I understand that it's technically not scifi but it's my favorite read and this one has been bugging me for quite some time. I know he got the chest of coins and gems but damn how big was that freakin' chest!? He spends money like a crazy person and this is supposedly 10 or so years AFTER he got rich. So, how much money does the Count have to his name?
According to the Count's biography the chest contained 2 million gold Roman Crowns, as well as an unspecified number of gold ingots and an unspecified amount of loose jewels which included diamonds, rubies, and pearls. The Count valued the crowns at 13 million Francs, I don't believe the value of the rest of the treasure was given. I would make a conservative estimate that he started out with at least 30 million Francs.
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If he starts out with 30 million franc, and using measuringworth.com and the as part of GDP part (which I think is the fairest way of calculating the worth) and assuming there's 26,2 francs to a pound (using the gold content in a sovereign worth 1,05 pounts and a gold franc) I get the following numbers.
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Starting with /u/justsomeguy_youknow 's estimate of 30 million francs in 1815, I was able to find a value of a bit over 9 billion dollars.
Googling showed me an estimate that 1 franc in 1815 was worth $20.20. From there I used an inflation calculator to get the final number of $9,015,205,004.63
Definitely on the level of "fuck you" money for a guy who is so single-mindedly pointed to revenge. Admittedly, that number is just a stab in the dark. Both the initial estimate or any of the steps I took along the way could be wildly off.
Estimating the value of historical currency in todays money is notoriously difficult, and somewhat flawed at it's core.
For example, a bad second hand computer can be bought for $50, but that exact same computer would be worth millions in 1960. It would probably be worth almost nothing in 1760 (how are you going to power it?).
In modern times various hand made items are luxuries, while in various times in history some of those items were the cheaper variety.
Fresh fruit would have been a massive luxury in 1700s, but now you can get an orange at the supermarket for pocket change.
Basically the value of every single thing fluctuates wildly up and down dependant on tons of factors specific to each thing. And on top of that our lifestyles change drastically too. Being a farmer for a local lord conferred you access to lots of things that would be a luxury in modern times (owning a horse is expensive!), but also meant that you didn't have various freedoms. So trying to pin down what money is "worth" relative to all these wildly fluctuating values sort of loses it's meaning.
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What you can say though, is that with 30 million francs in 1815, you can get a lot of shit done, and it's certainly comparable to modern day billionaires in terms of social power.