January 5, 2011

UK, 1850: Advertisement

1850: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (Scrap, Bid) = £ 0.375
1850: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Scrap, Ask) = £ 0.75 

1850: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Wire, Ret.) = £ 1.50

May, 1851: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (semi-mfg, whols./retail) = £ 2.19 (USD$ 10.68)

July, 1850:
Citation: The Chemist; a Monthly Journal of Chemical Philosophy and of Chemistry...  John and Charles Watt (1851)

A 6-Element Grove's Battery (12.5 Square Inches per Cell, ~0.26 Ozt Platinum) had 75 Sq.

 In. with a total of ~1.5625 Ozt Platinum.

A tantalizing glimpse at ephemera with ten years' Platinum prices, lost forever?

Unknown (c.1845):

c. March 1850: spurious Sovereign appears in Birmingham (perhaps mis-reported as a foil-type, covered Platinum planchet.) With unknown examples, low production is likely.  

If suitable Platinum scrap at an approximately correct Specific Gravity was purchased in bulk for £ 0.375/Ozt, a False Sovereign would have an intrinsic value (cost) of £ 0.0963. 

Assuming 3-man labor at a minimum £ 1.50/day, the tools and manufacture £ 40.

Reported 4/6/1850: 3/30/1850 "news" perhaps rumor.

Citation: The Illustrated London News, Vol. 7 p.227
"Spurious Sovereigns.—On Saturday certain information was conveyed to her Majesty’s Government of the discovery of an illicit manufacture of sovereigns in the town of Birmingham. It was first ascertained in one of the Government departments where, some suspicion being entertained as to a coin tendered, the same was procured, which resulted in the discovery that the centre was entirely composed of an inferior metal enclosed within a shell of standard gold. These coins are so skilfully executed that they defy the test of weight, sound, or aquafortis; a slight imperfection, however, exists in the milled edging, which should be slowly observed so {...} the imperfection.
Reported in USA, May/June 1850: "utterers" are fences or swindlers, knowingly passing bad coin

"The skilled false-coin utterers thought that they were perpetrating a particularly cunning piece of sharp practice in putting a quantity of platinum into their illegal coinage. Some of those false coins contain at least 6 grams of platinum"

Platinum Sovereign, solid and Gold-plated, of Platinum/Copper/Zinc alloy (originally used by unscrupulous jewelers) appears in Dublin, c. Spring 1850?

c. June/July, 1850:
Citation: The Chemist; a Monthly Journal of Chemical Philosophy and of Chemistry...  John and Charles Watt (1851)

Specific Gravity of British Standard Gold Coin: 17.589

W. E. Wiley, of the Albert Works, became the largest maker of gold pens in Birmingham by the mid 1870s. Wiley began making gold pens in 1850, exhibiting at the Crystal Palace in 1851, the New York Industrial Exhibition in 1853-54, and the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1855.
Thirty years prior to early 1876 was c.1846; in that time, the manufactured pen nibs fell -75%.  It appears Iridium tips were generally abandoned, certainly for the cheapest nibs.

Although different catalogue retailers prices varied from 1834-1847, the retail Iridium price apparently fell ~ -80.9%.

c.1847?: 1 Iridium-tipped Gold Pen (Best? Retail) = £ 1.05  
c.1850: 1 "Gold" Pen (Worst? Retail) = £ 0.25   

In this period, the price of Platinum also collapsed.

1834:  1 Troy Ounce Iridium (pure, semi-mfg, mkt) = Fr 488. (£ 19.18)
1847:  1 Troy Ounce Iridium (pure, semi-mfg, mkt) = Fr 93.30 (£  3.656)


1850: Mosley Gold Iridium-tipped Pen


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