#4145. Quicksilver Mining (New York) 1875-1916. Mine located in New Almaden, California. 100 shares. PROOF on India paper mounted on card. Brown borders and underprint. Two men pour quicksilver (mercury) in containers. National Bank Note Co. 12.5” x 8”. EF.
As the barometer in the left border and thermometer in the right border indicate, the men in the central vignette are pouring molten quicksilver (mercury) into containers. Mercury was crucial to the process of separating pure gold from gold ore deposits, and that made the quicksilver mine, located in New Almaden, very valuable. During the War Between the States, Lincoln tried to seize the mine on the basis that the title was not clear. He met with armed resistance from the miners, and the Federal Government backed off. In 1866 the company was sold to a group of investors. This piece is an approval PROOF, printed in 1916 from an original National Bank Note Company plate with some minor alterations. National Bank Note Company proofs of any kind are very rare.