In most situations, when people mention the weight of gold in ounces, they are referring to troy ounces which are not the same as the standard ounces of weight. Troy ounces are specifically used to measure the weights of precious metals in particular (gold, silver, palladium, platinum, and etcetera) whereas goods such as sugar and coffee are measured in standard ounces.

Now you are probably asking “what’s the difference between a troy ounce and a standard ounce?”  Well the difference is exactly 2.7539 grams. In other words a standard ounce is 28.3495231 grams whereas a troy ounce is 31.1034768 grams thus a troy ounce would essentially contain 2.75 grams extra than a standard ounce.

The troy ounce which is abbreviated to OZ T is an imperial measurement unit which was derived from the Roman Monetary system (indirectly) as the troy ounce used in present day is identical to that of the British Imperial troy ounce. The United States made the ‘troy weighting system’ as the official weight standard for coinage in 1828.

Many people believe that having a separate weighing system for precious metals is very unpractical as it creates confusion on top of people dealing with gold sometimes having to convert the measurement into grams. As it is, even the use of standard ounces and pounds has been largely shunned and people use it because the entire precious metal industry uses this measurement system.

Apart from the troy measurement system, the use of fineness which is another method for gauging precious metal content of jewellery in terms of purity which is a system that is sometimes used instead of the carat is another factor that most people are growing tired of. The common standards of fineness such as .375 = 9 carat (England and Canada), .417 = 10 carat, .583 (.585) = 14 carat, .750 = 18 carat, .833 = 20 carat (Asia), .999 (1000) = 24 carat pure gold create more confusion. The numerous systems used to weigh and gauge purity of precious metals needs to be standardized worldwide, as not everyone who likes gold, likes math.

The authority to do this lies within the World Gold Council and the amendments that need to be made could be simplified and the use of ‘standard grams’ and the carat system should be advocated and the rest abolished. It would make dealing with gold much simpler; after all they do produce 1 Kilogram gold bars! So why do they still need to hang on to this ancient mechanism is a question? that would probably never be answered.