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Troy Weight Measurements
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Maybe you've heard the question, "Which is heavier: an ounce of gold or ounce of feathers?" If you were surprised to find out that an ounce of gold - or any precious metal like, silver, palladium, platinum, or rhodium - is heavier you aren't alone! A least familiarize yourself with the concept of how these are weighed as it must matter to some extent.

Precious metals are not sold using "postal weight" measurements, also called the avoirdupois scale. They are sold according to the troy scale. A regular ounce is 28.35 grams. A regular pound consists of 16 regular ounces (453.592 grams). A troy ounce is 31.10348 grams and a pennyweight (dwt) is about 1.55 grams. A troy pound consists of 12 troy ounces (373.242 grams). Therefore, a troy pound is only 82.29% of a regular pound.

Regardless of the origin of this measurement type, international and federal laws specify that precious metals are sold with the troy scale. It is fraud to sell it otherwise unless it is specifically and clearly stated in the literature that avoirdupois weights are used. Even then, it is wise to avoid any ambiguity. Don't be like some companies that alternately change between troy and avoirdupois weights!

Sell your precious metals according to the law by using the troy scale.
The solution is simple. Sell your precious metals according to the law by using the troy scale. If you are not sure then sell it in grams as that measurement means the same in every language and industry. Keep your name off an FBI or USPS fraud watchlist in the mean time and avoid being sued or prosecuted for such deception.

Here are a few examples using analogies pertinent to everyday life.

1. You live in the USA where all transactions are conducted with the USA dollar. Imagine your surprise as a seller when you get paid in Canadian dollars instead of USA dollars. You've been shortchanged about 10% since the Canadian dollar is less valuable. Likewise, buying an ounce of silver that is really a postal ounce instead of a troy ounce would result in the same financial loss.

2. Your trusted retailer sells you $500/pound caviar using the troy scale without telling you. Unless it's precious metals, federal law states that a pound is a pound, not a troy pound. Therefore, you've been shortchanged 81 grams, which represents a financial loss of $90.

Food sellers doing the troy pound switch on you ain't gonna happen. However, a quick look at the internet will reveal thousands of people using the avoirdupois scale on precious metals without telling you. The most egregious offenders seem to be coin or precious metal dealers, all of whom are intimately familiar with the troy scale. They can sell it however they want but when they say an ounce of precious metals, it is legally supposed to be a troy ounce.

Posted by M: December 18, 2014

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