The .999 pure silver Prospector from Engelhard is without question the most well known and trusted silver round ever produced. Most people who collect coins and especially those who are interested in investing in precious metals are familiar with the Engelhard name.
“Engelhard” is equivalent to strict standards and high quality. The name gives both buyers and sellers of silver confidence in the silver rounds value – or at the least it will convey more confidence than other silver rounds.
In the late 1970s Engelhard, Johnson-Matthey and several other silver refineries started manufacturing silver bullion for sale to investors and collectors. In the beginning it was almost entirely 10 and 100 ounce bars. But soon numerous companies were offering smaller units.
Engelhard Silver Prospector The First Silver Round
Engelhard was actually the first silver refinery to produce silver bullion in a round, coin-like shape. The first Silver Round was the Engelhard Prospector. The obverse of the Silver Prospector shows a prospector kneeling by a stream, panning for gold. Several designs were used for the reverse.
The Engelhard 1-ounce silver Prospector was produced for only 6 years, from 1982 to 1988 and bear the dates 1983 – 1987. Despite it’s short production run the Prospector has become one of the most trusted and well-known silver rounds completely dominating the market. In fact, even today people from all around the world would be more likely to recognize a silver Prospector than any other silver round.
Because of the Engelhard reputation, silver Prospectors generally sell at higher premiums when compared to silver rounds from other companies like Sunshine, APMEX, Disney, and Silvertowne. There can be exceptions though so keep a look out. If you are searching through one of those mixed silver round baskets/trays you may see Prospectors at the same price as other silver rounds.
Canadian Silver Prospector
The Canadian Silver Prospector was released in a special collector’s box in 1987. The obverse shows the familiar prospector panning in the stream. The reverse displays a Canada Goose. I have read that people have seen the Canadian Silver Prospector with an Eagle on the reverse. The only photo I found shows a goose.
It seems that there is little to no information “out there” about the Canadian Silver Prospector. On one site I read that they were struck in the late 1970s. Yet on another I found that they were produced 1985 – 1986. It is assumed that Engelhard melted it’s stock of Canadian Silver Prospectors in order to produce other bars and silver rounds.
The final result is that the Canadian Silver Prospector is one mysterious and sought after collectible.
More Information & Resources about the Silver Prospector:
Be wary of Counterfeit Silver Prospectors!
“There have been a number of plated bars and rounds offered on eBay for several years now, and it is our goal to educate collectors, so that they may spot suspect bars and protect themselves. Despite several aggressive campaigns to have these listings removed, eBay has failed the collector community by not taking necessary action to keep the marketplace safe and protect its members…”
All Engelhard page for counterfeit commercial bars and rounds
Written by Beauregard J. Finnegan Esq. & Copyright 2014 CoinCollectorGuide.com