Potosi Mine Gold-Silver Ingot (112134)

Currency:USD Category:Coins & Paper Money / Ingots Start Price:5,000.00 USD Estimated At:10,000.00 - 20,000.00 USD
Potosi Mine Gold-Silver Ingot  (112134)
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Small gold silver ingot from the Bill Bliss Collection engraved "Blasdel". The Bliss Collection consists of several ingots presented to members of the Bliss family over time. The family was the backbone of the Tahoe timber industry. They also built the early Tahoe tourism industry by constructing the Tahoe Tavern and operating a line of passenger steamers.

This ingot is about 8 grams, 7 x 12 x 4mm thick with a loop at one end, used as a "charm" for Grace Blasdel. The old handwritten label with the ingot states that it was given to Grace Blasdel on her wedding day (in 1895). Grace's husband was Henry Blasdel Jr., son of Nevada's first Governor, Henry G. Blasdel. The Blasdel family at one point married into the Bliss family.

While the old label states "From the Potosi Mine- the first coinage of SF Mint", this cannot be true, since the Mint opened in 1854. However, Blasdel arrived on the Comstock in 1861, and this tiny ingot is undoubtedly from his early period, and must have been one of Gov. Blasdel's trophies, which he passed on to his son.

The Potosi mine was discovered in 1859 and by 1860 had encountered ground as rich as the Ophir. By 1868, a huge bonanza orebody had been mined extending from about 39 feet below the surface to 650 feet deep, and stretched about 800 feet along strike, encompassing Chollar ground and almost all the way to the Hale & Norcross. The orebody was accessed by four shafts, of which the Potosi shaft was the central piece. The Potosi tunnel spanned well over two thousand feet at about the 300 level.

This is only one of two high percentage gold ingots known from the Comstock. The other was an award for a student, and has since disappeared to this writer (FH). The provenance of the Bliss family is impeccable, known to this writer for several decades.

Country (if not USA):
State: Nevada
City/County: Virginia City