Australia’s first gold “coinage”. A pentagonal cast of gold dug from the Victorian gold fields. Transported to South Australia in 1852, the gold was shaped and stamped for currency purposes and issued under the legislative authority of the Bullion Act of the Province. It was crude. But functional. Struck to show its weight and its equivalent in standard gold, the Ingot was used by the banks to support their note issue, just as if they were gold sovereigns. The Ingots are definitively the point at which gold coin history began in Australia.
STATUS
Available now
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Gold Ingot Type I - Cast irregular & pentagonal in shape.

The Authority Stamp is depicted on the obverse.

A crowned ‘SA’ within a double linear shield made slightly indistinct by the reverse punching of the ingot weight.

Below, the fineness stamp of 23 carats in raised letters on a sunk rectangular field having the corners removed.

The Weight Stamp is depicted on the reverse and bears an ingot weight punch 0 10 1 and the 22 carats equivalent weight punch of 0 10 11.  

J Hunt Deacon in his book the Ingots and Assay Office Pieces of South Australia presents a record of three Type I Ingots.

One was formerly owned by Sir William Dixson and was bequeathed to the State Library of New South Wales.

A second, this piece, was owned by Queensland collector Tom Hadley.

A third was purchased by A. H. Baldwin & Sons London circa 1937, its present location unknown.

Ingot Type ONE back tech September 2018
Ingot Type ONE front tech September 2018
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The story behind the creation of the Ingots.

The Ingots are the point at which gold coin history began in Australia.

The discovery of significant gold deposits in Australia in 1851 created sudden wealth and stimulated immigration on a vast scale.

It had a profound impact on Australia’s social and political development and underpinned the abandonment of the penal system on which the settlement of Australia was based.

The new-found confidence and a vastly increased population encouraged a national sentiment that accelerated the Australian colonies to unite and form the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.

It is one of the most eventful and extraordinary chapters in Australian history, transforming the economy and society and marking the beginnings of a modern multi-cultural Australia.

Word of the discovery of gold spread like wildfire across the country and overseas. First was the rush to Ophir near Bathurst in early 1851 and the even greater rush to Ballarat in August of the same year.

Then in quick succession came the rich finds throughout central Victoria, Queensland, Northern Territory and finally the bonanza in Western Australia.

No one was immune from the dramatic effects of the discovery of gold.

One of the first colonies to feel gold’s impact was South Australia, their economy collapsing due to the exit of labour and circulating currency to Victoria’s gold fields.

Adelaide lost almost half its male population within the first three months of the first big gold strike near Ballarat. The Adelaide economy was as good as bankrupt. 

South Australia’s problems were further compounded because there was no method available to convert the gold nuggets the diggers had brought back from Victoria into a form that could be used for monetary transactions.

The South Australian Legislative Council was prohibited from striking sovereigns as it did not have Royal Prerogative from London.

However, an “urgent necessity” clause paved the way for the South Australian Legislative Council to pass the 1852 Bullion Act within two hours.

The Council sought to deflect Royal disapproval by striking gold ingots rather than sovereigns.

type ii ingot also available


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