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Thread: History of the Engelhard Prospector Round

  1. Post #1

    Midas Member
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    Default History of the Engelhard Prospector Round

    One of my Favorites

    Mintage of Engelhard Prospectors
    The 1983's Engelhard Silver Prospectors are the hardest to find, followed by the 1986, and then 1987.

    Engelhard 1 oz. Prospector Silver Coins
    In the early 1970s, investors turned to silver bullion as protection against rising inflation. (Americans did not regain the right to legally own gold bullion until December 31, 1974.) In addition to the problem of inflation, the US government had suppressed the price of silver in the 1960s, making silver an attractive investment.

    Initially, numerous small mints turned out a variety of silver bullion products: 1-oz and 2-oz rounds, 5-oz, 10-oz, 25-oz, 50-oz and 100-oz bars. In only a few years, however, 1-oz rounds and 10-oz and 100-oz bars became the preferred forms for owning physical silver bullion, and production of the other sizes ceased. Today, some of the earlier items surface from time to time.

    In the late 1970s as the price of silver began to climb, the major silver refineries, such as Handy & Harman, Johnson-Matthey, and Engelhard, began producing silver bullion products, primarily 100-oz and 10-oz bars. Engelhard was the first to market 1-oz silver bullion rounds, which carried an image of a prospector panning, oddly enough, for gold. Silver, unlike gold, is not found in alluvial deposits.

    Engelhard's silver Prospectors soon dominated the 1-oz silver round market. Even Johnson-Matthey, which introduced an inspiring series of Freedom Rounds centered on the Bill of Rights, was unable to compete. In the late 1980s, though, as interest in precious metals waned, Engelhard stopped producing products for silver investors. Undoubtedly instrumental in Engelhard's decision to cease production of Prospectors was competition from the US Mint's legal tender Silver Eagles, which sold at only a few cents more than did the non-legal tender Prospectors.

    The same kneeling prospector graces the obverse of all Prospectors; however, Engelhard used several different designs for the reverse. Prospectors are dated, 1983-1987, and generally come in tubes of twenty-five coins. Some Prospectors were packaged individually in thin protective plastic packets and sometimes show up still in plastic.

    Because of their excellent striking and because they carry the Engelhard hallmark, Prospectors sell at higher premiums over spot than do the Sunshine silver rounds and the Indian Head/Buffalo silver rounds. Since Prospectors are no longer produced, they are not always available.

    Courtesy CMI

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  3. Post #2

    Gold Member Gold Rush's Avatar
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    Default Re: History of the Engelhard Prospector Round

    I have always liked the Englehard Prospector rounds and thought they are a great looking round..about a year ago, I sold some scrap sterling silver to Midwest Refineries and they made settlement with 26 Englehard Prospector's 1-1985 & 25-1987's each one is shinny and looks just about new..
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Snapshot_20110723.JPG   Snapshot_20110723_15.JPG  

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  4. Post #3

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    Default Re: History of the Engelhard Prospector Round

    I've got a few 82s and 83s, are they worth any more than the other years?

  5. 07-23-2011, 04:52 AM

  6. Post #4

    Getting Acclimated Prospector
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    Default Re: History of the Engelhard Prospector Round

    These are 82's, in the plastic packets mentioned. These packets came in rows/groups of ten. It's the lighting that's making them look copper colored.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails prospector 2.jpg   prospector 3.jpg  

    Last edited by smyles; 07-23-2011 at 12:51 PM.

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  8. Post #5

    Gold Member 97guns's Avatar
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    Default Re: History of the Engelhard Prospector Round

    thanks for the info, my local guy has a slew of prospectors that he sells for his std 1.50 over. i pick a few up everytime i stop by, been buying them since $16
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