In the late 18th century, a platinum-typed shiny element was suddenly found in South America. It was soon named Amerium and started getting very popular . It’s color was platinum but it had a sharp shine in the sun and was very different from all the elements found then. It’s mining needed a special technique which only a few miners knew first , but they taught others and people started catching along.The early miners started making ornaments of it and it also became a symbol of wealth.
The Europeans heard of this element and a number of voyages began. They too learnt the technique, although they paid a price to the miners who were getting richer due to the growing popularity of Amerium. Soon the reserves of Amerium started depleting and mining them became tougher. The early miners realized this and started spending a lot of money in securing their Amerium and also selling small quantities of it at huge prices. Every new batch of Amerium mined was sold off at premium prices soon after.
News of this spread across Asia, Europe, North America and Africa and soon everyone tried to buy this from the early miners. The early miners still held on to their reserve, selling only parts of it, enough to make them survive, but saving their best for the last, and thus expecting a spectacular exit which would not only make them the richest people then, but maybe the richest people in history.
People were trading land, food grains, gold , silver for the smallest bits of Amerium sold.Slowly Amerium started replacing gold and was used as an exchange for goods and services.
At this point, the miners opened up their reserve and became the wealthiest people on earth. They knew that by selling their Amerium, they could barter for anything. They could probably buy land worth the entire area of a country.
One of the miners was walking on the street when he noticed a man standing with a huge cart of fruits. Proudly, he walked and said ,“I’ll buy you and your entire cart, Here’s the payment” , handing over a grain sized quantity of Amerium.
The man said, “Well, just because you mined this piece of metal first, does not make you rich. Get me something more worthwhile to exchange, I’ll not give you anything for Amerium”
The miner threatened to wipe the fruit-seller away , and almost did so, and in his effort, the news of the fruit-seller spread. And everyone started asking the same question “Why should the early miners get an unfair share of the wealth? Finding Amerium was great, but that should give them a reward, not half the wealth of the world”
People stopped accepting Ameriums for food, land or gold. The miners were left with Amerium and nothing else to do but use up their food and riches while it laster. People who had bought Ameriums at premium prices eventually gave up on them. The world shifted back to a barter system and Ameriums are nicely displayed at the museum in DC .