August 25, 2010

UK, 1821: Price Approximation to Francs and Roubles

Circa 1820, the similarity of Paris & London prices appears to indicate a stable market for refined Continental Platinum, but that period was ending.  

In Pound Sterling, the Price of Gold stabilized in London to the 1800 level.

c.1821: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (refined) ~ Fr 25. - 27.  (£ 1.05 - 1.15)
c.1821: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (scrap)  = £ 0.6441 (USD$ 3.08)
 




The Russian assumed rate may have dated to 1821, prior to the cornered market or price-hike that mysteriously began in 1822.  It is by no means certain Platinum traded wholesale at this rate in 1821/2.

c.1821:  1 Troy Oz. coined Platinum = 9.31 Silver руб = 37.24 Banco руб
 ~£ 1.55

Citation: The Gentleman's magazine, Volume 143 By John Nichols (1828)  p.482
 


August 24, 2010

USA, 1873: Dental Price for Platinum; Battery Platinum

1873:  1 Troy Ounce Platinum (France: Scrap Bid, Bulk) = ℳ  19.9735 (~$ 4.75; USD$ 5.55)
1873/4: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (France: Refined Ingot, Mkt) = $ 5.87 ; USD$ 6.89)

1873: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Germany: Est Whols, Unmfg) =  $ 5.82 - 6.04

1873: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Germany: Mfg, Bulk) ~ $ 6. - 6.22 ; USD$ 7.2353


In J.E. Smith's Manual of Telegraphy (1873) see p. 55 'Battery Material' for L.G. Tillotson's New York price for platinum strips (of unknown dimensions) : $0.80 (small) and $0.90 (large) for a Grove Battery ($1.75)  At the currency rate, the large strip cost $1.02 - nearly identical to the 1854 Kent Catalogue.  Presuming the same dimensions and quality as earlier catalogues' batteries (a 3.5" x 0.75" Platinum strip may be estimated @:  0.0833 troy ounces (40 grains) @ $0.383 per sq. in.) the Smith catalogue price is USD$ 12./oz., identical to 1872 Benjamin Catalogue.

1873: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (Ret.: Semi-mfg, battery strip) ~ $ USD 12.

The recollection of a dentist, decades later, does match 1873 prices.  The wholesale price of platina might have been around $5./oz (USD$ 5.86) in 1873, but published catalogue prices in 1872 suggest a much higher Gold rate for refined Platinum.  In 1873, the European Scrap Rate was about $ 5.00/oz., but not in US currency.

Dental Platinum known as 'French Plate' was a Silver-Platinum alloy, 66% Ag/34% Pt.



An even less costly French dental alloy 'Platine au titre' contained 17% - 34% Pt.




1873: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum Alloy (Ag/Pt, 66/34) = $ 5.05
1872: 1 Troy Oz. Silver (Whols./Ret: .999 Fine) = $ 2.50
1872: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Whols./Ret. .999 Fine) = $ 10.

Citation: The Western Dental Journal, Vol. 24 (1910) p.211


1873: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Scrap, Bid) = $ 5.00

1873: 1 Troy Oz. Silver (Scrap, Bid) = $ 1.20
1873: 1 Troy Oz. Gold (18k Scrap, Bid) = $ 15.00 
1873: 1 Troy Oz. Gold (Scrap, Bid) = $ 21.00 

Citation: The Dental Register, Vol. 27 No.12 (12/1873) p.192 

Based upon assays by the Mint Master Eckfeldt (c.1873), the "Platina" dental alloys were shown to contain not Platinum but Tin.

Citation: The Dental Cosmos: A Monthly Record Of Dental Science, Vol.14, No.12 (12/1873) p.192




Platinum counterfeit Double-Eagles, constructed :   




Presumably, the dentist refers to the SS White Dental manufactory, which may have purchased bulk platina or Platinum at the lowest and best-possible market prices.






 


US Imports:


Germany, 1870 -1897: Deflation in Metal Prices


1870: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (mkt?) = ℳ 15.55 ; Thlr. 7.95 (9.34 руб)
 

In the last quarter of the 19th Century, Commodity Deflation was not confined to the USA, and metal prices had declined sharply in Germany also.

Citation: Science, Vol. 15,  By American Association for the Advancement of Science (1902) p.140. 

August 23, 2010

UK, 1873-85: Platinum Price Estimated to Gold

1872: One Troy Ounce of Gold = £ 4.24
1872: One Troy Ounce of Silver = £ 0.2469

1872: One Troy Oz. of Platinum ~ £ 1.23 - 1.41

1873: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (manfactured, retail) = £ 1.60 (USD$ 8.88)

1885: One Troy Ounce of Gold = USD$ 20.67
1885: One Troy Oz. of Platinum ~ "half the price" = ~ USD $10.
1884:  1 Troy Oz "Platinum" (generic range: all types) = USD$ 8. - 12.

c.1872:


c.1885:



UK, 1874/84: Metal Prices

Citing a German source and not adjusting for unknown forex, the following tables may suggest a decline in US PGM prices in this period.

1874: 1 Troy Ounce Osmium (whols.) = £ 4.90 (USD$ 26.58)
1874: 1 Troy Ounce Iridium (whols.) = £ 4.80 (USD$ 26.)
1874: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (whols.) = £ 1.74 (USD$ 9.73)

1874: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (mfg., retail) ~ £ 2. (USD$ 10.84)

1874: 1 Troy Ounce Gold (whols.) = £ 4.30 (USD$ 23.33)


1884: 1 Troy Ounce Osmium (whols.) = £ 4.25 (USD$ 20.62)
1884: 1 Troy Ounce Iridium (whols.) = £ 3.09 (USD$ 14.87)
1884: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (whols. = £ 1.47 (USD$ 7.11)




1874: Platinum crucibles were about "half the price of pure Gold":



c.1874/5 Horne Catalogue:

UK, 1876: PGMs Compared

1876: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (mfg, retail) = £ 2.50 - 3.75 (USD$ 13.55 - 20.33)

1874: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (mkt) = £ 1.74 (USD$ 9.43) 
1884: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (mkt) = £ 1.47 (USD$ 7.11) 

1884: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum Scrap (refined, scrap, retail)  = £ 1.10 (USD$ 5.34)
c.1884: 1 Troy Oz Platinum (refined ingot) = £1.59
c.1884: 1 Troy Oz Platinum (refined, manufactured, retail) = £1.80


 
1874/1884 Comparison







c. 187?


1876: Republishing an English source (1875?) in Francs:

August 22, 2010

USA, 1890s: Palladium Price

1891/2: 1 Troy Ounce Palladium (commercial?)  = USD$ 27.43
1892: 1 Troy Ounce Palladium (commercial)  =   = £ 4.67 (USD$ 22.72)

c.1892:
Citation: Ice and refrigeration, Vol. 3 By Southern Ice Exchange (1892) p.279


January, 1899: 1 Troy Ounce Palladium (refined, mfg)  = USD$ 52.87

Citation: Prospecting, locating, and valuing mines: A practical treatise for the use ... By Richard Henry Stretch (1899) p.333

August 21, 2010

Colombia, 1858: Platina Export Price

18511 Troy Oz. platina (Source: 80% ore, wholesale) = C$ 3.786
1851: 1 Troy Oz. platina (San Buenav.: ore, whols.) = C$ 3.99 - 4.05 (Fr 19.20) 
1851: 1 Troy Oz. Pt (Colombian, .999) = C$ 4.99 - 5.07

1858: 1 Troy Oz. platina (Paris: Colombian Spot) ~ Fr 21.77 (S$ 4.35)

1859/60: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (London: ore, at purity) = £ 1.20 (USD$ 5.82) 
1859: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (wholesale) = £ 1.50 (USD$ 7.35)  
1859: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (manufactured, whols. ) = $ 14.40

March, 1859:  1 Troy Oz. platina (Cartagena: 84% ore) = £ 0.8653 (USD$ 4.24)
March, 1859:  1 Troy Oz. Pt (Colombian Spot, .999) = £ 1.03 (USD$ 5.)
1859: 1 Troy Oz. platina (Cartagena: ore) = C$ 5.19 (S$ 4.15 ; USD$ 3.99)
1859: 1 Troy Oz. platina (Choco ore, .9999) = C$ 6.18 (£ 1.03)

Where "the hard Dollar of 50d" was £ 0.2083, the Colombian currency was £ 0.1667.  

Where the Libra of two Marcas was 1.2328 Troy Pounds at C$ 76.80 (£ 12.80) Colombian Spot. 1 Kilogram ore = C$ 166.95 (£ 27.825; Fr. 709.) ; 1 Kg. Pt = C$ 198.75 (£ 33.13, Fr 844.) This price appears considerably higher than Paris Spot; presumably NOT bulk rate. 

Citation: Parliamentary papers, Vol. 65 ; Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons (1860) p.17


In Cartegena, the Choco Gold/Platinum Price Ratio was 1:3.90625.  (After converting to Silver Pesos, there was a 4% premium on US coin.) 


1859: 1 Troy Oz. Gold (Chocó ore: 0.9583) = C$ 21.09
1859: 1 Troy Oz. Gold (Chocó ore: 0.9999) = C$ 22.01
1859: 1 Troy Oz. Gold (Chocó ore: 0.9583) = S$ 16.87 (£ 3.5154)
1859: 1 Troy Oz. Gold (Chocó ore: 0.9999) = S$ 17.61 (£ 3.6683)

1859:  1 Troy Oz. Gold (Antioquia ore) = S$ 12.98 - 16.22 (USD$ 12.46 - 12.58)


c.1858: If Gold were correctly estimated at the local price of ~S$ 17.61 Toy Oz./Pure, the total amount of Gold brought to Quibdo annually would be ~353.25 Kgs. If Platinum was 10% of total yield (35.33 kgs, .9999 Pt), the estimated platina yield annually was ~ 42 kgs.



Carthagena described as ten-days' sail from NYC.


1854: Wall Street schemes for a canal route between the Atlantic &Pacific Oceans, utilizing the Rio Atrato, borrowed from von Humboldt's suggestion (c. 1809) to compete with the long-proosed, never-realized "Nicaragua Canal" (Vanderbilt's lucrative 1849 stagecoach concession supported this possiblity.)

1859/60: Nathaniel Michler's survey of the lower Rio Atrato (an investigation for a potential canal route) described "annuities" paid to Cartegena, likely tribute to a cartel of local merchant-capitalists.



This reference from Sr. Belisario Caicedo (to Édouard André) is undated.  Perhaps "in my youth" dates to c. 1858, for he was born in 1852.  

Choco was 30% slaves, but free blacks worked their own placer mines at their convenience as far back as the 1820s.  Slavery in Colombia was abolished in 1851. Given Blacks' use of native gold as currency for basic wants and necessities, low-quality goods furnished by white merchants, it's very likely that gold-dust traded at very poor prices, perhaps merely the equivalence of two days work? (See Blackness and Race Mixture: The Dynamics of Racial Identity in Colombia ; Peter Wade [19 ] p.104)  Unknowable as a recorded statistic, the average "spot-price" for native Gold or platina must have been ridiculously low, at the source. 

 

Where the USD$ and the specie Spanish Dollar were nearly at par and noting the Spanish pound:

1858: 1 Troy Oz. platina (ore, whols.) = 5.14 Pesos (currency)
1858: 1 Troy Oz. platina (ore, whols.) = 4.11 Piastres
1858: 1 Troy Oz. platina (ore, whols.) ~ USD$ 4.15 - 4.33
1858: 1 Troy Oz. platina (ore, whols.) = £0.83 - 0.87
1858: 1 Troy Oz. platina (ore, whols.) = Fr 19.50 - 20.45






The London Trade price was more than 4x higher than Colombian Spot, for drug commodities.

1859: 1 Lb. Colombian Balsam (Cartagena: Export, Bulk) = C$ 0.36 (£0.06
1861: 1 Lb. Colombian Balsam (London: Import, Trade) = C$ 1.50 (£0.25) 






Travel

UK, c.1852: Palladium Starts to Rise; Other PGMs


c.1851: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum £ 1.50 (USD$ )
1850/1: 1 Ozt. Palladium £ 1.05 - 1.25 (USD$ 5.16 - 6.14) 
1854:  1 Ozt. Palladium £ 1.50 (USD$ 7.32) 

Citation: Gold-mining and assaying: a scientific guide for Australian emigrants By John Arthur Phillips (1852)
 

Citation: The People's medical journal, and family physician, Volumes 1-4 (1851) p.160



c. 1850 and 1862:

Citation: Metallurgy: the art of extracting metals from their ores, Vol. 2, By John Percy (1864) p.

The price for platina gains suitable to the pen-trade  (whether sold as Osmium, Iridium or Rhodium) varied widely from the 1830s - 1850s.

c.1851: 1 Ozt. Iridium ('Better' Ore: Whols.) = £ 6. - 8.  (USD$ 29.45 - 39.28)

Citation: Records of the School of Mines and of science applied to the arts By Royal School of Mines (GB) 1852, p.143

c. 1851

c.1852:  British companies buying up Gold & platina mines.

August 20, 2010

USA, 1835-1856: Osmium & Iridium

After twenty years the price for refined Osmium fell about half in the UK, and the California mining operation brought more ore to market at the time of the Gold Rush.  But in the USA, the finest osmiridium grains were about the same price, in the mid-1850s.

c. 1853: Brief US Price Collapse, indicated by 'crash prices' in Chilton's catalogue.


See: Platinum ores from California (Weil, 1859)


1835: 1 Troy Ounce Osmium (refined)  = £ 48. (USD$ 232.80)


1853: 1 Troy Ounce Iridium (pure, whols.)  = USD$ 62.
Citation:: Descriptive catalogue of chemical apparatus, chemicals and pure reagents (1852) Bullock & Crenshaw, p. 10
 

1853: 1 Troy Ounce Osmiridum (ore, whols.)  = USD$ 8.
1853: 1 Troy Ounce Osmium (refined, pure, whols.)  = USD$ 240.  

Citation:: Descriptive catalogue of chemical apparatus, chemicals and pure reagents (1854 Kent, p. 51)




1854: 1 Troy Ounce Osmium (pure, whols.)  = USD$ 48.
1854: 1 Troy Ounce Iridium (pure, whols.)  = USD$ 48. 
1853: 1 Troy Ounce Rhodium (pure, whols.)  = USD$ 120. 

Citation:: Descriptive catalogue of chemical apparatus, chemicals and pure reagents (1855 Chilton , p. 76; 73)









1854: 1 Troy Ounce Osmium (pure, whols.)  = USD$ 240. 
1854: 1 Troy Ounce Osmirdium (ore, whols.)  = USD$ 8.

Citation:: Descriptive catalogue of chemical apparatus, chemicals and pure reagents (1855 Kent, p. 51)





Citation: Descriptive catalogue of chemical apparatus, chemicals and pure reagents (1856 Lehume, p. 13)

 



1854: 1 Troy Ounce Osmium (refined, pure, whols.)  = £ 24. (USD$ 117.10)

Citation: Descriptive and general catalogue of philosophical apparatus and chemical ... By Bland & Long (1854), p.14

c. 1855/8?

Unknown date (1855?) and perhaps confusing the Osmium price:
??: 1 Troy Ounce Rhodium (pure, whols.)  ~ USD$ 245. 
 

c.1859/60?