April 26, 2012

Russia, 1832

April, 1832: After the arrival by caravan of the Second Semester 1831 yield (March 1832), a general discussion of the European platina price-cours 1826-1832, viewed from St. Petersburg. European Prices for Colombian platina as reported in the still frozen in capital might be dated (Summer 1831) foreign news. Under crown monopoly, platina wasn't legally exported until 1827; a black-market cours for Ural ore is unknown.
12/1824: rumor of a major platina discovery in the Urals (Baranchinsky Massif)

March, 1825: Urals: major platina placer mines discovered
8/1825: Major platina placer discovery reported in the capital; SPb platina price begins falling.

1) 12/1825: "fell by one-third," probably with the arrive of the second semester 1825 caravan (March, 1826; reported as late as July, 1826)
2) 1826: Alexander N. Arkhipov refining Platinum, 75% pure (with additional PGMs) ingot
3) 8/1827: Major discoveries & yield well-documented by Russia, German sources
4) December 1827: Probable SPb Low, a -50% Decline from 7/1825 Price Level
1827: Yield,
5) 1828: Resolution to Coin Platinum
6) March 1832: Platina parity (per Zolotnik, intrinsic?) with Assignat, 1:1

Also the Russian government was the first to use {Platinum} to make coinage, which however has not received circulation outside the Empire. On the coinage of platinum in Russia, The Journal of Saint-Petersburg has given the following explanation:

Citation: Annuaire historique universel pour 1832; Ulysse Tence; Pub. Lesur (1834)
"The first current coin in Platinum was issued in Russia during 1828; so another was issued in 1829, and since 1830 we have struck three kinds whose value is 3, 6 and 12 Silver Roubles.  None of them bears the name "Imperiale" (reserved exclusively for the Gold coin); and they are made ​​of perfectly pure platinum, and these have not only a free market in commerce but are received in government coffers just like the Gold and Silver coins.  The value of Russian platina, far from being dependent on that of America, has an opposite influence on the latter, whose price dropped by half when the first mine was opened in the Urals, and then, when the news spread that had resolved to monetize it in Russia, {Colombian platina} went up, and today holds nearly at the price of the Russian currency, which is very natural and it will be clear to anyone who has compared the small amount of platinum yielded in America with the huge production of the Urals."

Citation: Annuaire historique universel pour 1832; Ulysse Tence; Pub. Lesur (1834), p.274

Apparently, Russian Platinum Coin was declined by foreign merchants at the Silver Rate; the (false) explanation/rumor was 'impure coinage'; no such examples were ever found, held or credibly described by any contemporary Mint masters or bullion brokers. 

Foreigners would only buy coined platinum at the Scrap Rate, Market-Price.
Citation: Traité de chimie appliquée aux arts, Vol. 4, (1833), p.424; Jean-Baptiste Dumas

March, 1832: In SPb, 1 Silver Rouble Coin was worth Fr 4.03; 1 Troy Ounce of coined Platinum (руб 9.31 Silver Coin, or руб 34.45 Banco) was theoretically 'worth' Fr 37.54 or $ 7. at the prevailing Russian exchange. The seignorage was generally assumed to be 35%, based on unrecorded, fluctuating Platinum market-prices around Fr 22./once p.d.m. (intrinsic?)

Crude Platinum ingot sold at closer to half that price Fr 15.24 and American merchants were warned the 3 Rouble coin-value was lower by 17%, suggesting a depreciated coinage.

1831: 1 Troy Oz. platina (SPb Mint: 75% Ore) = руб 21.87 Banco

1832: 1 Ozt. of Platinum (SPb Mint) = руб A. 21.87 (USD$ 4.0965

1832: 1 Troy Oz. of Platinum (Theoretical Rouble Rate) = Fr 37.54
; USD$ 7.

1832: 1 Ozt. Platinum, Coined @ SPb = руб Ag. 9.00 (USD$ 6.64)

Assuming the SPb Mint still sold for 5 руб. Acc./Zolotnik (1832: 1.3553 руб. Ag),  

1832: 1 Ozt. Platinum Ingot (@ SPb  Mint) = руб Ag. 9.8816 (USD$ 7.50)

In Golde:
a) Früher: Species-Ducaten zu 24 Rubel, seit Peter l. Doppelte dergleichen zu 4.5 Rubel. Andreas-Ducaten oder goldene Doppel-Rubel zu 2 Rubel seit 1756. Gold-Rubel zu 1 Rubel seit 1756. Imperialen zu 10 Rubel seit 1755, und halbe dergleichen zu 5 Rubel.
b) Gegenwärtig und seit 1817 werden nur noch halbe Imperialen zu 5 Rubel ausgeprägt, welche 22 Karat fein sind und von denen 39.4 bis 39.67 Stück eine Cöln. Mark fein Gold betragen.

Die Goldmünzen genießen gegen die silbermunzen ein veränderliches kleines Aufgeld von circa 4 procent (mehr oder weniger) und ein Rubel in Golde gilt gegenwärtig 366 Kopecken (mehr oder weniger) in Bank Assignationen (f. unter die Course.) 

In Platina:
Seit dem 1828 bedient man sich in Rusland auch der Platina in Münz Metall und zwar werden bis jezt darin ausgepragt: Drei-rubel-Stücke od. Platina-Ducaten, Sechs-rubel-Stücke oder "Platina-Dublonen" (seit December 1829) und Zwölf-rubel-Stücke oder "Platina-Quadrupel" (seit Januar 1831) 

In gold;
a) Formerly: Species-Ducats at 24 Roubles, since Peter I Double like at 4.5 Roubles. Double Ducat of St. Andrew, a 2 R. gold coin since in 1756. Gold Rouble 1 R. coins  since in 1756. Imperial Roubles at 10 R. since 1755, and Halfs at 5 R.
b) Since 1817 to now, only Half-Imperials are declared 5 Roubles, at 22 carats fine ; 39.4 to 39.67 pieces equal a Cologne Mark Fine Gold .

The gold coins enjoy a small variable premium of about 4% over the silver coins  (more or less) 1 Gold Rouble is currently 366 Kopecks (more or less) in Banco Assignats (See under 'Course.')

In Platina:
Since 1828 Russia has also instituted Platinum in coin-metal and legally struck: Three-Rouble pieces, Platina-Ducats, Six-Rouble pieces or "Platina doubloons" (since December 1829) and Twelve-Rouble pieces or "Platina quad" (since January 1831) 

1832 Exchange Rates, Silver Pesos, etc.


The Poud platina (75% ore) @11,520 Banco-Roubles, 1 French Once @руб A. 21.5354 :

a) at 3.70:1 руб Ag (= руб Ag 3,072 руб Ag/Poud):

1 French Once platina (Russia: 75% Ore) = руб Ag 5.8204 (104.8865 Grams Fine Ag)
1 Once Pt (Russia: Ore at .999 Fine) ~ руб Ag 7.7605 (139.85 Grams Fine Ag)

b) at 3.75:1 руб Ag (= руб Ag  3,113.5 руб Ag/Poud): 
1 Once platina (Russia: 75% Ore) = руб Ag 5.7428  (103.488 Grams Fine Ag)
1 Once Pt (Russia: Ore at .999 Fine) ~ руб Ag 7.657 (137.984 Grams Fine Ag) 

Assumed at par Fr 4./Silver Rouble, 
1 Once platina (Russia: 75% Ore) = Fr. 22.97 - 23.28 
1 Once Pt (Russia: Ore at .999 Fine) = Fr. 30.63 - 31.04

Assumed at 1 French Once Fine Ag = Fr 6.80:
1 Once platina (Russia: 75% Ore) = Fr. 23. - 23.31 
1 Once Pt (Russia: Ore at .999 Fine) = Fr. 30.66 - 31.08
If the Poud platina (75% ore) in 1831 cost 11,520 Banco-Roubles (= Fr. 12,740.50), then 

1831: 1 Once platina (Russia: 75% Ore) = Fr. 23.82
1831: 1 Once Pt (Russia: Ore at .999 Fine) ~ Fr. 31.76  

Where the entire worked mass was estimated 147.2 Poud = 77,520 English Troy Ounces, this estimation seems incorrect:

1832: 1 Troy Oz. of Platinum = Silver руб 9.01 = Banco руб A. 33.35

 Citation: Vollständiges Handbuch der Münz-, Bank- und Wechsel-Verhältnisse ..., Vol. 2 ; Christian Noback (1833) p.1232

A correct estimation, for 1831. 

1831: 1 Troy Oz. of platina = Banco руб 21.88 (~Fr. 23.365)

Hеrr Professor Hаgеn in Königsberg nimmt nach Thenard in dessen Chemie den preis der französische Unze platina zu 22 Franken an. In St Petersburg selbst rechnet man nach den von dort unter'm 12 April 1831 erhielten Angaben, das Poud platina zu 11,520 Rubeln in Banco-Assignationen. - Dies gibt, wenn man 13 Silber-Rubel dem feinen Silbergehalte nach, mit 52 Franken gleich rechnet von 375 bis etwa 370 Copecken in Banco-Affignationen übrigen aber ba russiche Pfund zu 8533.33 hollándischen Assen, das französische pfund Markgewicht von 16 Unzen zu 10188 dergleichen Assen annimmt, nahe genug 23 Franken für eine französische Unze platina. 

Hеrr Professor Hаgеn in Königsberg (after Thenard, in his Chemistry) assumes Fr. 22 the price of a French Once Platinum.  In St. Petersburg proper is expected by the unter'm of 12 April 1831 there were indications that Poud platina to 11,520 Roubles in Banco Assignationen. - This is when you expect 13 Silver-Roubles fine Silver content equal to Fr 52., the Silver Rouble at the rate ​​of 375 to about 370 Kopecks per Banco Assignat Rouble, and further the Russian Funt at 8533.33 Holland Asses, the French Marc of 16 Onces at  10,188 Holland Asses Assen, close enough to a Fr. 23 per French Once of Platinum.

 Citation: Vollständiges Handbuch der Münz-, Bank- und Wechsel-Verhältnisse ..., Vol. 2 ; Christian Noback (1833) p.1232

Uncertain date, c. 1831? 



1832 Platina Yield (at Mint Price, Retail) 5.8623 руб Ag/Ozt  

61,090 Ozt : 1,316,651  руб Acc. = 358,129. руб Ag 

.... @ £ 0. руб Ag: £  ; @ £ 0. руб Acc. : £

1832: 1 Troy Oz. platina  = £ 0. - £ 0.


Citation: The merchant's assistant, or, Merchantile instructer: containing..; Georg Thomas Flügel, Francis Joseph Grund (1834) p. 262

The largest platina specimens were reported in Russia in March 1831 and March 1832, perhaps concurrent with highest yielding placer production. This "news" was well-known in Europe by October 1833; it's likely that platina lows formed around that time.

If "~ 27 lbs avd." = 26.5 lbs avd.,12.02 Kgs, 386.5 Ozt. and where 19.55 Фунт = 8 Kgs, the information of James Dickson is exaggerated, mistaken and false.

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