August 10, 2012

Russia, 1800 - 1830: Gold Yield

From 1800 - 1820, the Russian Gold Yield (at purity) ranged closely from 303.9 - 203.9 kgs (814.1 - 546.4 Troy Pounds.)  

In 1822, the Gold Yield had more than trebled : to 789.1 kgs (2,114 Troy Pounds.)
In 1824, the Gold Yield had risen more than 10x in just 4 years : to 3,068 kgs (8,221 Troy Pounds.) 

Where Gold was real money, it is hard to imagine such extraordinary circumstances and the impact on currency, import prices, trade, debt markets and other financial instruments at the government level.  Russian Paper currency was stable against others; nor do basic commodity prices appear likewise distorted by the super-abundance of Gold.  While Russian slaves (serfs) could gain only by theft, a small number of elites, the lessees, certainly profited.

It is also not clear any large development nor social benefit accrued to Russia or the metropolis from the discovery & exploitation of this massive monetary wealth at this time - consider the Gold Rush with settlement of both California and Australia, by contrast.

From 1850 - 1854, US Pig iron rose from $20.87 to $36.87;the Total Wholesale Index rose from 84 to 108.  Gold in circulation rose from $90 mln to 155 mln., total currency from $221 mln. to $342 mln. (See Robert Sobel, 1999.)

Citation: Voyage dans l'Oural entrepris en 1828 A. Th de Kupffer (1833)


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