Gold, silver and the end of film.

Our previous “Inkonomics” article triggered a LOT of interesting emails from readers.

Thank you for sharing your opinions. We just wish more people would comment below each post (instead of email) so not only we could benefit from different views. Perhaps a New Year’s resolution?

A really intriguing comment was “the economic recession triggered the end of film.”

The conclusion of a lengthy and fascinating discussion: When looking for safer investments than stocks and bonds, many people purchased gold, driving the ounce from $800 in 2008 to $1,700 in 2012.

What has this to do with film?

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Think a $5 gallon of gas is crazy? Drivers in Norway are currently paying $9 a gallon, and Germans pay just over $8.

That’s cheap compared with gold, which right now is at $1,700 per ounce.

Think gold is expensive? Consider this: If cars ran on printers’ ink instead of gasoline, each trip to the gas station would cost $100,000. According to PetaPixel, to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool with ink would cost billions of dollars.

My tiny office printer uses HP21 black ink cartridges. The best deal (often on Amazon) goes for $12. Each cartridge is 1.4 ounces.  Now, if you can remember your high school conversions, 1 US gal = 128 US oz. That means at $12 per cartridge, a gallon of the cheapest ink in our office costs about $1,536 per gallon, and the cheapest color cartridge is about $3,364 per gallon.  Yikes!

From PetaPixel.

What about my fancy photo printer? A long time ago I learned a valuable lesson: the cheaper the printer, the more expensive the inks. I have also learned that over time, the market leaders tend to be more stable in their pricing of consumables, because they are better equipped to react during rough economic times.

Keep this in mind during the holiday season when you see some “impossibly good printer deals.”