December 20, 2013

UK, 1858

1857: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (UK Retail, semi-mfg) = £ 1.65

1858/9:  1 Troy Oz. platina (Cartagena: 84% ore) = £ 0.8653
1858/9:  1 Troy Oz. Pt (Colombian Spot, .999) = £ 1.03 

1858: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (German Producer: Refined) = £ 1.22
1858: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (German Producer: Mfg) = £ 1.384

1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Paris: scrap)
= £ 0.7433
1858: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Paris: Mfg) = £ 1.24
1858: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Paris: Mfg) = £ 1.32
1858: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Paris: Mfg, Retail) = £ 1.32

  Grove's Battery with large sized plates (3"x6") for resale:

UK, 1856: Newman's Catalogue

Platinum plates of indeterminate thickness were employed; presumably ~2.0 Troy Ounces in total.

1857: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (semi-mfg) = £ 1.50 - 1.60 (USD$ 7.34 - 7.82) 
1856: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum (semi-mfg) = £ 1.60 (USD$ 7.86)

Assuming Grove's Sheet Battery, ea.: Pt 9.41 Grams/ 145.2 Grains Troy = £ 0.55 (USD$ 2.70), nearly the same price as 1853 elsewhere. 

A Catalogue of Philosophical Instruments Manufactured and Sold by J. Newman, Philosophical Instrument Maker...1856 p.21

Grove's Battery Form, 8" sq. in.  (16" sq. in . surface) in 12-Cells, with 0.67 sq. in. (1.33" sq. in surface) per cell.


Spurious Sovereign

December 18, 2013

Russia, 1857

1857: 1 Troy Oz platina (Cartagena: Choco ore) ~ Fr 21.77  (USD $ 4.25)

1859: 1 Troy Oz. platina (Cartagena: ore) = C$ 5.19 (S$ 4.15 ; USD$ 3.99)

 1857: 1 Troy Oz platina (SPb: 78.4% Ore) ~ 5.25 руб Kr. (Fr 20.57; USD $ 4.84)  
1857: 1 Troy Oz Platinum (SPb: Bulk, Scrap .95 Pt) = 6.687 руб Kr. 
.... (Fr 26.204; USD $ 6.17)  
1857: 1 Troy Oz Platinum (SPb: Scrap .900 Pt) = 7.04 руб Kr. 
.... (Fr 27.58; USD $ 6.49) 

Citation:  Platinmetalle von Heinrich Quiring (1962) p. 72
After technological attempts to exploit the recalled Platinum coinage from the State coffers had been abandoned - for a Russian industry for Platinum manufactures did not exist - in 1857 654.4 kilograms (of Platinum, as Scrap) were sold for 215 Roubles per kg to the Paris refinery of Desmoutis.  In 1862, Johnson, Matthey & Co. of London took a further 11,800 kg at the price of 199 Roubles per kg. With this large supply, the English company was able to secure a world monopoly of trade for many years.  Prices for Russian crude platina, the refined metal and other PGMs hereafter rose or  fell according to the English market.

In excess of the Ru Pt Yield (~25%?), Johnson & Matthey's import was probably a combination of Russian ore 75% @£ 0.728 and Russian Mint Scrap @£ 0.9707.  

UK, 1857: Platinum Import from Russia was 5,315 Ozt (165.3 Kgs)

1857 Platina Yield: 7.66 Poud = 306.46 Funt = 4,034.85 Ozt. = 125.5 Kgs
1857 Gold Yield: 1,623.67 Poud = 64,946.78 Funt = 855,097 Ozt. = 26,596.5 Kgs

7.1717 Poud Thlr 25,282

1857: 1 Troy Oz Platinum (SPb: Bulk, Scrap .95 Pt) = 6.2208 руб Kr.
Citation: Der Berggeist: Zeitung für Berg-, Hüttenwesen u. Industrie (1860) p.549

1857 Platina Yield: 7.72 Poud = 308.75 Funt = 4,065 Ozt. = 126.44 Kgs
1857 Gold Yield: 1,733.586 Poud = 69,3435 Funt = 912,984 Ozt. = 28,397 Kgs

Citation: The Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, Vol 10, 1918

Russia, 1852

1842 Platina Yield: 124.263 Poud = 4,970.5 Funt = 65,442 Ozt. = 2,035.48 Kgs

1852 Platina Yield: 16.566 Poud = 662.625 Funt = 8,724.2 Ozt. = 271.353 Kgs

At the assumed par (Fr. 4 = 1 руб Ag)

1850: 1 Troy Ounce Platinum Scrap (SPb: Semi-Refined, .97 Pt) = 7 руб 

c. 1845-1850:

December 16, 2013

Colombia, 1829

1829: Gold Coin:  Ozt. = 44,130 Ozt. = 1,372 Kgs.
1829: Est. Gold yield: ~ 53,366 Ozt. = 1,660 Kgs.
1829: Est. Platina yield: ~ 17,607 Ozt. = 547.63 Kgs.

Colombia, 1830

December 15, 2013

Germany, 1841

Robert Wilhelm Bunsen worked in Hesse in 1839-41.

1841 carbon cost £ 0.051 (~1s.)

Where the écu is the Thaler in Hesse-Cassel, weighing 22.13 Grams at .748 Fine Ag, "2 écu" = 33.103 Grams Fine Ag (~ USD$ 1.376); "18 écu" = 297.94 Grams Fine Ag (~ USD$ 12.384)

Where the écu is a Speciesthaler, or 1.33 Thaler Courant, weighing 23.377 Grams Fine Ag, "2 écu" = 46.754 Grams Fine Ag; "18 écu" = 420.786 Grams Fine Ag.

Check Poggendorf.

Citation: The Electrical Magazine, Vol. 1;  Charles Vincent Walker (1843)

Possibly dated, reference to the Nußdorf works (1819)

December 10, 2013

USA, 1836: Brown's Iridium-tipped Gold Pens (NYC)

1836: 1 Ozt. Platinum (UK: Semi-Mfg, Trade)  = £ 1.20 (USD$ 5.83)  
1836: 1 Ozt. Platinum (UK: Mfg, Trade)  = £ 1.75 (USD$ 8.51)

1836: 1 Ozt. Platinum (USA: UK Mfg, Ret.)  = £ 3.60 (USD$ 17.50)
1834:  Hawkins' Iridosmine tipped nibs first (wholesaled?) in London = £ 1.05 (USD$ 4.34) 

1836: 1 Iridium-Tipped Gold Pen (London: Retail)  = £ 1.00 (USD$ 4.86)

1836/7: Iridosmine tipped nibs (UK-Mfg) first retailed in New York = USD$ 10.

1849: Brown's Gold Pens, w/o Iridium (wholesaled?) in New York = USD$ 2. 


Germany, 1836


1835: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Germany: Semi-Mfg) ~Thlr. 11. (USD$ 7.74)
Citation: Universal-Lexikon der Handelswissenschaften: enthaltend: die Münz-, Maß- und ... August Schiebe (1838) p. 612

Alloy pins for Artificial Teeth: 40% Pt/ 60% Ag
Alloy springs for Artificial Teeth: 31.25% Pd, 31.25% Ag, 31.25% Cu, 6.25% Fe

Citation: Magazin der neuesten Erfindungen, Entdeckungen und Verbesserungen; Vol. 4 (1837) p.92


Where 1 Loth = 14.615 g.,

1836/7: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Germany: Ore?, Retail) = Thlr. 10.64 (USD$ 7.82)
1836/7: 1 Ozt. Platinum (Germany: Intrinsic, Retail) = Thlr. 11.70 (USD$ 8.60)   
1836/7: 1 Ozt. Platinum (Germany: Mfg, Ret.) ~ Thlr. 13.83 (USD$ 10.17)
1836/7: 1 Ozt. Platinum (Hypothetical Import COST, Ger. Mfg, Ret.) ~ USD$ 9.50
{Unmanufactured?} platinum now costs Thlr. 5 to 5.5 per Loth; in the apparatus-form, in proportion to the work.  All Platinum apparatus can now be purchased not only in Paris but from many other places, especially in Berlin from G. Stoffauer or Luhme; in Frankfurt from Joh. Val. Albert; in Leipzig from Lampe or Sellier; in Göttingen from Apel; but the last apparatus are of bad platinum and are not highly praised.

Citation: Das Hauslexikon: vollständiges handbuch praktischer, Vol. 6 (1837) p.496

Stuttgart c. 1836: Retail Platinum cost half the price of Gold, in jewelry, etc.  

Platinum or White Gold in the middle. Platinum ranges between silver-white or steel gray, it is still difficult and worth half as much {as Gold.}

Citation: Schul-Kalender: ein Normal-Handbuch für Volksschullehrer, Vol. 1 (1837)

Platinum in German dentistry, 1836:

German estimation of Russian mineral production, c. 1836:

Where Gold was estimated Thlr. 230 per Mark; Platinum Thlr. 79.95 per Mark; Silver Thlr. 14.664

Citation: Universal-Lexikon der Handelswissenschaften: Enthaltend: die Münz- ... ;  August Schiebe (1837)

Specific Gravity of Platinum  types, Silver Coin:


December 5, 2013











December 4, 2013

France, 1815


Jeannetty was charging Fr. 30./Once in the Summer 1815, when Fonzi announced Platinum for sale at Fr. 22.50/Once, a 25% market-price reduction. (It is not clear here if Fonzi introduced a Silver-Platinum alloy.)

March 1813: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Paris: Wire/Sheet, Retail) = Fr 30.50 (USD 7.52)
July? 1813: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Paris: Mfg, Ret.) = Fr 31.103

Sept. 1815: 1 Ozt. Platinum (Paris: Semi-Mfg, Trade) = Fr 30.50 (USD$ 7.58)
Sept.1815: 1 Ozt. Platinum (Paris: Semi-Mfg, Trade) = Fr 22.88 (USD$ 5.69

Giuseppangelo Fonzi (1768 – 1840), an itinerant dentist until settling in Paris (1795), inventor and maker of porcelain teeth on prosthesis in 1806 (affirmed 1807, 1808) the first 'life-like' mineral teeth.  Despite numerous technological innovations, Fonzi had powerful and aggressive enemies among elite Parisian dentists (Dubois-Foucou, Ricci) and became well-versed in political battles among industry competitors.

The gist of the 1816 argument with Georges Janetty (Fils) follows:

a) Janetty claimed his father knew the secret of rendering platina a malleable metal c.1786; b) that Fonzi was purchasing his Platinum until 1814.  
c) Fonzi replied, affirming he'd purchased Platinum from the Janettys since about 1796.  
d) Fonzi was unhappy with the "high price" of Janetty's Platinum by 1812
e) Fonzi accumulated bulk platina from England (c.1812/3?) in addition to scrap
f) Bollman's arrived in England (1814) and then Paris (early 1815?) with the intent to sell an amount of platina plus his own refining technique to Janetty, who rejected the offer.  Fonzi accepted the opportunity to buy Bollman's technique (and platina ore, presumably.) 
g) Fonzi announced his commercial competition in the Platinum trade with handbills, a -25% discount to Janetty's trade price on 9/29/1815. 

Dans l'un des articles insérés dans notre numéro du 28 août dernier, et répété le lendemain par le Journal Du Commerce, nous avons dit que M. Fonzi préparait des lingots de platine par une méthode dont les résultats sont constamment parfaits; que c'est à la concurrence qu'il a établie dans le commerce que l'on doit une diminution d'un quart dans le prix de ce métal, et que le premier il en a fait un usage extrêmement étendu dans ses nombreuses applications.

Ces assertions ont trouvé un contradicteur. M. Janety fils nous a écrit il y a quelques jours que, depuis trente ans, son père, auquel il y a succédé, possède le secret de rendre le platine malléable, ainsi que l'art de le travailler, et qu'il n'y a guère que deux ans que M. Fonzi a cessé d'acheter dans l'atelier du père, et ensuite dans celui du fils, le platine malléable qu'il a employé, et qu'il offre maintenant comme le résultat de ses propres travaux. Cette imputation est grave; aussi M. Fonzi, qui en a été instruit par la voie du journal qui avait répété notre article, s'est-il empressé de nous adresser une lettre fort détaillé et fort précise, dont la publicité importe à sa réputation d'honnête homme, et ne sera sans doute pas dénueé d'intérêt pour les personnes qui s'occupent du commerce ou des arts.

Voici la substance de cette lettre. Il est vrai que, depuis vingt ans environ, M. Fonzi achetait dans l'atelier des sieurs Janety le platine dont il avait un besoin indispensable pour la prothèse de la bouche, et pour la confection des dents terro-métalliques dont il est l'inventeur; mais il y a quatre ans que le prix excessif, auquel M. Janety portait le platine, détermina M. Fonzi a tenter de mettre en lingots une certaine quantité de minerai de ce métal qu'il avait tiré d'Angleterre, et il eut bientôt occasion d'apprendre le secret qu'il voulait découvrir. Le docteur Bollman, arrivé Amérique, proposa à M. Janetty de lui vendre le minerai de platine et de lui enseigner le moyen de le rendre malléable par la voie humide, inconnue à M. Janety. Celui-ci ayant refusé, la même offre fut faite à M. Fonzi, qui l'accepta. Les Petites-Affiches du 29 septembre 1815 attestent ce fait; elles attestent aussi que M. Fonzi a établi la concurrence et fait baisser le prix du platine. "Lorsque, par irréflexion sans doute," dit enfin M. Fonzi, "M. Janety affirme que j'ai acheté chez lui le platine que j'offre maintenant comme le résultat de mes travaux, il dit une chose ridiculement contraire a la vérité et l'évidence. Il n'a pas plus de raison de nier que le premier je sois parvenu à faire du platine un usage extrêmement étendu dans ses nombreuses applications.  Pour l'en convaincre, je lui propose et je le défie de présenter de suite, de son côté, tandis que j'en ferai autant du mien, les produits de son industrie à la société d'encouragement,  dont il est membre, et cette société savante et impartiale prononcera entre nous." Cette réponse ne nous laisse pas douter que nous n'ayions rendu à M. Fonzi une justice qui lui était due, et qui ne peut plus lui être contestée que devant le tribunal respectable qu il a lui-même choisi.

In one of the articles appearing in our issue of August 28, and repeated the next day by Le Journal Du Commerce, we said that Mr Fonzi prepared platinum ingots by a method whose results are always perfect; that established  commercial competition which must decrease by 25% the price of the metal, and firstly he has made an extremely wide use in numerous applications.

These assertions have found an opponent. Mr. Janety (Son) wrote us a few days ago that, for the last thirty years, his father, whom he succeeded, has possessed the secret of making platinum malleable, and so the art of that work, and it was scarcely two years that Mr Fonzi stopped buying in the father's and then son's workshop, the malleable platinum he used, and which he now offers as the result of its own work. This charge is serious; as Mr Fonzi, who was informed through the newspaper repeating our item, was quick to send us a very detailed and very precise letter, whose publication is important to his reputation as an honest man, and will probably not be without interest for people working in the trade or the arts.

Here is the substance of this letter. It is true that for about twenty years, Mr Fonzi bought platinum in the shop of Messrs. Janety, which was an indispensable need for the dental prosthesis, and for making terro-metallic teeth, of which he is the inventor; but after four years at the excessive price which Mr. Janety set Platinum go {since the Summer 1811} determined Mr Fonzi try to make ingots from a certain amount of this ore that he had sent from England, and he soon had opportunity to learn the secret that he wanted to find out.  Dr. Bollman, who arrived America, offered to sell platina and teach Mr Janetty the way to make it malleable by the wet-method, unknown to Mr. Janety.  The latter refused, the same offer was made to Mr. Fonzi, who accepted.  Small-Notices of September 29, 1815 demonstrate this fact; also showing that Mr Fonzi established competition and lowered the price of Platinum. "When, thoughtlessness probably," Mr Fonzi  finally said, "Mr. Janety says I bought platinum from him that which I now offer as the result of my work, he says something ridiculous and contrary to the truth and evidence.  He has no more reason to deny that I managed to be the first to use platinum in extremely wide and numerous applications.  To convince him, I have asked him and challenge him to present, for his part, while I'll do the same to mine, products of  his manufacture in the Société d'Encouragement to which he belongs, and this scholarly and impartial body will decide between us."  This response leaves us no doubt that we have paid to Mr. Fonzi justice due to him, and he can no longer be challenged before the respectable court that he has himself chosen.

c. 9/29/1815:
Citation: Le Constitutionnel: journal du commerce, politique et littéraire (3/27/1816) p.3


It is especially curious that Fonzi was manufacturing Platinum boilers in 1816; perhaps he was a front for Bréant?

J'ai mis recemment en vente une chaudière pour concentrer l'acide sulfurique: cette chaudière est d'une seule pièce et sans soudure. Les amateurs peuvent la voir dans l'atelier de MM. Adolphe et Frédéric, rue de Faubourg du Temple, No. 91.

I recently listed a boiler to concentrate sulfuric acid: the boiler is a single piece and without welding. Fans can see in the workshop of Messrs. Adolphe et Frédéric, Rue Faubourg du Temple, No. 91

Citation: Le Constitutionnel: journal du commerce, politique et littéraire (10/30/1816) p.4

July 1815: A Platinum Medallion "Seconde Entrée du Roi à Paris" from (Bertrand) Andrieu & (Raymond) Gayard: 49.8mm; 150.7 g. (4.845 Ozt) Assumed 0.975 Fine Pt.

7/1815: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Paris: Coined, Estimated mark-up 10%) = Fr 35.09 
7/1815: 1 Medallion Pt (Paris: Est. Mint Price, 4.845 Ozt) ~ Fr 170. (~1.60 Ozt Fine Au)

Lot 459 sold 12/6/2014) for € 30,000. (€ 34,500.; USD$ 42,437.52), 7.3x Bullion Pt Spot and equivalent to 36.45 Ozt Au Bullion. 

12/5/2014, buyers reported paying a numismatic premium of 9.75% ; on eBay 3/3/2015, Platinum Coin sold for USD$ 1,314., a 10.88% Premium over Spot.

12/6/2014: 1 Ozt. Platinum (Spot) = USD$ 1,231.  
12/6/2014: 1 Ozt. Numismatic Platinum (Rarity) = USD$ 8,983.40

(The Silver Medallion: 49.8mm; 72.5 g.)

Lot 458 sold 12/6/2014) for € 1,000. (€ 1,150.) ~37.2x the Bullion Ag Spot.

12/6/2014: 1 Ozt. Silver (Spot) = USD$  16.33
12/6/2014: 1 Ozt. Numismatic Silver (Rarity) = USD$ 606.88)

Another Gayrard Platinum Medallion:

France, 1855

1856: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Paris: Semi-Mfg, Retail) = Fr  32.66 (USD$ 6.35)
1856: 1 Ozt. Platinumware Mfg (Retail) = Fr 4.80 (USD$ 0.93)
L. Barre's summary of laboratory costs c. 1855, equipment presumably purchased from Paris, bulk/discount. 

1855: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Paris: Mfg Basin, Retail) = Fr 37.46 (USD$ 7.31)
1855: 1 Ozt. Platinum (Paris: Mfg Crucible, Retail) = Fr 39.10 (USD$ 7.63
1855: 1 Ozt. Platinum (Paris: Mfg Spatula, Retail) = Fr 41.47 (USD$ 8.09
Citation: Bulletin de la Société de l'industrie minérale, Saint-Étienne, Vol.1 1855-6 p.224 


Chapuis Frères , 1855:

French Platinum manufacturers/industry, 1855:

The price of Platinum trocars was stable for decades. 

c.1855, Maison Charrière


c.1857, L. Mathieu, fabricant d'instruments de chirurgie 

c.1866, L. Mathieu, fabricant d'instruments de chirurgie

1855: 1 Troy Oz. platina (Paris: Ore Retail) = Fr 31.10 (USD$ 6.06)
1855: 1 Ozt. Iridosmine (Paris: Ore Ret.) = Fr 124.41 (USD$ 24.23)

Citation: Cours de géologie agricole théorique et pratique;  Nérée Boubée (1852; 1855)