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As you enter the world of selling and buying precious metals such as gold and silver, you may be confused by the unit of measurement used by the industry professionals to weigh your pieces. Perhaps, the weight they report to you in “ounces” is different from the weight you calculated in ounces. Or maybe, they use the terms “troy ounces” when discussing the weight of your gold jewelry. In either case, you are likely unsure of what is going on and wonder if you’re being swindled.

While it can be shocking (and confusing) to hear new terms while trying to sell your precious metal pieces, you are not being conned out of your money. In fact, professionals who are familiar with the industry and want to give you the best deal on your items will use the troy weighting system instead of the avoirdupois system (or the standard ounces we are familiar with). Because they are so familiar with the industry, your dealer may simply refer to troy ounces as “ounces.” Other times, they will use the full name of “troy ounces.”

Why is precious metal measured in troy ounces vs. ounces? Let’s take a look at how the troy weighting system varies from the avoirdupois system.

How a Troy Ounce Is Different From an Avoirdupois Ounce

Before we delve into the specifics of troy ounces, we want to briefly review a regular ounce. The ounces we use in our everyday lives are actually called avoirdupois ounces, but we simply shorten it to “ounces.” The ounce is approximately equal to 28.35 grams or 1/16th of a pound. This unit of measurement is used to describe the weight of any item except precious metals.

To protect the purity standards of precious metals over time, the bullion market adopted the troy weighting system and used it in place of avoirdupois ounces. A troy ounce is heavier than a regular ounce, weighing approximately 31.1 grams. While the weight difference between a troy ounce vs. an avoirdupois ounce may seem insignificant, it’s actually very important when dealing with large quantities of precious metal items.

Why the Troy Ounce Is Important

Some bullion dealers try to trick people into buying precious metals for more than they are worth by listing their weight in only standard ounces vs. troy ounces. You could lose a great deal of money in this way, especially if you buy (or sell) large quantities of precious metal items.

The use of the troy ounce ensures consistency in the measurement of precious metals. It has been in use since the Middle Ages, and even antique gold and silver pieces are often marked in troy ounces. Even though it may be confusing at first, the troy ounce will protect you from pitfalls and scams. 

Sell Your Gold and Silver Pieces With Confidence

We use the troy weighting system when dealing with gold, silver, and other precious metal pieces. Whether you wish to sell gold coins or gold jewelry in Boston, you can trust we will follow all of the highest industry standards when evaluating the real worth of your gold and other precious metals. Stop by our shop today to discuss the value of your items or reach out to us by phone, email, or contact form with any questions.