Engelhard Silver, Johnson Matthey Silver & Sunshine Silver

Posted by on October 31, 2011
One troy ounce pure silver rounds (photo by sirquitos*)

One troy ounce pure silver rounds (photo by sirquitos*)

Buyers of Silver Rounds will often see three famous names: Engelhard Silver Johnson Matthey Silver Sunshine Silver. These names refer to Engelhard Corporation, Johnson Matthey, and Sunshine Minting. They process silver: mining, smelting, refining, and selling. Here is some of their history...

Engelhard Corporation was started by Charles Engelhard who emigrated to the United States in 1891 from Germany first working as a foreign sales agent and a marketer of platinum.  Charles Engelhard decided to stay and started working with several precious metal companies.  In the early 1900’s Engelhard was able to make inroads into industrial applications such as jewelry and dental applications.  Platinum was always central to his business and when a large mine came across a significant load he was able to take advantage of its industrial applications.  Engelhard Industries was well on its way and Charles Engelhard incorporated as Porocel Corporation in 1938.

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Charles Engelhard gathered interests and merged various precious metals related companies increasing his wealth and affluence in the mining and related industries.  The industrial application for precious metals continued to expand into textiles, motor vehicle engines, and petroleum industries.  Charles Engelhard Jr., inherited the family metals concerns in 1950 until his death in 1971.  Engelhard’s legacy of providing the best of metals and inorganic solution for industry is still prevalent as BASF in all of its interests.  Engelhard Materials Services still is the industry’s benchmark for silver purity and can deliver anywhere around the world at any time.

Johnson Matthey is a London based public limited company and has a tradition of dealing with precious metals and also has branched into various chemical manufacturing.  Percival Norton Johnson started as a gold assayer in London in 1817 and George Matthey joined Johnson in 1851 and their business became Johnson & Matthey.  In 1852 their firm was appointed Official Assayer & Refiner to the Bank of England.  They branched in to Birmingham and Sheffield supplying various trades with precious metals and supply as silver solder and flux which they produced.

In 1960 Johnson Matthey formed Johnson Matthey Bankers (JMB) and took a seat on the London Gold Market Fixing Ltd.  In the 1980’s JMB expanded outside of the bullion market and started making high risk loans.  These paid off well until 1984 when the amount of the loans far exceeded the banks capital.  Because of JMB’s seat on the London Gold Market Fixing Ltd. the Bank of London's officials were worried of a large scale panic.  In order to forestall a panic the Bank of England bought JMB for one pound on September 30, of 1984.  Most of JMB’s business has been sold since but they are still a major producer of silver bullion.

Sunshine Minting Inc. (SMI) is a privately held company based in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, USA.  SMI started as an in-company department of Sunshine Mining which was mining the Sunshine Mine.  The Sunshine mine was worked for over a century and one of the world’s richest silver mines.  The mine produced over 360 million ounces of silver and is estimated of containing at least an additional 26 million ounces of silver.  SMI became a separate company in 1994, thus saving it from Sunshine Mining bankruptcy after some dubious business decisions in 2002 leaving the Sunshine Mine idle.

SMI specializes in mining of precious metals, their refining, and using them for the manufacture of bullion, coin blanks, coins, and medallions.  They also offer on-site storage at their facilities in Coeur d’Alene for customers who own at least 10oz of gold or 500 oz of silver.  SMI is known for supplying the United States Mint with silver planchets.  They are capable of producing silver bullion as small as 1 gram to large 100 oz bars.

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2 Responses to Engelhard Silver, Johnson Matthey Silver & Sunshine Silver

  1. Coin Dealers NYC

    It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

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