April 30, 2011

France, USA, 1847/8: Price Differentials

In Paris, the Platinum strip was ~Fr 4. (USD$ 0.74) ; the entire battery was USD$ 1.30.  If this is the larger French size, the same battery cost 25% more.

The US Platinum price appears to be 44% more expensive than the Paris catalogue.

1847: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (mfg, retail)  = Fr 37.32 (USD$ 7.17) 
1848: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (Semi-mfg, retail)  = USD$ 10.9714
1848: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Semi-mfg, retail)  = USD$ 15.
 
Bossange's (1st Supplment) 1847 Catalogue, p.54-5:


Pike's 1848 Catalogue, p.58; 24:


Other items may further indicate or clarify the import & profit needed by a US catalogue retailer.  Most appear to be British; the Daguerreotype camera ($ 25.) was 49% higher than the French price (Fr 90; USD$ 16.76)

April 27, 2011

USA, 1847: Chamberlain's Catalogue (Partial)

Compare 1846 Paris Catalogue Prices.  In Germany, manufactured Platinum prices were 50% lower.  Based on foreign wares, Chamerberlain's Catalogue suggests the US wholesale/retail Platinum price from the same goods.  Platinum spoons in a Paris retailer's catalogue were the equivalent of $0.96 - 1.93; spirit lamps w/ platinum coils ~ equiv. $2. - 2.40.

1845:1 Troy Oz. of Platinum (Trade, catalogue) ~ USD$ 11.50 - 17.











From 1846, the US Custom tax on imported foreign stills was 30%.



In the late 1840s, the Gold/Platinum and Gold/Silver ratio was 1:2.48-2.76; 1:16
The Platinum/Silver ratio was 1:5.80-6.40

c.1847:1 Troy Oz. Gold (Mkt) ~ USD$ 20.69
c.1847:1 Troy Oz. Silver (Mkt) ~ USD$ 1.293
c.1845?:1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Mkt) ~ USD$ 8.33
c.1847:1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Mkt) ~ USD$ 7.50
 
Citation: Manual of mineralogy: including observations on mines, rocks... James Dwight Dana (1851) p.387


Demonstration with a powerful Grove Battery, either 200 Square Inches (or 800 Sq. In.)
 


The 1847 Supplement to the 1845 Bossange Catalogue offered identical prices for Platinum manufactures.  Where manufactured in different metals, Platinum items sold at 66% > 75% the price of Gold items (Fr 116.63/ oz. troy.)  


1845:1 Troy Oz. of Platinum (ret.?) ~ Fr 58.31 - 87.47 (USD$ 11.23 - 16.85)

Citation: Catalogue générale de Hector Bossange (1845)
















Where the Bunsen Battery cost Fr 5, the Grove Battery cost Fr 7 - Fr 2 for the Platinum strip.








1845: the Menier Catalogue sold refined Gold products at Fr 116.63 a troy ounce.




"Platina" was identified in gilded and clad counterfeits, but both high cost and labor were generally considered prohibitive.  Reported Platinum counterfeits were exquisite copies; perhaps older dies had been stolen?



A true weight Half-Eagles weighed 8.359 grams (129.0 grains; .2687 troy ounces); Platinum alloy Half-Eagles (N.O.) were dated 1843, 1844, 1847, 1848.

Feb. 1848:

 

 




Platinum is not specified in contemporary accounts; perhaps the "white metal" was assumed to be Silver?  It was possibly "Platina" (dental alloy: Ag/Pt), ~1 g. or 11.52% Platinum

It seems likely the counterfeit composition was scrap English Sovereigns (for the Gold guilding) around a French "Platina" core.  The Specific Gravity of this combined coin alloy should be ~16.95, not indicated.

59.94% Fine Au
  5.57% Cu
34.50% "Platina" (Ag/Pt : 66.6% Ag, 33.4% Pt)

The actual amount of Platinum in the coin was 0.963 g.; of Silver, 1.92 g.  Assuming Platinum in bars was purchased for $7.50/Ozt, and without factoring the transport cost, or 'true cost' in whatever US domestic market purchased, the intrinsic Platinum was worth $ 0.232 (Minimum Coin Scrap: $3.64); Ingot Pt @ $8.33, the intrinsic Platinum was worth $ 0.258 (Minimum Coin Scrap: $3.67)

 Alternately, factoring a Silver solder (.475 Ag, .275 Cu, .250 Zn) the counterfeit's composition might be .595 Au, .090 Cu, .205 Ag, .075 Pt, .035 Zn or SG 14.51. Gold content held constant, a lower SG suggests smaller amount of Silver (19%) and Platinum (6%) and a greater proportion of Copper and  Zinc: 10% Cu and 5.5% Zn.

The margin for tools, labor, conspiracy costs and possibly fenced dies (!) appears poor, unless the local currency forex was otherwise exceedingly advantageous for "coin." 





The Gold-Value in the Counterfeit was $1.25; at .915 Fine

 

1847 Opinion, source on EckFeldt's 1843 work (prior to Platinum Rouble's demonetization):

Citation: American Journal of Agriculture and Science, Vol. 6, No. 16; Ebenezer Emmons (8/1847) 



c.1846: London Alloys recommended by Percival Norton Johnson:
 
Specific Gravity:


April 25, 2011

UK, 1809: Platinum Stills

It appears that several Platinum stills were "first manufactured" in this year, but the earliest was 1805.  Close examination of the December 1809 price record suggested the construction of the Platinum boiler (net Cu and Au) weighed 431.25 ozt, cost £ 288.512 (17.89 s. per Ozt.)

Second Platinum Still, for Thomas Farmer, by Dr. Wollaston is clearly not 423 Ozt (unless the Copper-weight was 90 Ozt?)

In addition to 300.75 Ozt Platinum, Wollaston's Still for Farmer (#2) contained Gold and Copper as well : £ 300. net £ 13.875 = £ 286.25 or 

1809: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Mfg, Still)  = £ 0.8651 (S$ )

Labor was underestimated, however, and fair value was presumed somewhat higher (1810.).
 

1809: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Mfg, Still)  = £ 0.9119 (S$ )
  
Fully manufactured Platinum cost +49% more than retail sponge, +258% over Scrap Bid.  Refined Platinum was +140% the Scrap Bid. Wollaston's purported Platinum price for this still is low compared to a Johnson Still manufactured in the same year.

1809: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Scrap bought)  = £ 0.25 (S$ )
1809: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Refined, Sponge?)  = £ 0.60 (S$ )
1809: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Mkt)  = £ 0.80 (S$ )
1809: 1 Troy Oz. Pt Labor (refined,worked sheet)  = £ 0.0130 (S$ ) 
1809: 1 Troy Oz. Pt Labor (Mfg, still)  = £ 0.0817 (S$ ) 
1809: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Mfg, Wollaston Still)  = £ 0.8946 (S$ )

1809: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Mfg, Wollaston Still)  = £ 0.93 (S$ 5.174)



c. 1833: This reference is presumably to the 1830s, when Platinum stills cost ~£ 1.22 - 1.25
 

Wollaston's platinum still for Richard Farmer entailed various manufacturing fees of 2s. 7.25d per Ozt. in a ~300 Ozt. still.

1810: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Refined)  = £ 0.80 
1810: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Mfg)  = £ 0.9302


Sulfuric acid c.1795 was £ 0.033/Lb. avd.; in 1840, ~£ 0.004





c.1809:
1809: S$ 1.0 = £ 0.225 ; S$ 4.44 = £ 1.0


1809:
  
  
Period of Depreciation:





April 24, 2011

USA, 1817

In 1817, but not in 1818, Dr. Wollaston was able to acquire bulk platina (>100 lbs) from Vaughan in Philadelphia; his own Bid (London Scrap Rate) appears unchanged.


1817: 1 Troy Ounce platina (USA: PA, Bulk) = USD$ 0.41143 (£ 0.0911
1817: 1  Ozt. Pt (USA: PA, Bulk) = USD$ 0.5486 (£ 0.1215) 
1817: 1  Ozt. Pt (USA: PA, Labor) = USD$ 0.48 (£ 0.1063)
1817: 1 Ozt. Platinum (USA: 1st Cost, Phila., Bulk) = USD$ 1.03 (£ 0.2278
   
As an entrepreneur, Bollman retailed manufactured Platinum for $60/lb. avd, a 300% markup (4x) on the First Base Cost; hypothetically, the manufacture of stamped Pt planchets without 'retail profit' might only be ~200% markup.  

1817: 1 Ozt. Platinum (USA: Semi-Mfg, Wholesale) = USD$ 3.09 (£ 0.6835

Dr. Robert Hare purchased imported Platinum wire c.1817.  It is unclear if this was by catalogue or a Philadelphia vendor:





c.1818:
Mock Gold: Thomas Cooper, of University of Pennsylvania

Citation: A system of chemistry: in four volumes, Vol. 2 (1818) Thomas Thomson, Thomas Cooper
 


Indicating standard forex of $ 4.4444/ £ 1., one 'Book of Leaf Gold' cost the trade $ 0.45, after the 15% tariff.


1817: 1 Packet/20 Books Gold Leaf (Trade) = $ 9.
1817: 1 Packet/20 Books Gold Leaf (European Import) = $ 7.65

Assuming 6 English Troy Grains per Sheet/Book:

1817: 1 Ozt Gold Leaf (Trade) = $ 36.
1817: 1 Ozt Gold Leaf (European Import) = $ 30.60
 


1 Gold-Leaf = 0.192 Grains of 10.89 Sq. In; 1 Book of Leaf-Gold = 4.8 Grains (4.725 Fine Au)

1 Gold-Leaf would cover just over 3 8-Escudos; assuming 1/3rd wastage however, it would take 140-145 Leaves per coin to add 6.84 Grains in mass to a 8-Escudo Pt Counterfeit, ~ 6 Books per Pt Counterfeit: (NYC) Trade Cost = $ 2.70, without factoring any other materials or labor.

1817: 1 Ozt. Platinum (USA: Semi-Mfg, Wholesale) = USD$ 3.09 (£ 0.6835) 
1817: 1 Ozt. Gilded Platinum (USA: Est. Material Cost) = USD$ 5.79 (£ 1.28) 
    




1817 Exchange: the 8-Escudo's value given at $15.506

April 23, 2011

Australia, 1896

1896: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (UK: Semi-Mfg) = £2.25 (USD$ 10.96)




Australian platina:
 




Early Estimate.

 

Where Australia produced 2,438 Ozt  (75.83 Kgs) worth £3,479

1896: 1 Ozt. platina (Australia: 75% Ore, Export Spot) = £ 1.427 (USD$ 6.95)
1896: 1 Ozt. Pt (Australia: 75% Ore, @.999 Export) = £ 1.903 (USD$ 9.27)

  Citation: Annual Report - New South Wales Department of Mines (1896-8) p.69



As reported July 1896: 

1896: 1 Ozt. platina (Australia: 75% Ore, Spot) = £ 1.25 (~USD$ 6.)