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What is a Troy Ounce and why is it important to you?

The expression troy ounce is widely used in the precious metals industry. If you’re new to precious metal investing, you may have wondered what exactly is a troy ounce and why is it significant to the precious metals industry? The history of the troy ounce, precious metal scales, the troy ounce in modern times, with a dash of color grades, will all be covered in this article.

The History of the Troy Ounce

Within the precious metal market, the troy ounce serves as its primary weight measurement. It is thought to have started in Troyes, France, in the Middle Ages. The troy ounce is said to have been created as a mechanism to standardize the weight of precious metals for trading purposes since Troyes was a hub for trade and commerce.

It was likely simply a designated central weight to be compared against. Likewise, the meter is a metal bar in France, that is… well, the length of a meter. As that was not very scientific, apparently to sound official, the meter is now defined as the distance light travels, in a vacuum, in 1/299,792,458 seconds.  Anyway, a central agreed upon unit had to be something. The troy ounce was that something when it came to gold.

Colorful housing shows the unique streets of Troyes, France and give reason why it was a historic center of commerce leading to the Troy ounce

It is no wonder Troyes was a center of commerce.

Church from medieval Troyes, France and give reason why it was a historic center of commerce leading to the Troy ounce

Eventually the British Empire adopted the unit and became the official unit of weight for precious metals in the 15th century. A tradition that is alive and well, as the troy ounce is still used to measure the weight of precious metals, and has almost become a surname of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.

Bank of England shows ancient times against the city scape of modern buildings, once the Troy ounce was in use here it became the industry norm

Color Grades and Scales for Weighing Precious Metals

Gold color grading visual reference chart

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder met its match when it comes to measuring precious metals, as color grading and scales are important factors to consider, yet subtle is the line when a color passes a grade or not. Color grades are used to determine the purity of a precious metal, opposite of precious gems, the higher grades with metals indicates a higher level of purity.

Scales, perform their traditional objective function of simply weighing the metals. In the precious metal industry, there are several different scales that can be used, including the troy ounce, the metric system, and the avoirdupois system. 

But weighing the elusive metals is a finite art. If you have ever wondered what exactly is the difference between gold and silver, now you can see for yourself.

Pay attention to details when shopping for the noble metals:

The atomic structure of gold and silver

A rather large gathering of the above atoms can result in a significant change in value.

The raw science says one troy ounce is equal to 31.1034768 grams, or about 1.097 ounces in the avoirdupois system. You may be more familiar with the feel of this weight than you think. Common objects that way 1 oz. are the pencil, a CD, AA battery, and a slice of whole wheat bread. You probably never noticed that when you picked up 6 sheets of paper you were holding an ounce. Same when you held a $1.25 in all quarters (that’s 5 quarters for those using the metric system). The next time you need to test the weight of a claimed 1 oz, you can verify with 28 paperclips.

Or ten pennies if you are in a pinch.

The Troy Ounce Waits for No One

This is the most commonly used scale for measuring precious metals. And is our industry’s standard unit of weight for gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, as well as the other four precious metals.

The key take away is we must be diligent and do our homework with precious metals. It’s important to understand the weight and purity of the metal you are buying. As well as the current market price of a troy ounce. Because that is the most important unit of weight in the precious metal industry. We hope you now have a better understanding of the troy ounce. As it is important in the industry, as key to making informed decisions.

Simplified Short Version of Terms and Conditions of Website

This is only a simplified version of the full terms and conditions, it is intended as a quick overview regarding the things as people are most commonly relevant to us.

This website is governed by the full terms and conditions.

Purchase and sales agreements are separate, and provided in different links found on the footer. 

Consent to Contact

Submitting your contact information on any of our contact forms and or calling or emailing Safe Haven Metal is a grant of consent for us to contact you via telephone or email. This consent is a waiver if you are on the do not call list registry and any email shall not be considered spam or unsolicited. Safe Haven Metal will contact you to discuss your needs and no other use of your contact information will be engaged in by us. We do not sell your phone number or email information to anyone.

Please review our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy for opt out procedures and additional information. The bottom line is that we do not like it when companies sell our information so we will not do it to others.


Due to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Policy restrictions and guidelines, we do not accept physical paper money (cash) for purchases. If you do not know what the AML is, you really need to look it up, as it applies to everyone.

As a financial institution, Safe Haven Metal is AML compliant.


For products that will be delivered to you directly these traditional forms of payment are accepted: bank wire (we prefer this one), cashier’s check, ACH; also IRA is acceptable but that has tax consequences for you.

For products that will be stored by a third party (depository), IRA, 401k, Pensions, Retirement Account, etc. (see full list on Gold IRA page) are all acceptable forms of payment.

We do not accept credit card payments, cash over $10,000 and we do not accept cryptocurrency, we are happy with our real gold.

BUY BACK POLICY (from the purchase agreements)

Safe Haven Metal (SHM) is prohibited under the law from guaranteeing to repurchase Precious Metals that SHM sells, and SHM does not guarantee that it will repurchase any Precious Metal item that Client may purchase; what SHM extends is the possible availability as a buyer at a later date. If and when Customer desires to liquidate, simply call SHM and let SHM know you are ready for SHM to exchange for cash the Precious Metals purchased from us subject to the following procedure that must occur:

i.)         Customer ships the Precious Metals products originally purchased from SHM for inspection because the buy back offer is only for the exact items purchased from us, inclusive of exact condition; and 

ii.)        The cash value of buy back will be at or near Spot Price at the time when we have examined the product to ensure it passes inspection (which is at our or our designated inspector’s sole good faith discretion as to current condition compared to documented condition when originally purchased); 

iii.)      A new agreement is then presented by SHM to Customer reflecting Spot Price and conditions quantities much like this Invoice; the offer is valid for 24 hours after inspection approval and new agreement sent; 

iv.)      Once signed and returned to SHM the money is then released to you within 72 hours; if Customer rejects the offer then Customer must pay for return shipping costs and the product will be returned to Customer. 

v.)          There is no fee on buy back, as that fee is part of the initial purchase Agreement with us as a part of our consideration to be available for your needs at a later date, consistent with this whole paragraph.

Risk Disclosures

Investing in everything is a risk; values fluctuate, sometimes going up, other times down; no one can predict the future; that is why diversified portfolios are usually recommended. The best anyone can do is make informed decisions and see if correct over time, therefore do research, do your homework. Do not invest more in precious metals than you feel comfortable with after informing yourself. Read your contract; ask your attorney to review it. We strive to do right and help others, if you do not understand something then ask us. There are no guarantees, other than doing our best for you.


Our communication of portfolio is intended as Oxford Dictionary defines “portfolio” as: “a range of products or services offered by an organization, especially when considered as a business asset” and Oxford defines “analysis” as “detailed examination of the elements or structure of something”.

All information provided on this website is the opinion and property of Safe Haven Metal LLC. All customers and potential customers are encouraged to do independent research, educate yourself and make informed decisions. Then you can make the best decision for yourself. Once you have done your diligence you will see that Safe Haven Metal LLC truly does have our clients’ best interests in heart. We would not encourage you to go look around elsewhere if we were not confident in what we offer and provide.

NOTICE: Any images of persons on our site are from professional models obtained through licensing of various companies.

Full Terms and Conditions

The full terms and conditions control over this simplified version. This is intended as a quick reference point only. You can access and read more on the full terms and conditions page.