May 16, 2011

France, 1830

Uncertain date. Platina and Platinum prices had fallen dramatically by 1830/1 but began rising in 1832 with expanding US demand.
1829: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (refined) = Fr 22.35 (USD$ 4.39)

Link Citation: Eléments de technologie ou description des procédés des arts... Louis-Benjamin Francoeur (1833) p.288

Vague references to platina costing "less than Silver" (< Fr 4) suddenly appear in French textbooks around 1834/5.

Following the 1825 Platina Price Collapse in Russia, a Paris Platinum Price LOW occurred c.1830, coincident with a refined Pt Low in Great Britain (c.1831.)

Given a reasonable lag-time between source & consumer markets, the -60% collapse in platina exports from Cartagena c. 1834 and a clamour from US buyers to know the price of platinum stills (in 1833) both appear to confirm this hypothesis.

The first edition of this book appeared in 1834, the ms. may have been prepared several years earlier. This price does not likely recall 10 years earlier, when the author was 15 years old; rather, this almost certainly indicates the 1830 Low Price. Also, the 1835 edition of a different title by the same author (and virtually identical text) cites a higher Platinum price.

It wasn't often that, from the Siberian discovery (1817) to 1840, platina was cheaper than standard Silver on the French market (unless specie & bullion was in greater demand?)

The Colombian tariff (after December 1828) would have marginally raised platina costs for merchants, marginally by April/May 1829 and thereafter.

March, 1829?: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (refined, mkt) = Fr 14.22 (USD$ 2.72)

1830: 1 Troy Oz. platina (ore, Paris mkt) < Fr 6.60 or USD$ 1.27
1831: 1 Troy Oz. Silver (mkt) = Fr 6.60 (USD$ 1.27)

Citation: Petite histoire naturelle des écoles ou leçons sur les minéraux, les plantes ...; Constant Saucerotte (1840; first ed. 1834) p.23

The 1st edition of the school texbook, in 1834:

October 1830: Osmiridium separated more efficiently  

The English Troy Ounce of Silver in Paris, 1831 = Fr 6.60

The French Edition (1831) omits any reference to Russian discoveries or coinage. Fairly typical for textbooks, the price data was already moot and incorrect.

In Russia it is already established as a coin, and shaped pieces of it to 3 and 5 rubles. The value of this "noble metals" is about 5 times the silver, for a long time ago in Paris that cost 1 gram platinum francs - and a three-ruble piece weighs 10.35 grams.

Citation: Traité de chimie appliquée aux arts. 8 tom. [and] Atlas, Vol. 3; Jean Baptiste A. Dumas

Compilation of various dated sources 

Citation: Manuel du voyageur en Allemagne: itinéraire de l'artiste, du négociant ...  By Audin (1836)

In 1830, 78.25 kgs of platina were imported to France.

1830 : French Imports of platina (ore, 75%) = 2,516 Ozt
1830 : French Platinum Import (at purity) ~ 1,887 Ozt

Citation: Archives du Commerce, ou Guide des commerçans, recueil de tous ..., Vol. 3 p.27

Ghent/Gand Belgium:

1830 Coins

1832 Coins

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