This example is a fake numismatic-type item actually made of base metal (typically lead, to lend weight) over which a silver-colored plating has been applied. Silver ingot-shaped Wells Fargo marked items like this have been plaguing collectors of Western memorabilia for years. Recently gold colored examples with the same basic shape and markings found on the silver-colored pieces have also been seen. See our Item ID: 2007RP000275 to view some gold-colored pieces with different stamped markings.
The two silver examples shown in this listing are stamped on the front: "Wells Fargo EXPCO 1860 2 Dols SF CAL" and stamped on the back is the profile of a woman in a head dress that looks much like the likeness of Lady Liberty. She might look familiar to coin collectors, which was the intention.
Different molds and dies are used to make these false Wells Fargo items. Because they are being made in realistic silver and gold colored finishes and because typically they are offered to buyers as authentic antiques made by the Wells Fargo company, some buyers have paid quite dearly to own them. Only later do they discover they are fakes. That Wells Fargo never made stamped coinage or imprinted ingots of any kind, neither real or commemorative, not in silver or gold.
The first piece shown measures 1 13/16 inches by 1 3/8 inches, but we are showing another shaped slightly differently with a notched corner. Keep in mind not only are these marked with a variety of markings, they are also typically made in variously shaped molds and so may have different measurements.
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
Item listings in this shop are intended to be viewed for educational purposes, only. Items in this shop are not for sale.