By the end of World War I, Marie Curie was probably the most famous woman in the world. She had made a conscious decision, however, not to patent radium or its medical applications. As the price of radium escalated, she found that she did not have sufficient supplies for the radiochemical investigations that she wanted to undertake at the Institute of Radium in Paris.
As for the radium prepared by me out of the ore we managed to obtain in the first years of our work, I have given it all to my laboratory.
The price of radium is very high since it is found in minerals in very small quantities, and the profits of its manufacture have been great, as this substance is used to cure a number of diseases. So it is a fortune which we have sacrificed in renouncing the exploitation of our discovery, a fortune that could, after us, have gone to our children. But what is even more to be considered is the objection of our many friends, who have argued, not without reason, that if we had guaranteed our rights, we could have had the financial means of founding a satisfactory Institute of Radium, without experiencing any of the difficulties that have been such a handicap to both of us, and are still a handicap to me. Yet, I still believe that we have done right.