Learn About the Weight of Large and Small Gold Bars
Gold has been an enduring symbol of wealth for millennia, and the Gold bar is an easily recognizable way to store and transfer wealth. For many people, a Gold bar’s standard idea may be the massive bars stacked in a vault at Fort Knox or in bank holdings, but the truth is far more variable.
Gold bars have a wide variety of standard sizes, and their size depends on their purpose and geographic location.
Troy Ounce vs. Avoirdupois Ounce
To understand how much Gold bars weigh, we first have to realize that the ounces used to measure Gold are not the same ounces used to measure weight in the Imperial measurement system.
The word “troy” came from Troyes, France, and was part of a now-obsolete measurement system. The troy ounce is the only remnant. These ounces are 31.1034768 grams and are most commonly used for measurements of Precious Metals.
The Imperial ounce is appropriately called the avoirdupois ounce, after a French word that meant goods of weight” used after the Norman conquest. It is 28.349 grams.
The troy ounce is a little heavier, and as such, Gold bars may weigh slightly more than people anticipate. Most bars are denominated in troy ounces and increments, although some international sizes are not based on this measurement.
Small Investment Sizes
Small bars and coins count for roughly two-thirds of investment demand worldwide, and they are easily the most commonly traded Gold items. Of these, the one-ounce Gold bar is the most common. Most small to medium investors will buy one-ounce Gold bars or even Gold coins for a few reasons.
The first reason is the price. Gold is costly (over $1,900 per ounce as of this article’s publish date), and larger denominations may be out of reach of many smaller investors. Small bars are easier to work up to purchasing.
The other primary reason is liquidity. Small denominations of Gold are much easier to get rid of because of their size, as opposed to larger Gold bars, which may require selling to a larger entity with more cash. Most smaller cash for Gold shops, pawnshops, jewelers and other buyers cannot handle very large Gold bars.
The problem with small sizes is that the premium is higher. Smaller Gold bars cost more per ounce than larger Gold bars, making them less suitable for very large transactions or long-term wealth held by people or organizations with very high net worth. That’s where the larger sizes come in.
Large Investment Sizes
These are the Gold bars you see in movies, the massive chunks of gleaming yellow metal that store wealth for sovereign nations and huge banks and corporations.
One of the most common large investment sizes is the London Good Delivery Gold bar. This is a standard size established by the LBMA with a weight of roughly about 24 pounds (10.9 kilograms) and 29.5 pounds (13.4 kilograms). The most commonly traded size for these is 400 troy ounces. There are other qualifications to be a Good Delivery bar, including certifications for refiners, storage requirements, fineness, assay, stamp and more.
The London market may use the 400-ounce standard, but the New York Comex market trades in 100 ounce Gold bars. These are usually what is specified in Comex contracts for delivery at a future date.
There are also gram sizes, including the Shanghai 3,000 gram Gold bar and the commonly traded 1,000-gram kilo bar. India has bars denominated in tola and a weight standard established in the Vedic age of India’s history and standardized by the East India Company in the 1800s. Ten tola bars have faded in popularity but can still be found traded across India and the Middle East.
Gold bars come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but all are recognized worldwide as a store of value. APMEX carries a wide variety of Gold bars for any budget and purpose. Browse our full selection today and start using Gold as part of your investment portfolio.
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