Understanding Precious Metals Measurements: A Simple Guide

When it comes to precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, there are certain measurements and terms that can get confusing. We’re here to clear up the mystery in easy-to-understand English! Let’s jump in.

  1. What are precious metals?

Before diving into measurements, let’s understand what precious metals are. Precious metals are rare, naturally occurring Earth metals that are seen as valuables. The main precious metals that are most commonly traded are Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium. Keep in mind there are other precious metals that are not on this list, however, it is important to note that these ones are the most commonly traded.

  1. Weight Measurements

Grams (g): Almost everyone has come across the term “gram”. It’s a basic unit of weight. When you’re buying a small amount of precious metal, it’s often measured in grams.

Troy Ounce (ozt): This might sound like the ounces (oz) we use to measure liquids or some food items, but it’s different. One troy ounce is approximately 31.10 grams, whereas the other Oz is 28 grams. Precious metals, especially gold and silver, are primarily traded in troy ounces.

Kilogram (kg): This is 1,000 grams. When dealing with larger quantities of precious metals, kilograms might be used.

  1. Purity Measurements

Karat (K): Used mainly for gold, karats tell us the purity of the metal. Pure gold is 24 karats (24K). If a piece of jewelry is 18K gold, that means it’s 18 parts gold and 6 parts another metal(s).

Fineness: This is another way to talk about purity. It’s often given as a 3 or 4 digit number. For instance, when we look at 1 Oz Gold Maple coin, we will see that the purity shown is .9999 which is 99.99% pure. 

Sterling Silver: This means the silver is 92.5% pure, often denoted as .925 So, when you see “925” stamped on silver jewelry, that’s what it means!

  1. Coins and Bullion

Bullion: These are large bars of precious metal. You might’ve seen gold bullion in movies, looking like big gold bricks!

Coins: Precious metal coins, like the American Gold Eagle or the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf, have specific weights and purities.

  1. Quick Tips

Always ensure you’re getting the real deal. Look for stamps on jewellery or assay certificates on bullion when buying larger amounts.

If you’re unfamiliar with a term or measurement, don’t hesitate to ask the seller to explain. It’s important to understand what you’re purchasing.

Your safest option would be to purchase from an authorized bullion dealer like AU Bullion. We are an authorized Royal Canadian Mint Bullion DNA Dealer!

Wrap Up

Understanding precious metals isn’t too hard once you get the hang of these terms and measurements. Whether you’re buying a lovely piece of jewelry or considering an investment in gold or silver, knowing these basics can help you make informed decisions. Happy treasure hunting!