Is a Troy Ounce the Same as a Regular Ounce?

If you want to buy or sell gold, other precious metals, or gemstones, you will want to check the current ounce price to determine its value.  However, don’t think that you can get an accurate dollar amount by weighing your gold on a postage scale, for instance, because an ounce of gold is called a troy ounce and is very different from the avoirdupois ounce that is commonly used in the United States.

It’s very important to know some basic weight terms if you want to understand charts and discussions and news reports about precious metals and gemstones.  Therefore, I’ve provided for you a concise glossary of terms below: avoirdupois ounce, troy ounce, grain, and pennyweight.

NOTE:  While most of the world uses the metric system, the United States primarily uses the U.S. customary system (also called the American system) to measure weight.

Avoirdupois ounce is abbreviated oz.

1 avoirdupois ounce = .911458333 troy ounces, 437.5 grains or 28.349523125 grams

Definition of Troy Ounce

Gemstones and precious metals such as gold, silver, and platinum are sold by the troy ounce.  It is heavier than the avoirdupois ounce.

Troy ounce is usually abbreviated t oz or sometimes oz t.

1 troy ounce = 1.097142857 avoirdupois ounces, 20 pennyweights, 480 grains, or 31.1034768 grams

1 kilogram  = 32.15 troy ounces

NOTE:  There are 12 troy ounces in a troy pound, as opposed to 16 avoirdupois ounces in an avoirdupois pound.  Therefore, a troy pound is lighter than an avoirdupois pound.  However, the troy pound is no longer being used which helps a lot!

Definition of Grain

A grain is a unit of weight in both the U.S. customary system and the troy system that weighs the same under both systems. Its abbreviation is gr.

1 unit of grain = 0.002285 ounces or 0.06479891 grams

Definition of Pennyweight

Jewelers use the pennyweight in calculating the amount and cost of precious metals used in fabricating or casting jewelry.  Dentists still use the pennyweight as the measure of precious metals in dental crowns and inlays.  It has no relation to penny coins.

Pennyweight is usually abbreviated dwt or pwt, and occasionally PW. Why is dwt the most common abbreviation? The “d” was taken from the ancient Roman penny-like coin denarius and was the abbreviation for the penny before the decimalization of the British monetary system.  Then it was used as an abbreviation for pennyweight and still is.

20 pennyweights = 1 troy ounce

1 pennyweight = 1/20 of a troy ounce, 24 grains, 7.777 carats, approximately 0.055 ounces, or 1.55517384 grams

How to Convert Avoirdupois Ounces to Troy Ounces

Multiply the number of ounces x .912 to get the approximate number of troy ounces; for example, 4.50 ounces x .912 = 4.10 troy ounces.

In Conclusion

Well, I hope you found this introduction helpful!  Let me know if you enjoyed this information or if there is something I can add to it to make it easier to understand or better in any way.  Thanks!

Tags: American system, avoirdupois ounce, definition of grain, definition of pennyweight, definition of troy ounce, Gemstones, metric system, precious metals, sell gold, troy ounce, U.S. customary system

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The Difference between Pure Silver, Sterling Silver, Coin Silver, Junk Silver, and Silver Plating

Technically, silver is a metallic chemical element whose chemical symbol is Ag (Argentum) and whose atomic number is 47. Pure silver is a precious metal that is used to make jewelry, tableware (silverware), and coins, among other things.  It also has many other uses which we will discuss in future posts.

The millesimal fineness system is used to show the purity of silver (pure silver), gold, and platinum alloys by parts per thousand of pure metal by mass in the alloy.  For example, if an alloy contains 92.5% silver, it is referred to as “925.”  [NOTE: An alloy is a mixture of two or more metals to obtain desirable qualities such as hardness, lightness, and strength.]

Fine silver (99.9% pure)

Is too soft to use in jewelry or almost anything else because it bends, breaks, and stretches too much. For this reason, manufacturing jewelers and silversmiths mix copper with it to give it some strength without discoloring it.  Copper is the industry standard.  However, some countries use other alloys as well.

When you see “.999 fine silver” or “999” stamped on an item, it is considered pure silver.  It is softer and more malleable than sterling silver.  It is used in bullion bars, and is also known as three nines fine.

Sterling silver

Also known as standard silver. Is what jewelry and silverware are traditionally made from, which is 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper.  That is why you sometimes see .925 stamped on your jewelry.  In the U.S., only a minimum of 92.5% fine silver can be marketed as “silver.”

Sterling silver jewelry is often plated with a thin coat of .999 fine silver to give the item a shiny finish (called “flashing”).   Silver will tarnish unless an anti-tarnish coat is added.  Rhodium is sometimes used for this thin coat because it is very shiny and never tarnishes.  However, rhodium is a very expensive option compared to the silver finish.

Coin silver

Is an alloy of 90% silver and 10% copper.  Therefore its millesimal fineness is 900, also known as one nine fine.  Most United States silver coins are made of coin silver.

Junk silver

Is an informal term used in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia for any silver coin which is in fair condition and has no numismatic or collectible value above the bullion value of the silver it contains. Such coins are popular among people seeking to invest in silver, particularly in small amounts. The word “junk” refers only to the value of the coins as collectibles and not to the actual condition of the coins.  Also, junk silver isn’t necessarily scrap silver.


silver-plated item has a thin coating of silver deposited onto a base metal which has a lower value than silver.  Once used as plating, silver cannot be easily recovered, so it is of no value to those who are accumulating silver as an investment. EPNS means electroplated nickel-silver and is sometimes stamped on silver-plated items.

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As global tensions rise, so does the price of gold

Chart Gold Prices Surge

Gold Prices Surge to Reach 5 Month High

On Wednesday, April 12, 2017, the spot price of gold found itself inching up 0.09 percent to $1,275.15 per ounce, the highest it’s been since November 10, 2016, which was at $1,279.80. With most recent developments in the Korean peninsula and the Middle East, investors have been seeking the safe-haven asset, gold.

On Tuesday, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un warned the United States of a nuclear attack at any sign of American aggression, as a U.S. Navy strike group, which Trump called an “armada”, steamed towards the western Pacific. This threat helped move gold to close above the 200-day moving average for the first time this year, after struggling to do so over the past few weeks.

The recent US strikes on Syria has added to investor’s aversion. This attack was prompted by the use of a deadly chemical agent against Syrian civilians, which killed at least 70 people — 10 children among the dead. According to a White House report, U.S. intelligence indicates that the chemical agent in the attack was delivered by a Syrian Su-22 aircraft which took off from the Shayrat airfield. Bashar al-Assad, Syrian’s president has denied that his military has used chemical weapons. President Donald Trump’s administration has gone forward and accused Russia of trying to shield Syria’s government from blame for a deadly gas attack. Speaking of the event, Vladimir Putin said today that trust had eroded between the United States and Russia, and Moscow has offered a hostile reception to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as they face-off over Syria.

There is much left unknown as heightened tensions effect the outlook of gold. Will gold prices continue to surge as risk aversion sweeps the financial markets or will this geopolitical impact fade?

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