Gold Prospecting Forum

Gold Q & A
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Author:  Gold Hog Answers [ Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:21 am ]
Post subject:  Gold Q & A


"What measurements are used for gold weight and purity?"



Gold, Silver, and other precious metals are universally bought and sold in Troy ounces. A Troy ounce is heavier than a standard ounce as there are only 12 troy ounces in a pound. Troy ounces are usually subdivided into either Pennyweights, abbreviated (dwt), or Grams. Professional gold dealers prefer grams but pennyweights are preferred by gold prospectors.

In the pennyweight system each Troy Ounce is divided into 20 units called Pennyweights and each pennyweight is further divided into 24 grains. Therefore one troy ounce is equal to 480 grains. This is the same system used in measuring gunpowder and probably accounts for the popularity of the pennyweight system. Most of the early prospectors had no idea what a gram was but they all had a gun powder scale that was calibrated in grains.

The metric system is easy to use because all you need to remember is that one troy ounce is 31.1 grams. Since this is based on the metric system grams are simply divided into 1/10th or 1/100th units.

When you are buying or selling gold you must be careful when talking to someone about a quantity of gold. Make sure that the ounces you are talking about are the same ounces you are thinking about. Here are a few conversions to help you keep this straight.

One Troy lb (pound) = 12 troy ounces
One troy oz = 20 pennyweight (dwt)
One pennyweight = 24 grains
One troy oz = 480 grains
One troy oz = 31.1 grams


Karat with a “K” is a measure of the purity of a gold alloy. Pure gold is 24 karat and 12 karat gold is 50% gold.

24K : 100% GOLD
18K : 75% GOLD
14K : 59% GOLD
12K : 50% GOLD
10K : 42% GOLD

MELTING POINT = 1948 degrees Fahrenheit

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