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