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What is a Troy Ounce?

When you buy Precious Metals like Gold and Silver, you might have seen two weight measurements used, a troy ounce and an ounce. In general, the troy ounce is commonly used for Precious Metals instead of the traditional and more familiar unit, the ounce. Ounces are used for products that are more familiar to us like food or silverware. “A troy ounce is equivalent to 1/12 of a troy pound,” where a standard ounce is equivalent to 1/16 of a pound (Gold Price).

Are Troy Ounces Important?

If you are a Precious Metals buyer, troy ounces are important and they will always be important because they are the standard weight for Precious Metals. The question of “how much is a troy ounce?” is common because beginning collectors and investors may not know or understand.  The importance of the troy ounce cannot be understated because it provides you with an extra factor for purchasing power. While the system may seem overly complicated, there is good reason for it. The troy ounce was implemented to ensure there were standards in place for certain goods, including Precious Metals. There are few examples where the avoirdupois system takes precedence over the troy ounce.  

This extra piece of knowledge can also help you recognize the good Precious Metals retailers from the bad ones. Counterfeiting coins and other bullion products is common, but when you know the difference between a troy ounce and a traditional ounce, you may be able to feel and see the difference. 

How Many Grams in a Troy Ounce?

The troy ounce is approximately 10 percent heavier than a typical ounce, therefore the troy ounce value is higher. A troy ounce weighs in at 31.1035 grams and the traditional ounce we are accustomed to weighs 28.3495 grams. The importance of this comes in handy when you are buying from a Precious Metals retailer. Is it sold in ounces or troy ounce? This helps determine whether you are getting a true troy ounce Gold price or a true troy ounce Silver price. The spot price of Gold or Silver per troy ounce is vastly different than the price of a standard ounce.

Very rarely will you find an instance where a Precious Metal product is listed as 31.1 grams. The standard weight will predominately be labeled as troy ounces.

The Avoirdupois Ounce Versus the Troy Ounce

The avoirdupois system, the system that provides us the traditional ounce we are familiar with, differs from the system that gives us the troy ounce and troy weight. The troy system takes into account the purity standards in the Precious Metals products. “Originally coming from the French town of Troyes,” it has been a standard of Precious Metals measurements for hundreds of years. (Bullion Vault) The conversion process of the avoirdupois ounce to the troy ounce is rather simple. Multiply the traditional ounce by .91 and you will get the troy ounce weight. The weight system can often be confusing and some Precious Metals retailers will sell you a product as a traditional ounce but charge you a troy ounce weight. Other information about the troy ounce

  • This was the basis for coinage introduced by Henry II of England.
  • The English adopted the system from the French during this time.
  • The troy system was adopted by the U.S. Mint in 1828. (Bullion Vault)

It seems confusing figuring out the differences at first but it will become easier with time. At APMEX, coins and other bullion products are measured in troy ounces unless specifically mentioned, so you can be assured you are not getting less weight and quality for your purchase.

Consider buying your Precious Metals from a trusted retailer. These products are just three of the thousands that APMEX sells at a troy ounce.

Does the Troy Ounce Change the Precious Metals Price?

This is a common question with beginner collectors. The simple answer is no because the standard Gold price per ounce or Silver price per ounce is listed as a troy ounce. Any reference to price points for Precious Metals is calculated in troy ounces. Even if there are references to grams or kilo price costs, those calculations are based on the troy ounce as well, simply divided (for grams) or multiplied (for kilos). This can help you with your purchasing power.

Buy Precious Metals at APMEX

It can be difficult navigating through the weight system of Precious Metals, but at APMEX, you can rest assured that every product is represented correctly by weight and quality. With a vast selection of Silver coins, Gold coins and bars, you want to have the highest quality for the best price. You get the best value troy ounce Gold price and troy ounce Silver price on our products.

Helpful Resources

How to Invest in Precious Metals (2:38)

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The Precious Metals Guide: Insights & Services

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