July 19, 2012

Russia, 1817

The famous blind traveler Holman describes the area around Ekaterinbourg, and the estate of the extraordinary Englishman, Joseph Major.

After involvement with a number of steam-engine and pump-related projects (and a large galvanic battery, in 1801) Major had worked at the St. Petersburg Bank Mint (Cyrillic initials "O.M." on Gold 5-Rouble Coins, 1797-1800) before settling in Siberia circa 1803. He built a steam-engine for A. Knauf's copper-smelter (1804) and with with son Alexander had an enterprise for the mass-production of engines.

Gold from his property was scant, a few pounds per year, but Major certainly had familiarity with Platinum, having employed it in his various professions.

He was murdered on his estate by Gold thieves in 1833.

From/to the Urals, news to/from St. Petersburg was 17-23 days delayed.

1817: 1 Troy Ounce Fine Gold (High Cost) = 72.910 руб Banco (26.513 руб Silver) £2.89 1817: 1 Troy Oz. Fine Gold (Low Cost) = 21.873 руб Banco ( 7.954 руб Silver) ; £ 0.87

Citation: Travels through Russia, Siberia, Poland, Austria, Saxony, Prussia ..., Vol.1; James Holman (18 ) pp.





 



General knowledge in Russia of PGMs, c.1817

Russia, 1820










Cochrane describes the area where platina was discovered. For the Russian Crown, the English (and sub-altern Germans) were directing the Ural mines, staffed by poorly-paid serfs who - it is clearly insinuated - stole from their master. Specimen Gold & minerals were notably collected, off-market.

Economic circumstances were perfect for the establishment of a contraband trade in platina, at the time of the major field discovery. 

 
Citation: Narrative of a pedestrian journey through Russia and Siberian Tartary... ; John Dundas Cochrane (1825) pp. 72-







Russian food commodity prices at Odessa, 1818-1826


Although perishable commodities sold in bulk entailed additional fees, foreign trade certainly entailed many costs associated with credit, insurance, shipping and handling.
 

1819/20 Exchange Rate
 

July 18, 2012

Russia, 1822


1822: 1 Troy Ounce platina (SPb: Ore 80%) = 4.375 руб Acc.

  The first buyer was the government. From the years 1825-1843 the delivery of the whole platinum gained to the Crown was required. The price paid was initially (1822?) 60 Kopecks per Zolotnik, or {140.66 руб Acc.} per kilogram, with 10 to 12% deducted by the assayer {123.78 руб Acc., net}.  Three years (1825?) later, it rose to {230.31 руб Acc.} per kilogram and finally the coining period (1828-1843) to {290.25 руб Acc.}

Citation: Prometheus: Illustrierte Wochenschrift über die Fortschritte..., Vol. 18, No. 904, p.309 

1822: 1 Troy Ounce platina (Error @ "Rouble rate") = £ 0.9042
1822: 1 Troy Oz platina (ore, @ Silver Rouble rate) = £ 0.2260

Citation: The Mineral Industry, Vol. 17 (1908) p.718


1819-22: Platina was separated from Gold at Neiwin ; collected at Jekaterinburg.

1826: Confirmation of the Ural discovery ('rumor') was widely reported in Continental journals of the scientific community; here, a footnote to a Boussingault's 18 April 1826 'Colombian Letter to Humboldt'

Citation: Annales de chimie et de physique; Louis-Bernard Guyton de Morveau, p.206

July 17, 2012

France, 1915


En mars 1915, il fut dejà de 8,950 fr. le kilogramme


1915/6: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (ingot, mkt) = Fr 270.61 - 311.04
1916: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (ingot, mkt) = ℳ 264.39 - 388.80
 
Citation: Enzyklopädie der technischen chemie: Unter mitwirkung von fachgenossen, Vol. 9 ; Fritz Ullmann p.179


Assuming the metric tonne and accounting for different data (see Lumb, 1921) reported,
French Import, 1915: 11,570 ozt.; French Export 1915: 20,580 ozt.

 (Russian Export, 1915: 107,800-119,789 ozt; Colombian Export 18,000 ozt)

Germany, 1919

July, 1919: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (ingot, mkt) = ℳ 1,088.65
October, 1919: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (ingot, mkt) = ℳ 3,110.42

Citation: Enzyklopädie der technischen chemie: Unter mitwirkung von fachgenossen, Vol. 9 ; Fritz Ullmann p.179

Germany, 1918

December, 1918: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (ingot, mkt) = ℳ 777.60

Citation: Enzyklopädie der technischen chemie: Unter mitwirkung von fachgenossen, Vol. 9 ; Fritz Ullmann p.179

Germany, 1916

1916: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (ingot, mkt) = ℳ 264.39 - 388.80

Citation: Enzyklopädie der technischen chemie: Unter mitwirkung von fachgenossen, Vol. 9 ; Fritz Ullmann p.179

July 12, 2012

France, 1882


 

1882: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum-Irdium alloy (intrinsic/mkt?) = Fr 62.2 (USD$ )
1882: 1 Troy Ounce Pt-Ir alloy (scrap) = Fr 27.99 (USD$ )

1882:
 


Citation: Die Elektrolyse, Galvanoplastik und Reinmetallgewinnung: Mit Besonderer ... Eduard Japing (1883) p.



Copying and adapting HASENCLEVER, die Schwefelsäurefabrikation im Jahre 1891. Incorrect forex!

1882: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (Paris: Mfg, Bulk) Fr 34.68 (USD$ )

Citation: Le Moniteur scientifique du Doctor Quesneville: Journal ..., Vol. 39-40 G. A. Quesneville, p.664


France, 1877



The boiler had previously used at a weight of
70-80 kg, Production of 7,500 kg, Cost 75,000 Mark,
59-62 kg, Production of 6,000 kg, Cost 60,000 Mark,
38-40 kg, Production of 3,000 kg, Cost 38,000 Mark,
27-30 kg, Production of 2,000 kg, Cost 27 000 Mark,
19 -20 kg Production of 1,000 kg, Cost 19,000 Mark,
 

On the other hand, Paris can provide a 32 kg apparatus without cooler, Production 6,000 kg, Cost 30,000 Mark, and London offers a 16 kg apparatus without cooler, Production 5,000 kg, Cost 16,000 Mark.

Citation: Chemie-Arbeit in Werk und Labor, Vol. 1 4/1878 p.144




International Standards, 1877 expenses
 


Citation: Agenda du chimiste à l'usage des ingénieurs: physiciens, chimistes...

Apparently mixing ore & refined ingot prices, or the Platinum market witnessed huge volatility.

1877: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (refined, Paris mkt
) = Fr 31.73 ($ 6.15 ; USD$ 6.44)


Wholesale bulk price, reported c. 1878:






 


Counterfeiting noted, 1869-1876:



1876 20-Franc Coin, Gilt Platinum, 6.36 G (German auction)

1876 20-Franc Coin, Gilt Platinum, 6.36 G (Belgian Mint report, 1907):

 

France, 1865

1865: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (Ru: Sponge, Bulk) = Fr 15.5828
($ 3.03 ; USD$ 4.77)

Spink & Son : The Numismatic Circular, Vol. 15, May 1907 p. 9885:

"Nach zuverlässigen Quellen betrug der Kilopreis des gereinigten russischen Platins im Jahre 1865 501 Francs und 1866 gar nur 457 bis 549 Francs."

"According to reliable sources, the price per kilo of purified Russian platinum in 1865 was 501 francs and in 1866 from only 457 to 549 francs."

1865: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Mfg, Bulk) = Fr 32.66
($ 6.35 ; USD$ 10.)

Where a 150 litre Platinum Still weighed 28.548 Kgs, the original 1865 price for a Paris-manufactured boiler was about double the wholesale sponge rate: Fr. 1,071.5/Kg

Delivery 200 Kms from Paris may have been Fr. 614, the difference.

1865: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Mfg, Bulk; Delivered?) = Fr 33.33 
($ 6.48 ; USD$ 10.20)
 
 Der Apparat kostete, das Kg zu 1,050 Frcs., 30,588.40 Frcs. 

Citation: Amtlicher Bericht über die Wiener Weltausstellung im Jahre 1873, Vol. 3, Pt. 1 (1875)


1873:






France, 1903

1903: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum = Fr 93.30 (USD$ 18.05)
c.1870: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum ~ Fr 21.11 (USD$ 4.73)


July 11, 2012

Austria, 1890?

The seminal textbook of criminalistics by Hanns Groß (1893) records an odd and rather stupid (or drug-induced desperate?) variety of "scrap" Platinum theft, perhaps dating from the Platinum peak?

Citation: Manuel pratique d'instruction judiciaire à l'usage des procureurs..., Vol. 2 ("Sad Cases" Ch. 22, p.475) Hanns Gross, Gabriel Bourcart, Wintzweiller

France, 1910

Citation: La Revue scientifique, Part 2
Le platine, dont le cours était de 3.600 francs an 30 juin 1909, s'est élevé jusqu'au cours de 5.200 au 30 juin 1910. Depuis il atteint 6,500 francs.

July 10, 2012

Germany, 1832

An identical price range might suggest republished data, but various queries from potential Platinum buyers in 1833 - and quite approximate quotes for Platinum stills in that year - probably indicate prices were accurate, rising, and not just 'advertising hype.'

This was not the first crash for manufactured Platinum prices, considering the introduction of Wollaston's product in 1805, and Cuoq & Courturier's expanded production in 1814. Much higher prices had preceded those events (in 1800, 1802, 1820-5) so wiser, experienced consumers might have known to wait and buy at lower prices later.

The demand for Platinum apparatus was just beginning, and 1832 may have marked the Low for manufactured bulk Platinum.

UK prices show a Low for 1831/2, also.

c.1832: 1 Troy Ounce platina (ore, Paris) = Fr 5. (USD$ 0.96)


1830: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (mkt) = Fr 15.24 (USD$ 2.92)
1831: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (mkt) = Fr 16.25 (USD$ 3.12)
1832: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (mkt) = Fr 20.32 (USD$ 3.95)
1833: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (mkt) = Fr 23.33 (USD$ 4.39)

1832: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (refined) = Fr 22.35 (USD$ 4.21)
1832: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (intrinsic) = Rthr 6.65 (USD$ 4.62)
c.1832: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (re: Russian production) = Fr 24.57. (USD$ 4.75)


By 1832, Colombian platina rose again to an intrinsic price close to the Russian coin-rate (1832.) This was likely caused by increased demand from the USA, with the lifting of the 15% tariff on both platina & manufactured Platinum.

February, 1832: Platinum coinage had begun four years before this St. Petersbourg opinion.

Citation: Annuaire historique universel pour 1832 (1834) p. 174

1832: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (intrinsic) = Fr 23.33 (USD$ 4.39)

Citation: Précis de la géographie universelle: (1835) Conrad Malte-Brun, p.530.

1832: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (intrinsic) = Rthr 6.65 (USD$ 4.62)

1830/2?: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (retail?) ~ Fl 19.44 (USD$ 7.78)

Citation: Das Kaiserreich Russland: statistisch-geschichtliche Darstellung seiner ...; Friedrich Wilhelm Reden (Freiherr von) (1843) p.561

Citation: Handbuch der contor-wissenschaft, Leopold Carl Bleibtreu (1835), p.17



July 9, 2012

UK, 1909: Price-Hike for Australian Ore

1909: 1 Troy Ounce platina (Australian Ore, intrinsic) = £ 2.875 (USD$ 14.00)
1909: 1 Ozt. platina (Australian Ore, intrinsic) = £ 3.75 (USD$ 18.27)
1909: 1 Ozt. Platinum ~ £ 4.3545 (USD$ 21.21)
1909: 1 Troy Ounce of Platinum = USD$ 24.87

Citation: Treatise on general and industrial inorganic chemistry, By Ettore Molinari (1920) p.850




See Official Year Book of the Commonwealth of Australia No. 4 - 1911 ; Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics.


"In September 1909, the price paid locally {Fifield/Parkes, NSW} for the Platinum was increased from £ 2 17s. 6d. to £ 3 15s." 75-90% purity

 

1920s Assay?

Citation: Geological Survey Professional Paper, Vols. 630-631


1909: 1 Troy Oz. Rhodium = £ 20.22 (USD$ 98.45)

Rhodium was 13 shillings per gram in 1909.

UK, 1910

Germany 1910

1910: 1 Troy Ounce of platina = £ 6.97 (USD$ 33.86)
1910: 1 Troy Ounce of Platinum = USD$ 33.70
1910: 1 Troy Oz. Chlor-Platinate Solution = £ 1.3719 (USD$ 6.66)

If 1 Troy Oz of Platinum solution has not more than 94 grains of pure Platinum, where 1 lb. avd. Solution has less than ~2.87 ozt pure Pt. 

Citation: Platers' Guide: With which is Combined Brass World, Vol. 7 (Dec. 1910)


1910: 1 Troy Ounce of Iridium (Source, bulk) = £ 9.95 (USD$ 48.37)
1910: 1 Troy Ounce of Rhodium (whols.) = £ 18.66 (USD$ 90.70)

Citation: Treatise on general and industrial inorganic chemistry; Ettore Molinari (1920) p.850