Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Ounce and Troy Ounce

Ounce vs Troy Ounce

When a person talks about an ounce, they usually refer to an avoirdupois ounce which is normally used for weighing various objects. However, when it comes to jewelry, the term “ounce” denotes a completely different meaning. Silver, gold, and other precious metals are actually weighed through a troy ounce.

The term and measurement system was coined during the earlier years at Troyes, France. It was developed after merchants found that it is necessary to have a standard weight measurement system that will be used for fairs within the area. Basically, the troy ounce was tantamount to a specific amount of silver with a known fineness used to trade and pay for various items in the market. Hence, it might sound plausible, but the term “troy” was actually derived from the Troyes fair – one of the most popular market days during the era – instead of the popular “Troy” in stories.

On the other hand, a regular ounce referred to as an avoirdupois translates to “goods of weight” and was largely used for the wool trade. This is because back then the wool trade was the most thriving industry and was, therefore, the most common transaction merchants engaged in. For this reason, other goods were also subjected to the same weighing system provided for the wool, unofficially turning it into the “standard” system for anything other than precious metals.

It actually makes sense that the weighing process for precious metals and goods are different considering that the troy ounce and regular ounce differ in actual weight. Simply put, a troy ounce weighs more than the standard weight – about 9.7 per cent more. In grams, this means that a troy ounce weighs around 31.103 grams while the regular system only has 28.349 – that’s a 2.754 difference. It might not be much for some, but considering that we are dealing with precious metals here, the difference is crucial.

However, don’t try to confuse a troy pound for the regular pound. During this type of situation, the troy pound actually weighs more than the regular. Hence, when it comes to transactions, it is crucial that the distinctions are well defined to avoid loss of capital. Basically, a troy pound is composed of 12 troy ounces while there are 16 regular ounces in a regular pound.

Precious metals where the troy ounce system is being used include gold, silver, platinum, gemstones, and many more. For everything else, the standard system is being utilized. Of course, when it comes to precious metals, the troy ounce is not the only factor looked upon to determine its value. Other considerations include the carat, hallmarks of millesimal fineness.

In modern times, bullion coins normally contain a certain amount of precious metals that are indicated in the coin itself. Usually, these coins are specially engineered to contain a specific amount of precious metal, a good example being the United States Platinum Eagle which contains around one troy ounce of precious metal.

When trying to purchase precious metals, it is important to determine if the ounce being provided is regular or a troy ounce. The good news is that the troy ounce metric system is basically the same throughout the countries and would, therefore, make it easier for buyers to acquire items without worrying about the difference in semantics.


1.The troy ounce is used for measurement of precious metals.

2.The standard ounce is used for basically all types of goods except precious metals.

3.The troy ounce is heavier than the regular ounce at 31.103 grams.

4.The regular ounce weighs at 28.349 grams.

5.“Troy” came from the popular Troyes fair of the past years where the metric system was first used.

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