Engelhard was founded in 1902 in Newark, New Jersey. This company soon became the world's largest precious metals refurber. In the mid-1970's Engelhard made gold, silver, platinum & palladium bullion bars.
It was not until the early 1980's, that the company started to produce bullion rounds known as the Engelhard Prospector. They were stuck from 1982 until 1987 when their production of precious metal ceased. 1987 was the second year of the American silver Eagle, which became vastly more popular.
American Prospector gold and silver rounds were stuck in 1/10, 1/4, 1/2, and 1 oz sizes. The fractional sized silver rounds were produced in smaller numbers and only in 1985. Understandably, they have higher premiums due to their rarity.
As with other numismatics, the Prospector series has a key date. The 1983 is far more difficult to find than the other coins in this short lived series. The rounds generally follow the silver bullion market, but the 1983 will typically cost three to four times as much as the other rounds in the series.
Engelhard silver and gold rounds are far rarer than the American Silver Eagle, with only 700,000 silver rounds ever minted. The lowest Silver Eagle production year was 1996, when they made only 3,603,000.
The Engelhard mint was the only private mint at the time who could say they rivaled federal mints from around the world. They are certainly worth the premium they do not seem to get on their products.
The Engelhard trademark started as a capital E overlaying a world globe. They used this logo on all their products until sometime in 1984, when the Prospector reverse became a flying eagle. This allows collectors to buy both the 1984 with eagle reverse and with the original “E” reverse.
The bars came in many sizes, but the most popular sizes are 1, 5, 10, and 100 oz denominations. Their silver bars have the famous “E” logo along with their name written out on both sides of the bar. All of the bars are clean cut and uniform. Silver bar production reached to 4,000,000 units.
Engelhard may be the most well-known name when it comes to silver bars, but they are not the only big name in the field. Other popular names include Sunshine Minting, Johnson Matthey, Pamp Suisse, and Silvertowne. Each of these companies has been around for many years and enjoys a reputation similar to Engelhard.
Probably, the best place to buy an Engelhard silver bar or round is on the internet. You will be able to choose from the lowest mark ups, and may even find versions of the bar that you did not even know existed before. There are many, many variations of their silver bars.