February 26, 2015

USA, 1936

??/1936: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Mkt, Ingot) = USD$ 43.
9/18/1936: 1 Troy Oz. Platinum (Mkt, Ingot) = USD$ 70.

"Platinum prices dropped $6. an ounce to $64. when buyers melted away after the spectacular runup in prices recently.
platinum in small lots — 3 oz. ingots, then ... The Eisemann firm accumulated the metal, went to Handy & Harman, metallurgists, and had them assay the bullion and cut of an inch thick. These plates, euphemistically called ingots, were placed in safekeeping in the Chemical Safe Deposit Co., which issued certificates of deposits. It was these certificates that the brokerage firm merchandised. But International Nickel and other platinum interests did not take kindly to this "interference" with their market. Platinum has not been a hoarding metal — essentially. It has not been used for monetary purposes like gold and silver. Rather, it is functional — largely used in jewelry and in industry. Vogue Not So Strong Supposedly, the higher the price of platinum, the greater the use for rings and watch cases and rare settings — at least that was the case years ago, when nothing but the most expensive was good enough. But today, platinum is not prized purely on a price basis.


Citation: The Literary Digest, Vol. 122, Issues 14-26 11/28/1936 p. 42
PLATINUM: Wall Street's New Trading Certificates Survive Wild Price Gyration Last August, the price of platinum skyrocketed. From a moderate $43 an ounce, it soared to $70 — twice the price of gold. Then, just as precipitately, in September, prices for the white metal plummeted. Last week, the cost was $48 an ounce. Jewelers, who constitute almost half of America's wholesale market for platinum, and the chemical and electrical industries,which... 

The outbreak of war would inflate platinum prices, because the metal is used in detonating devices on bombs. (During the World War, it cost $105 an ounce; later it climbed to $170.) The Eisemann brothers learned about business in their father's ostrich importing company; later, they pioneered in radio manufacturing. With their earnings, they had dabbled in stocks. "Three years before the stock market collapsed in 1929, they reasoned that their merchandising experience had fitted "

Next, they hired Handy and Harman, metal brokers, to assay the platinum bullion, to cut it up into three-ounce plates, an eighth of an inch thick. These plates, dubbed ingots, were placed in the vaults of the Chemical Safe Deposit Co., New York, which issued certificates against them — one certificate for each ingot ... The 10 per cent, "spread" covers a host of costs: 6 per cent, to the broker, commission to buying agents who obtain the bulk platinum, charges for assaying the metal, profits to the Eisemann firm. To obtain his platinum, the certificate holder merely takes or mails his certificate to the Chemical Safe Deposit Co. To dispose of his platinum after getting it, he must shop around for a buyer, perhaps a jeweler or a dentist. The certificate holder may, however, sell his certificate back to the Eisemann Co. at a discount, thus cashing in on his investment without taking possession of the metal. After its launching, however, the Eisemann platinum trading venture promptly ran into difficulties.

Citation: Engineering and Mining Journal, Vol.137 (1936)
"Certain it is that the recent skyrocketing of platinum prices was not due to extraordinary demand in the usual channels of trade. ... platinum convenient and attractive, the brokerage house has acquired a quantity of the metal and cast it into three-ounce ingots of authenticated fineness. These are placed in a safe deposit vault and become the security for negotiable certificates of ownership issued to buyers."

No comments:

Post a Comment