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How Many Grams Are in An Ounce of Gold?

Catherine Tramell
Catherine Tramell

Published 5. may 2022

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The phrase “worth its weight in gold” means a given thing is valuable, sound, or necessary. So, what is the weight of actual gold? Or how is the same measured?

In America, gold’s weight is usually measured in ounces. In other regions, except for maybe Myanmar and Liberia, the weight of gold is denoted in grams, according to the metric system of measurement. America uses the imperial system. (Why the U.S. continues to stick with the imperial measurement system is a proper article for a later date.)

People who use the metric structure often get confused when they come across the weight of gold stated in ounces. Thanks to the Internet, finding out the gram equivalent of an ounce is only a basic search away. 

If you’re wondering how many grams there are in an ounce of gold, it’s 28.35 grams. There you have your answer. You may close the page now. Or should you?

Do you know what a troy ounce is? How many grams does it constitute? And how is a troy ounce different from a regular ounce?

Spoiler: An ounce is a troy ounce. Confused already?! Read on for clarity and more.

A Brief Overview of the Gram, Ounce, and Troy Ounce

Read the following to learn more than just how many grams are there in an ounce: 

Gram

A gram is a unit of mass belonging to the metric order of measurement. In plain numbers, it’s 1/1000th of a kilogram. Abbreviated “g” (and not “gr”, “gm”, or “Gm”), a gram is significantly smaller than an ounce.

The unit is commonly used in chemistry and physics applications. It helps measure flour, sugar, bananas, and other solid or non-liquid items outside the United States. From a visual perspective, a $1 bill, pen cap, 1/4th teaspoon of sugar, small paper clip, etc., weigh a gram. 

The word’s origins go back to 1795 when “gramme” replaced “gravet” in the metric measurement system. The French National Convention instituted the change. The word “gramme” has its roots in the Latin term “gramma”, which itself was a derivative of “grámma”, a Greek word.

Ounce

The international avoirdupois ounce or just ounce is one of the tiniest measurements of weight in the imperial system. Unlike a gram, an ounce could also denote volume, as in “fluid ounce”. The metric methodology equivalent for that is a “millimeter”. Pounds are divided into ounces.

The word “ounce” is abbreviated “oz”, which is derived from the Spanish and Italian term “onza”. The word “ounce”, on the other hand, has its roots in the Roman word, “uncia”. Besides denoting the weight of gold, “ounce” is also used to express a textile fabric’s aerial density (mass thickness) in Asia, North America, and the UK. 

As mentioned above, “ounce” is commonly used in the United States. In the UK, the measurement term was in official use until 2000. Although the United Kingdom has now adopted the metric structure, the imperial “ounce” is still used in the country informally or generally.

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Troy Ounce

Believed to be used originally in Troyes (France) in the Middle Ages, a troy ounce is a unit of measurement used almost exclusively to denote the mass of gold, platinum, silver, rhodium, and other precious metals. The weight of gold bullion coins is usually represented in troy ounces. Pure gold bars’ weight is measured in grams and kilograms—in pounds, in the U.S.

According to some historians, the troy ounce has its roots in Roman times. The unit was developed to make trading gold and other items easier for merchants in Europe with the world. The troy system gained increased significance and was adopted widely during the 10th century and thereon as Europe’s economy flourished.

The troy ounce stepped foot onto England shores during the 15th century. Before that, England used the avoirdupois system, an Anglo-Norman French system. It meant “goods of weight” but was also used by gold traders to measure the weight of precious metals. The troy ounce became the official measurement standard for silver and gold in Britain in 1527. America adopted it later in 1828.

Abbreviated “oz t” or “t oz”, one troy ounce is equal to 31.1 grams or 1.097 imperial ounces. A troy pound or 12 troy ounces is lighter compared to a regular pound, which weighs 14.6 troy ounces. The formerly used but now obsolete apothecaries’ ounce is equal to a troy oz.

Besides the above, the troy weight measurement standard also consists of the grain and pennyweight. The grain is the equivalent of 0.065 grams. The pennyweight (dwt) is 1.56 grams or 24 grains. A pennyweight is mainly used by jewelers to compute gold’s weight during the jewelry-making process.

Kindly note, the word “ounce” used to denote the weight of gold jewelry, gold coins, etc., is the troy ounce and not the standard ounce. In other words, an “ounce of gold” is a “troy ounce of gold”.

How Do the Asians Weigh a Precious Metal?

weigh precious metal scaled

Troy ounce is a widely used unit of weight for gold bullions, gold coins, and other forms of gold in the West. In Asian countries, however, the systems used to weigh gold are different. And those specific units do not contain the same number of grams, like how an ounce and troy ounce aren’t the same in terms of grams.

In China, Hong Kong, and several other parts of Southeast Asia, the “tael” or “tahil” system is used. The tahil weighs differently based on the region it’s used in. In China, for example, a tahil is 50 grams. But it’s equal to 37.5 grams in Japan. The Thai gold market employs the “bhat”, which is 15.25 grams.

Countries like India, Singapore, Pakistan, and Nepal use the “tola” to weigh their gold. The word “tola” means “weight” and equals 11.67 grams. Although the metric system has replaced the tola, it’s still pretty prevalent in the countries it’s used.

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Conclusion

Hopefully, all your doubts on weighing gold or the standard measurement unit have been cleared.

Again, gold is worth its weight. But the gold price is also based on purity or the number of karats it has. The greater the karat count, the more gold or expensive an item of gold would be.

We’ve already expounded on the karat system in this write-up that talks about gold purity. Click on the link to learn more.