When it comes to silver bullion—especially bars—seasoned investors are likely to know the names Johnson Matthey and Engelhard. These two companies set the standard for privately minted silver bars and other bullion products. And though their legacies live on as reputable sources of pure precious metals, the companies have shifted focus and no longer produce the items that have become staples of bullion investors around the globe.
Why are these companies so important to the precious metals market? Among the many reasons, they started producing high-quality bullion products during a time when many governments stopped issuing gold and silver coinage. Let’s look at a brief history of each company.
Having celebrated their 200th anniversary last year, Johnson Matthey was established in 1817 in London as an assay company that tested the purity of precious metals. The business expanded rapidly and in 1852, it was appointed as the official assayer and refiner to the Bank of England. Success continued as the company was commissioned to produce the kilogram reference standard in 1874.
During the 20th century, Johnson Matthey began refining and manufacturing silver bars from their headquarters in the UK. However, these bars become very popular in North America and other parts of the world. Refineries were opened in Utah and Ontario to help supply the American market with silver bullion. These two facilities were later sold to a Japanese company in 2015.
Silver bullion for investors are no longer produced by Johnson Matthey. Rather, the company now focuses on industrial metals, chemicals, and other endeavors.
Founded by German immigrant Charles Engelhard in 1902, the Engelhard company had modest beginnings in New Jersey. It originally specialized in platinum, largely for industrial purposes like dentistry. This eventually led to the company creating the first catalytic converter—a device that helps reduce vehicular pollution—which was sold to Ford Motor Company in the 1970s. Throughout the 20th century, Engelhard also dipped into industries like pigment and chemical manufacturing .
Engelhard became well known for making high-quality bullion products, like gold and silver bars. The company was even documented as the world’s largest precious metals smelter for a time during its heyday. However, Engelhard was bought by German company BASF in 2006 and now focuses on industrial metal, which eliminated the production of their renowned bullion bars.
Owning These Bars
JM and Engelhard silver bars were made by companies that enjoyed a long history in the refining business, colored by accolades that earned them stellar reputations. Because these bars are no longer produced, they have become scarce in the bullion market. Yet they still pop up when private sellers unload their personal stashes.
Our buyers keep an eye open for these items so we can stock up and offer them to you. And while the low supply and high demand commands a significant premium for these bars, we try to offer you low pricing whenever possible.
For a limited time, Provident is excited to run a sale on all 10 oz JM and Engelhard silver bars.Not bad for bullion products that are now considered to be collectibles! Will you be taking advantage of this deal and adding to your bullion portfolio?