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Re: VMs: Mad Kircher, was (lots)

14/09/2003 10:37:41 PM, Dennis <tsalagi@xxxxxxxx> wrote:

>	Thanks.  One more question.  I think Jacques said once
>that 600 ducats was ~22 troy ounces pure gold.

Yes. Quoting from memory, I had done some research,
and found that the ducat was a widely recognized
standard, a coin containing from (quoting from memory
again) 6.5 to 7 grams of pure gold. So 600 ducats is...
is that right? 600*6.5... four kilos of gold???

All right... you had me go and get my 1900 Larousse.


Apparently first minted in Venice in the 13th century.
Its value fluctuated... in the 18th century, it
was 11.62 to 11.89 francs in Germany, Austria,
Switzerland, Hanover, Holland, Poland, Prussia,
Russia and Sweden, only 9.30 francs in Denmark,
and 7.48 francs in Venice. There were silver
ducats and their value varied from 5.02 to 5.62 francs
in Parma, Piacenza and Venice (banking ducat), and
4.18 to 4.38 francs in Sicily and Venice (common
ducat). In Venice, there was also the "ducato
corrente piccolo" which was worth 3.24 francs. In Germany
and Austria, "ducat" was also the name of a weight
for precious metals, equivalent to 3.491 grams in
Germany and 3.459 grams in Austria.

The "francs" are gold francs. Before 1914, all throughout
Europe, all gold coins were accepted currency. You, living
in Paris, could pay your gas bill in gold roubles or gold
Mexican  pesos. Some silver coins were also universally

Now, 100 francs contained 32.258 grams of 90% gold
(a British pound, BTW, was 7.98805 grams of 91.(6)%
gold (11/12th, so: 22k). I'd count 1 ducat = 10 francs
(they _were_ gold ducats, if I remember). So...
6000 francs, which are... 1,935 grams of 90%
gold, and  a troy ounce is, from memory, about 31 grams
of nearly pure gold (99.999%).. so 34.4 grams of 90%
gold. About 56 ounces, then. What is the price of gold
today? I'd say those 600 ducats were about the 
equivalent of $15,000. I'd say much more in fact,
because in 1900, judging from French literature, 
"6000 livres de rente" (livre = franc) was a nice income.
You wouldn't live too well on $15,000 a year nowadays,
I think. 

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