Customs

# An Ounce of Gold Weighs More Than an Ounce of Feathers

Which weighs more: an ounce of gold or an ounce of feathers?

You might think that’s a trick question. An ounce of anything weighs the same as an ounce of anything else, doesn’t it?

It is a trick question, but the trick comes from knowing the units of measurement used for different substances.

Precious metals are measured in units known as troy ounces. Typically abbreviated as “t oz” or “oz t”, a troy ounce is equal to 31.1034768 grams.

The avoirdupois system is used for measuring the weight of just about everything except precious metals. It is the system we are accustomed to that consists of pounds and ounces. In the avoirdupois system, one ounce is the equivalent of 28.35 grams.

Using the proper units of measurement, an ounce of gold is 2.7534768 grams greater than the corresponding ounce of feathers.

If you think highly of yourself and decide that you are worth your weight in gold, you might consider adopting the troy ounce system when reporting your weight. Under the everyday avoirdupois system, an individual who weighs 180 pounds (81.6 kg) would weigh 2,880 ounces. Under the troy system, the same person tips the scales at a slim and trim 2,625 t oz.