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A Very Unusual Round Silver Ingot From The Padre Kino Treasure Hoard, FAKE or REAL ?

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A Very Unusual Round Silver Ingot From The Father/Padre Kino Treasure Hoard from Sonora, Mexico.  FAKE or REAL ?

NOTE: We are not saying that this example is Fake or Real and selling the item "AS IS..."  The buyer can be the judge...  Do your own research.  There are plenty of articles and opinions out there.

A round silver ingot with a raised "V" over "T" a "Cross" "F" over the date "1691".  The ingot is mounted in a simple display frame to be hung on the wall.

Overall Ingot Weight: 353.9 grams of silver and other metals are know to be mixed in such as Zinc, Copper, Tin, Iron and Titanium.

Some quick research on similar Father Kino Ingots:

According to: a description of (2) ingots that sold at the Holabird-Kagin Americana auction in Reno, NV on November 30, 2011

THE AUCTION DESCRIPTION:
1691 - “Father Kino” Famous Hoax Ingots By Fred N. Holabird, 2011

Introduction: The Father Kino ingots are among the great hoaxes of twentieth century numismatics. First appearing in national media print in 1947, though allegedly discovered in the 1930’s, the ingots sparked a series of articles in various publications, such as the prestigious Arizona Highways Magazine. The ingots were reportedly discovered by Milton Rose in the 1930’s. No information regarding the “discovery” appears in the public sector until the 1940’s, after Rose put some of the bars on display at the Arizona Mining and Minerals Museum in Tucson in 1947, and a subsequent detailed article in Arizona Highways Magazine in 1948. The story of Kino is interesting, but the underlying and even more significant “big picture” regarding the fabrication of counterfeit ingots cannot be ignored. Karl Moulton, in his upcoming book on John Ford and Paul Franklin, wrote a detailed account of his research findings that is remarkably telling in what it says and doesn’t say. My take on it is that these bars are the first of a series of fake ingots made specifically to deceive the public. They show similar characteristics to many of the questioned bars supposedly discovered years later, and the alleged date of the “discovery” of the Kino ingots and subsequent initial publication far predates any involvement in the “industry” by Ford and Franklin. There remains a group of people, particularly treasure hunters, who still believe these ingots are original and legitimate. The Father (Padre) Kino Story Kino was born Eusebio Kino in northern Italy in August 1645. At the age of 18 he became so sick that he vowed if cured, he’d become a missionary for the Church. Highly schooled in science and math, Kino was chosen for a mission to New Spain, “the New World.” In 1678 he left for Genoa to go to the New World, but the group of Jesuits missed their boat, and, instead of taking the “next boats” which were slave boats designed to go to Africa to take slaves then venture to the New World, it took them three years to get onboard another ship. Once ashore in the New World, Kino then made his way to Sonora, then north into the Santa Cruz and Gila river regions in Arizona. He settled for a time in Baja California, drawing attention to the fact that California was NOT an island, as reported on all the maps, and they could travel north and east to the Gila region, the land of the Pima Indians. In November, 1694 he “discovered” the giant ruins of a previous civilization at Casa Grande, reportedly the first account of the ruins by a white man. By the early 1700’s miners and other Spaniards complained that the Jesuits had control of all the good land in Pima Country, a conflict that lasted for years. The Arizona Highways article entitled “The Trail of Padre Kino” discussed how this educated man was on a mission to educate and Christianize the Indians of the Southwest, introducing cattle and farming techniques to the region. He was reportedly killed by Indians in 1711. The Pima and Apache were rival tribes, with the latter causing great difficulties to explorers and miners for more than a century. Early mining in the remote areas of southern Arizona has been known since Spanish times, though it was limited to mostly prospecting. Reports of Kino and these early Spanish prospects were published by Emory from his 1846 explorations through the southwest and others in the early 19th century. Near the junction (of the Gila and Colorado rivers), on the north side, are the remains of an old Spanish Church, built near the beginning of the 17th century, by the renowned missionary, Father Kino. The mission was eventually sacked by the Indians and the inhabitants all murdered or driven off. Reports of Spanish mining in the southern Arizona region were further researched by subsequent American exploring expeditions fueled by the California Gold Rush. One of the very early companies, the Sonora Exploring and mining Co., reported to stockholders in 1857 that a theory was held that the proportion of silver contained in the ores increases as you advance towards the north. They further opined: The idea probably originated in the famous Bolas de Plata (Balls of Silver) of Arizona, in the beginning of the last century (c1700-1710), which was, and probably still is, believed in Europe to be one of those fables, with which mining countries always abound. Treasure Hunting Rush Ensues Reports of the discovery of these ingots in Arizona Highways fueled more treasure hunters. Whether it was looking for buried Spanish treasure or the Lost Dutchman mine, treasure hunters crawled the hills and mountains of remote and treacherous Arizona regions looking for the mysterious and elusive rumored riches. The argument for thee lost mines was not new: In fact, the Spanish were so intent on finding Quivera, the mythical city of gold, that they sent numerous expeditions into Mexico and America in search of the El Dorado. A young Paul Franklin, drawn to treasure hunting through friends he met during WWII, was an eager and gullible target for the hoaxers, and so were thousands of others. Franklin was given several photographs of the “discovery” of the ingots in the mid-1950’s, one reproduced here, kindly offered from the family. Franklin thought there were two batches of ingots- one real, and one fake. He felt the ingots with a white cast, an oxide or alkalai coating on some ingots indicated they were real or authentic. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Today, current scientific and advanced study lead to the conclusion that the ingots are fake.  New Evidence Ernie Richards and Alan Craig’s book on Spanish ingots is perhaps the best telling evidence of their fabrication. Through time, particularly after WWII, treasure hunters and divers in Florida began to find silver coin and the occasional silver bar. Then Mel Fisher hit it big with the Atocha in 1985 using a technique that his men developed to help clean the sand from the bottom of the ocean and expose the heavy metals that sat on the original ground surface, or hardpan. Because of Fisher’s salvage innovations, divers began finding more and more bars, all from the mid 1500’s through the eighteenth century. Wrecks from Spanish treasure fleets from 1554 (San Estiban, etc), c1590’s (Power Plant wreck), 1622 (Atocha, etc), 1656 (Mimbres), 1660 (Jupiter), 1715 (Plate Fleet), 1733, 1766 (Duke of York) produced coins and ingots. Craig & Richards’ study provides factual data and information on two hundred years of Spanish ingot production in the New World, 1554-1766, showing good consistency throughout, and in fact, shows the early methods and customs used that were later carried on by American assayers a century later. Not one single ingot has been found from the treasure fleets made in the style of the Kino ingots – the outward embossed letters and unusual shapes. I find it interesting that no one discussing the Kino ingots thought to compare the legitimate silver ingots found off the Florida and other east coast areas where wrecks of Spanish treasure fleets abound. For decades, silver ingots from the Spanish treasure fleets were being found one at a time, but rarely were publicized, until Fisher’s gigantic discovery in the mid 1980’s of over 920 silver bars. The embossing on the Kino ingots was made from crude carving of letters into the ingot molds. Further, the ingots were small, and many of uniform size. The smallness was possibly due to the fakers intent that the bars be made in a manner for use in monetary circulation, something generally not seen in Spanish bars, and not more common until American ingot production. Some have a crude bullion punch on the reverse with a figure of what may be royalty, as a clever attempt to show some higher governmental authority. Research by Dr. Gene Lyon, as well as that by Craig & Richards shows that any legitimate silver bar must have the King’s tax stamp to show the owner paid the quinto, or fifth tax. To not have the tax stamp indicates illegal contraband (see the writeup on the Atocha ingot). While we now know from research that some silver processed in the Arizona region did not pay their quinto, the placement of a phony looking bullion punch on the reverse of one ingot inconsistent with the others belies the problem of the payment of the King’s quinto, and thus was a poor effort to try to legitimize the fakes. Additionally, as evidenced by the many contraband bars listed by Craig and Richards, these ingots would not contain the names of men in Kino’s group if they were contraband, nor would they show a sign of the Church (cross), or be dated. Many carry dates, such as 1697, 1707. Physically, the molds themselves are far too perfect, formed with vertical sides, showing no evidence of post-pour assay, a critical mistake. They are, in fact, wonderfully inventive artistic creations, but are not authentic Spanish realm silver bars. When Moulton began his research into the Kino bars, a rather lengthy internet blog session was begun in August 2007, continuing for a solid month. Moulton diligently printed the blogs, which have perhaps more information on these bars that ever seen or read before. The trouble with blogs is that no one will write an article and stand behind their name. This renders interpretation of the blog as unsubstantiated information. Further, not one single blog offering detailed history cites any specific reference, which in the work of a professional researcher amounts to a fatal flaw. While it is reported that a man still owns most of the original hoard found more than 100 years ago, that person is not forthcoming, and serious questions arise as to the validity of any of the reports. Yet they are interesting, nonetheless. It is thought that few survive.

According to: Tucson.com

Padre Kino was born in 1645 in Segno, Italy, and died March 15, 1711, in Magdalena, Sonora. His visible skeletal remains are in a crypt at La Plaza Monumental, about 50 yards from María Magdalena Church.

It was in Northern Sonora and Southern Arizona that the 17th-century priest on horseback explored, farmed and introduced cattle, horses and European crops. He preached the Catholic faith, defended the rights of the poor, and founded 21 missions, including San José de Tumacácori and Mission San Xavier del Bac.
According to the New York Times, August 9, 1981, Section 10, Page 1: 

TOM MILLER, the author of ''On the Border: Portraits of America's Southwestern Frontier,'' lives in Tucson. By TOM MILLER

Sonora, the Mexican state adjoining Arizona, was home for the Italian-born Jesuit missionary Eusebio Francisco Kino from 1687 until his death at the age of 66 in 1711. Father Kino established 25 missions and settlements in the Pimeria Alta, the high Pima land, as he called the region he worked and charted. Many of these same church and town sites are accessible today, either on three-day tours conducted every autumn and spring by the Southwest Mission Research Center at the University of Arizona or independently.

Father Kino's goal was to introduce Christianity and European farming techniques to the Pima and Papago Indians who lived in the Sonora Desert. Following the Kino trail through northern Sonora and southern Arizona can be leisurely and educational. All the highways are paved, and the dirt roads are easy to navigate. The farthest one needs to drive from the United States border is Caborca, approximately 140 miles south and west of Nogales.

TTI-535520