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 Ozt. Gold (Mkt) ~ USD$ 20.69
c.1847:1 Ozt. Silver (Mkt) ~ USD$ 1.293
c.1845?:1 Ozt. Platinum (Mkt) ~ USD$ 8.33
c.1847:1 Ozt. 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. November 1847:

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

No comments:

Post a Comment