Metalrex was founded in Reno, Nevada in 1969 and was operational until around 1993. The hallmark features an oval with the company name, Reno, Nevada, and 999 at the center.

  • Company Location(s): Nevada
  • Dates of Operation: 1969 - 1993
  • Known Bar Sizes: ~1, ~2.5, ~5, ~10, ~15, ~25
  • Related Refiners:


Ernst Karl Kleespies received his degree in Metallurgical Engineering at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Ernie worked for the U.S. Bureau of Mines in Boulder City, NV then, in 1966 was transferred to the Reno, NV branch. In 1969 he founded Metalrex, which specialized in metals research and development.

Metalrex looks to have closed in 1993 with the sell off of their equipment. Ernst passed away in October of 2009 at the age of 77. You can find his obituary here at this link:


Today Metalrex is a highly sought after refiner for both vintage silver bars and vintage gold bars. Perhaps its because there are very few silver bars of Nevada origin around. An undisputed favorite of Metalrex collectors is the ~2.5o oz bar that is actually shaped like the state of Nevada. These always bring an outrageous premium over silver spot prices.

Research credit: Christopher Fleming

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