Dave Ginsburg submitted this query about the processing of Nevada bullion, and how much of it might have been processed somewhere other than U.S. Mints. Can anyone help?
I've been doing some research (in the Mint Annual Reports) regarding bullion deposits at the Carson City Mint. Keeping in mind the "accepted wisdom" that the tariffs of the local railroad(s) were set to make it advantageous for local bullion to be shipped to the San Francisco Mint instead of to the Carson City Mint, I expected to find that much more Nevada bullion went to San Francisco than to Carson City.
However, what I found was this: For the 1870 to 1899 period, of the Nevada gold that was deposited at the various mints, Carson City received 62%, the New York Assay Office received 23% and the San Francisco Mint received 13%. Of the Nevada silver, Carson City received 37%, San Francisco received 41%, the New York Assay Office received 12% and the Philadelphia Mint received 10%.
These percentages are subject to some adjustment depending on whether you include "gold parted from silver" or bullion deposited in bar form at the Carson City Mint as "Nevada" bullion. (Obviously, one wouldn't be able to draw any such conclusions regarding the same categories from the San Francisco Mint.)
Frankly, I expected to find that San Francisco had received a larger percentage of Nevada bullion (especially of silver). Considering the size of the Carson City Mint and the amount of time it was closed for one reason or another, I wouldn't necessarily conclude from the deposit records that the Carson City Mint had been unfairly deprived of bullion
Can anyone offer some additional insights? Does anyone know if there were other refiners in California that might have received and then exported Nevada bullion (and which therefore would have escaped the Mint records entirely)?
Wayne Homren, Editor
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