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Troy Ounce - What it is and Why it Matters

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 as 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 ozs are important and they will always be important because they are the standard weight for Precious Metals.  The importance of this measurement cannot be understated because it provides you with an extra factor for purchasing power. While the system may seem overly complicated, there is a good reason for it. This unique measurement 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.  

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 are common, but when you know the difference between both ounces, you may be able to feel and see the difference. 

How Many Grams in a Troy Oz?

A troy oz 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. This helps determine whether you are getting a true price for your metal.

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 oz 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 oz is rather simple. Multiply the traditional ounce by .91 and you will get the troy 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

  • 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 oz unless specifically mentioned, so you can be assured you are not getting less weight and quality for your purchase.

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 oz. 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).

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 price on our products.


Helpful Resources

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