Welcome to ALL ENGELHARD‘s proprietary Investment and Collectibility Rating [ICR] system. The ICR rating system is a valuation guide for our community to define collectibility and investment classifications for all Engelhard bars and ingots. These ratings are designated on our Definitive Pages as Tier 1 through Tier 5, with Tier 1 representing the most rare examples and Tier 5 representing the more common examples, per the classification categories found below.
Engelhard bars and ingots were not all created equal. Each Engelhard variety has its own unique design and personality, with specific strengths, and yes, weaknesses. Later production varieties were near perfectly-machined under precise manufacturing methods, with vibrant hallmark and flawless stamping, and often a proof-like finish… while earlier ingots were poured and stamped by hand in a far more artistic and old-world method.
It is this charm and character found only in hand-produced ingots that are in such high favor by today’s collectors. Ingots born of the same casting mould each demonstrate a different personality. Every hand poured piece carries a unique shape and patina. Inconsistent and irregular stampings, erratic cooling lines, and occasional surface voids from casting air bubbles all combine to create an incomparable impression that must be experienced to fully appreciate.
The Engelhard name is an international Icon – a name that receives instant recognition in any language. With the newest of Engelhard bars now more than 30 years old and regarded as vintage by every definition, Engelhard has become an essential component of precious metals history and receives immediate respect for its namesake worldwide.
Valuation is not entirely based on rarity. The visual appeal and overall condition of a bar or ingot is what stimulates a buyer’s desire to pursue a piece, and, by doing so, also establishes value. Rare ingot and bar collectors approach their hobby much in the same way as coin collectors, where strong emphasis is placed on visual appeal and attractiveness. Factors such as a weak hallmark stamping, personalized engraving, polished or cleaned finish, scratches, nicks or dents all negatively influence valuations. And certain factors may positively influence value, such as strong and precise stampings, double stampings and other production errors, unique serial numbers, interesting cooling patterns and lines, and natural patina. To illustrate, a 1916-D Mercury dime in Good condition is valued in the $350 range. If the same coin had rim damage and had been cleaned it may be valued at $200. However, the valuation for MS62 condition is in the $15,000 range! That’s quite a disparity for a coin with a mintage of 264,000. And to think that a Tier 1 Engelhard ingot has a mintage of less than 500!
Over the past decade, the noticeable overall decrease in availability and dramatic price action of Engelhard Legacy Ingots truly reveal a change in collector sentiment. We fully expect this to only amplify as the collector audience grows and awareness of the inherent scarcity of Legacy Ingots intensifies.
|ICR TIER 1|
Classification: <500 MINTAGE
These are iconic ingots of lowest production and remain the most highly valued Engelhard pieces. They carry a high probability of enjoying further appreciation from a collectibility standpoint. While these examples are typically traded privately among advanced and knowledgeable collectors, they may on rare occasion become available at public auction, frequently selling at extraordinary prices. Examples of Tier 1 Legacy Ingots include all Top-Logo varieties, 2oz, 4oz and 7oz ingots, most 3oz and 25oz varieties, London Kilo and ½ Kilo class.
|ICR TIER 2|
Classification: <5,000 MINTAGE
Tier 2 legacy ingots are comparatively more available than Tier 1 ingots. Values are often close to Tier 1 though not quite as spectacular. These, too, are seldom seen offered online, and are acquired in very short order if they do come available. The investment potential is excellent on these Tier 2 ingots as there are more potential buyers in this field than the one above. Examples of Tier 2 ingots include most 5oz and 10oz varieties in ‘T.oz’ variation, and most 20oz class ingots.
|ICR TIER 3|
Classification: <20,000 MINTAGE
These bars offer exceptional value as they are of relatively low production yet reasonably available to collectors. Prices on these examples remain realistically competitive, as of this writing, much in the same way our Tier 1 and 2 examples were just a few short years ago. These pieces offer strong value in their combined appeal of frequent availability and relative scarcity. Tier 3 examples include Engelhard Industries of Canada 1oz bars, ‘P’ series 5oz bars, ‘W’ series 10oz ingots and 4th series 20oz ingots.
|ICR TIER 4|
Classification: <75,000 MINTAGE
These are pedigree Engelhard namesake bars, solid investment bars for collectors to accumulate and enjoy. Many of these bars share the same great characteristics as the above Legacy Ingots, but are far more common. These bars may not appreciate as much as our Legacy Ingots from a collectibility standpoint; however, they are more reasonably priced, and represent an excellent collectible bullion investment choice that we expect will outperform most bullion products on the market. Tier 4 examples include 7th and 10th series 10oz ingots, common 10oz Canadian ingots and extruded 5oz bars.
|ICR TIER 5 |
PRODUCTION BULLION Classification: >75,000 MINTAGE
These are the more common Engelhard bars and rounds that were widely produced throughout the 1980’s. They still carry the well recognized Engelhard Hallmark and reputation as the preeminent bullion refiner of our era. While this category represents a far greater production than any of the above categories, it is of significant interest to note that more US Silver Eagles were minted and sold in October of 2014 than ALL Engelhard bars EVER produced. Any questions?!