This is one of only 30,000 BH-3 “ Bunker Hill Smelting Operations Commence – Lead Smelter” silver rounds minted as part of the 1981-1982 Bunker Hill Company Silver Medallion Series. These coins, which commemorate the storied history of the Bunker Hill Company, are made of 1 OZ of .9995 fine silver, have a reeded edge, and are 38.5mm in diameter.
The 1981-1982 Bunker Hill Company Silver Medallion Series contained five beautiful rounds (BH-1 through BH-5) designed by The Metal Arts Company of New York. At the time, they were given in sets of five rounds to employees, investors and key customers. Each round depicts a key event in the History of the Bunker Hill Company. The Bunker Hill Company of Idaho was one of the largest mining and smelting complexes in the world, producing approximately 20% of the supply in America. The complexes also produced over 10,000,000 oz of silver and 12,000 oz of gold on an annual basis.
The BH-3 is the third in the series and commemorates the commencement of smelting operations by the mining company via the opening of its first Lead Smelter in Bradley, Idaho on July 5, 1917. The vertical integration of the company is depicted with a portrait of the immense smelting facility set against the backdrop of the picturesque mountain valley in which it sat, with the tips of trees and the Coeur d’Alene river in the foreground. The smoke spewing from the chimneys of the smelter perhaps foreshadow the environmental disaster that was ongoing, commonplace, and little heeded in the mining industry in the early part of the 20th century.
The front side of the round commemorates the Bunker Hill Silver Company, which closed its operations a year before these coins were struck, in 1982, and indicates the weight and purity, “One Troy Ounce 999.5 Fine” of these rare collectors’ items.
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