April 30, 2010

France, 1835: Platinum's Relative Value Evaluated

1835: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (Refined) = Fr. 27.99 (USD$ 5.23)

Citation: Code universitaire, ou lois, status et règlemens de l'université royale de ...Ambroise Rendu (1835) 





1835: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (refined, pure, coined) = Fr. 27.99 (USD$ 5.23)

c.1834:
Citation:De l'histoire et de la nature de la propriété souterraine  ; Auguste Perdonnet (1835) p.19




It's almost inconceivable in this age of simulacra that once upon a time, a gold medal was  actually made of real gold. (The Olympic Gold isn't: it's lightly plated silver.)  Where "prix" is both PRICE & PRIZE, the intrinsic value of a medal's metal is significant.  

The relation of Platinum to Silver and Gold was a persistent question throughout the 19th C., from 1802 to 1900. At the time when Russia had monetized Platinum in proportion to Silver & Gold, the weight, size & value of a Platinum medallion was evaluated in France:

Citation: Bulletin de la Société d'encouragement pour l'industrie nationale, Volume 21, Société d'encouragement pour l'industrie nationale (1835) p.353-4
 


Citation: Le prompt Calculateur: contenant: 1. les principes du Calcul decimal. 2. un ... J. L. Suret  (1837), p.12




c.1835: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Refined, Retail) = Fr 31. (USD$ 5.82)

c.1835/6:
Citation: Médecine légale, théorique et pratique: avec le texte et l ..., Vol. 2  Alphonse Devergie, J.-B.-F Dehaussy de Robécourt p.895




It's almost inconceivable in this age of simulacra "once upon a time" a gold medal was  actually made of real gold. (The Olympic Gold isn't: it's plated silver.)  Where "prix" is both PRICE & PRIZE, the intrinsic value of a medal's metal is significant.  

The relation of Platinum to Silver and Gold was a persistent question throughout the 19th C., from 1802 to 1900. At the time when Russia had monetized Platinum in proportion to Silver & Gold, the weight, size & value of a Platinum medallion was evaluated in France:

1835: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Refined, Medal: Mkt ) = Fr 27.99 (USD$ 5.23)

Citation: Bulletin de la Société d'encouragement pour l'industrie nationale, Volume 21, Société d'encouragement pour l'industrie nationale (1835) p.353-4
 

Citation: Le prompt Calculateur: contenant: 1. les principes du Calcul decimal. 2. un ... By J. L. Suret  (1837), p.12

Where a 40 Fr. silver medal (6.43  Troy Ounces) has a volume of 753.67 mill. and Platinum is 1.9417 times heavier, the weight the same sized Platinum medallion would be 388.34 grams or 12.49 Troy Ounces (@ Fr. 349.52)  

In 1832/3, the quoted US retail price for large platinum manufactured imports was $ 6. - 6.25./oz.  The US retail price was 84% higher than the European ingot price. 

1835: French platina import (80% ore) = 52 Kgs. = 1,672 Ozt.
1835: French Pt import (.999) = 41.6 Kgs. = 1,337.6 Ozt. 


 



Adjusting for Real Inflation since 1835 (8,167%) we can extrapolate the Paris  price for refined, pure ingot Platinum to be $ 432. (in 2009 USD$.)

Where a 40 Fr. silver medal (6.43 Troy Ounces) has a volume of 753.67 mill and Platinum is 1.9417 times heavier, the weight the same sized Platinum medallion would be 388.34 grams or 12.49 Troy Ounces (@ Fr. 349.52)  

Adjusting for Real Inflation since 1835 (8,167%) we can extrapolate the Paris  price for refined, pure ingot Platinum to be $ 432. (in 2009 USD$.)

April 29, 2010

France, 1808-1810: Platinum Standard; Jannetty's Platinum

"Some time ago" must refers to the Paris price in Specie-Money before 1811, ~5 years prior: this Thaler price corresponds to Jeannetty's prices before Cuoq & Couturier began merchandising Breant's Platinum (1814.) 

c.1808-10: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (refined, Paris mkt) = Thlr 8.51  (Fr 30. -32.)

In 1813, where £ 1. = Thlr. 4.555 (Berlin) and although the London price was £ 0.875:

1813: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (refined, London retail) ~ Thlr 4.25  (£ 0.934)


c.1813:

V. Die neuesten Ansichten, Erfahrungen und Beobachtungen über die Metalle, ihr Vorkommen in der Natur, ihre Eigenschaften und ihre Anwendung im menschlichen Leben. (Vom Herrn Assessor Schrader.) (Fortsetzung von B. I. ; S. 21 2c.)


The price of platinum has long been much lower than gold.  Some time ago in Paris, a Loth of worked platinum cost only 4 Rthlr in our specie, and in London it's now only half that price.

Citation: Museum des Neuesten und Wissenswürdigsten aus dem Gebiete der ..., Vol. 4; Sigismund Friedrich Hermbstaedt (1815) p.54

c.1810:

"An even greater difference than in the purity is between prices of platinum from Wollaston and Janetty.  From the former, Platinum costs twelve shillings the ounce, from the latter one pays 36 francs an ounce, and scrap platinum is taken in at 15 francs again. The difference is a little stark. You could betommen crude platinum in Paris to a maximum of 12 francs the ounce. One has therefore enough to the self-editing and then still have the new metals."


Gehlen's complaint of Janetty's manufacture appears confirmed by widely different thermo-electric conductivity for platinumware.






France, 1851: Summary of the French Platinum Industry, to 1851

1850: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (UK: Sheet, Whols.) ~ Fr. 40.20 - 40.90 (£ 1.60)
 

1851: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (Mfg, Intrinsic?) = Fr 37.324 (USD$ 7.09 - 7.28)

1853: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Semi-Mfg, Ret.) = Fr 46.65 (USD $ 9.14)



1856 Deleuil Catalogue: 50 Large Elements cost Fr 275. @ Fr. 5.40, ~USD$ 50.93



Dr. Silliman visited Paris in 1851 and purchased Bunsen's Carbon Batteries at that time; the 10" battery element cost ~$1.10 (~Fr. 5.64 - 5.79, Fr 5.50)

 

1851: 
  





August 1851: Hachette's Platinumware about 2x Silverware, Retail.

Advertisement: Catalogue des articles de matériel d'école qui se trouvent chez L. HACHETTE et Cie, Rue Pierre Sarrazin, No. 14, à Paris.


1851 French Imports of Platinum: 

1851-55: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (Tariffed Rate) = Fr. 93.31


 














France, 1814: Platinum Price Drop, Cornered Market

DSQ 

c.1812: The Joint Venture of Cuoq & M. Bréant


In 1812, Cuoq & Courturier imported & stockpiled a large quantity of platina. Around the same time, M. Bréant's discovery of Wollaston's method inaugurated a great development for French manufactures. This combination signaled the end of the philosopher-artisan period in Platinum's history.

The establishment of proper factory, cheaply producing & merchandising refined Platinum, led to a 50% price drop within two years. Unable to complete economically, Wollaston ended his Platinum business in 1820.

The drop in manufactured (retail) platinum prices in France was profound, but stable.

c. 1812: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Paris: Wire) = Fr 30.48 (~£ 1.61; USD$ 6.51)

1812: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (UK: Wire) ~ Fr. 15.92 (£ 0.8355)
1812: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (scrap) = Fr. 15.24 (£ 0.80; USD$ 3.01)
1812: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (UK: scrap) ~ Fr. 4.75 (£ 0.25)


1814: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (US First Base Price) =  Fr. 20.576
 
1817: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (manufactured) = Fr. 18.29 (USD$ 3.617)
1817: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (refined) = Fr. 15.24 (USD$ 3.01)



Citation: Annales de l'industrie manufacturilere, agricole ..., Vol. 2, Issues 4-6 (1827) p.133


Citation: Journal de pharmacie et des sciences accessoires (1817) p.142




1814: "Janety fils" no longer using the arsenic method of purification


c. 1826
Citation: Traité complet de l'art du dentiste d'après l'état actuel des connaissances...; F. Maury (1828) p.430



1814-26: Jean-Robert Bréant begins processing 3,100.025 kgs of platina from the Spanish Crown (stockpile of Casa de Platina) = 99,668 Ozt platina @ 72% pure = 71,761 Ozt Pt (2,232 Kgs.)

Assuming 12 years of work, Bréant produced 5,980 Ozt (186 Kgs) per year, or 15.5 Kgs per month.

Citation: Industrie des métaux précieux ; Honoré Théodoric P.J. d' Albert (1854)

  



1827: Historical reference (to 1812-17) and Louvre Ingot of 1827


c.1815/6:
The Paris retail price platina had fallen from a High of Fr 162.71/oz circa 1757.

Citation: The Journal of science and the arts, Vol. 3 ; Royal Institution of Great Britain (1818) p. 259

 

Cuocq's biography



France, c.1814: Refined Price Level Drops by >56%

After 1812 and probably in 1813/4, the refined Price of Platinum in Paris fell by at least 56%. 

1816: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (manufactured)  = Fr 18.29 (USD$ 4.)
1816: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (refined)  = Fr 15.24 (USD$ 3.34)


Citation: Bulletin de la Societe D'Encouragement, 1817, p.33-5.




"The price of this metal has fallen by half."
c.1817
Citation: Traité élémentaire de pharmacie théorique: d'après l'état actuel de la chimie; By Joseph Bienaimé Caventou (1819) p.696

France, 1812: High Price Level Persists

1810: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (manufactured, retail) ~ Fr 36.57 (~£ 1.80, USD$ 7.74)
1810: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (UK: mfg, retail) ~ Fr 20.38 (£ 1.0)

1811: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Paris: unmfg) = Fr 31.1 (~£ 1.75, USD$ 6.67)
1811: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (UK: wire) ~ Fr 22.25 (£ 0.80)

1812: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Paris: wire) = Fr 30.48 (~£ 1.61; USD$ 6.51)
1812: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (UK: wire, Cary retail) = Fr 16.25
1812; 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (UK: wire, Accum retail) = Fr 20.10
1812: 1 Troy Oz Platinum (Mfg: Accum retail) = Fr. 22.96

1811/2: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (mfg, retail) ~ Fr 36.57

1813: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (mfg, retail) = Fr 31.103 

Dated 17 February, 1812:
Citation: Bulletin de pharmacie, Vol. 4 Université royale de France; (1812)  p.310





Platinum industrial manufactures typically sold for  Fr. 36./oz. in 1811.

1812: 
1st Vase = Fr. 2,911?
14.57 Inches Dia., 10.04 In. deep.
2.476 Kgs (79.605 Ozt.), so 3.6184 Ozt/per Litre

2nd Vase = Fr. 2,067?
12.795 Inches Dia., 9.252 In. deep.
1.758 Kgs (56.521 Ozt.), so 3.5326 Ozt/per Litre 


 
Citation: Bulletin de pharmacie, Volume 4; Vol. 1812 By Université royale de France p.310



Platinum pens sold for Fr 6. (S$ 1.14) in mid-1812:





In 1811/2, Cuoq, Courturier & Cie. imported a large quantity of platina and founded a factory with M. Bréant (employing Wollaston's refining process) to mass-produce platinum wares.  That Platinum came to market after 1813, a lag-time that was half the duration of the Wollaston effort (1800>1805.)

The French joint venture so successfully cornered the platina market that Wollaston was himself was driven out of the business by 1820. In France, this period of oversupply (1814-22) technically lasted until 1825, although other factors began elevating the French price-level c.1826.


Citation: Traité des gîtes minéraux et métallifères: recherche, étude et ..., Vol. 2, Edmond Fuchs, Louis Launay (1893), p.995


Platinum was confirmed in Brazil c. 1809, reported c. 1811 and well-known by 1812.  That discovery may have greatly diminished any speculative pressure, and encouraged Colombian hoarders to begin dumping platina. 

c.1810: 
Citation: Voyages dans l'intérieur du Brésil, particulièrement..., Vol. 2 ; John Mawe, J.-B. Benoît Eyries, G. Lemaître (1816) p.





France, 1867 & 1872: Platinum Coinage Idea, Discussed

Jacobi's suggestion of a 5-Franc Platinum coin at 5 grams would have had less than the weight of a US Quarter ... but only half it's size!  (That would have been a very tiny coin, subject to loss.)  It's also amusing that The Emperor would consider Platinum billon, given the metal had traded at or above Gold prices in New York just three years prior. 

1867:


1872: