Weights and Measures of Gold Bars

by humagaia

Worldwide gold bar weights: Metric Tonne, Troy Oz., Kilo, Gram, Grain, Pennyweight, Tael, Tola, Baht, Mesghal, Chi, Don.

For international trading and purchase, gold is usually measured in ounces troy or metric units:
- Metric tonne (metric ton, mt) - equal to 1,000 kilograms. This is the internationally accepted measure for quantities of gold, especially gold bullion, greater than 1,000 kilograms in weight.
- Kilogram - 1,000 grams, equivalent to nnn troy ozs. Internationally accepted measure for larger quantities of gold. 1,000 kilograms = 1 metric tonne (mt).
- Gram - international measure of small quantities of gold, of the metric system. It is equivalent to 0.035274 troy ounces.
- Troy ounce - internationally accepted measure of weight for gold. A troy ounce is an avoirdupois measure. It approximates to 28.35 grams.
- Pennyweight (dwt) - a sub-unit of the avoirdupois measurement system = 24 grains or 1/20 troy ounce (1.555 grams).
- Grain - a sub-unit of the avoirdupois measurement system equivalent to 1/480 of a troy ounce (0.0648 grams).

But there are national measurements in other trading centres like Hong Kong, India, Middle East and Thailand. Each of these trading centres has gold trading traditions going back in history way before Europeans got in on the act:
- tael - (两 = chinese simp.; 兩 = chinese trad.; liǎng = pinyin) is a Far East measure of weight A tael can weigh anything between 1.18 and 1.2 troy ounces, the equivant to about 37 to 40 grams.
- tola - (तोलक = Sanskrit; तोला = Hindi; تولا = Urdu; tolā, tolaka) is a south Asian unit of mass. One Tola is the equivalent of 180 troy grains, 0.375 ounces troy. or 11.664 grams. It was traditionally the weight of 100 ratti seeds. One tola coins were produced originally because they were a convenient size and weight.
- baht - (บาท = Thai) a Thai unit of weight of about 14.6 grams.
- chi - (Vietnam) a Vietnamese unit of weight. 1 chi = 3.75g.
- don - (Korean) South Korean measurement of gold weight.
- mesghal - (پثسلاشم; Farsi) weight measurement for gold in Iran. It is the equivalent of 4.6 to 4.7 grams.

Small gold bars

Small gold bars
Small gold bars
Pixabay
Table 1: Gold Weights and Measures
Weight
Quantity
Conversion
Notes
Grain
1
0.0648 grams
 
Troy ounce
1
480 grains
 
Troy ounce
1
31.19 grams
 
Troy ounce
32.15
1 kilo
 
Troy ounce
100
3.11 kilos
COMEX contract.
Troy ounce
32189
1 tonne (metric)
Slightly less that 1 ton.
 
Special bars
 
 
Tola
10
3.75 ounces
Indian sub-continent
Tola
10
116.6 grams
 
Tael
1
1.20 ounces
Hong Kong
Tael
1
37.3 grams
 
Baht
1
0.47 ounces
Thailand
Baht
1
14.6 grams
 

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Gold Bar Weights

Gold bars are made by gold bar manufacturers. They record the manufacturer name, weight and purity on each bar. These are sold at a low premium over the prevailing gold price. There is a large range of them available to purchase internationally.

They range from 10g (some are from 1g or less), to 1250g (12.5kg, 400 oz) maximum for commercial trade. Larger ones are produced as consolidation bars at mining operations to ease transportation. These are supplied to refineries for refining to 999.99 parts per 1,000 or thereabouts. They are then cast into standard size bars.

Tables 2, 3 and 4 show a comparison of some gold bar sizes converted to grams for ease of sorting. These are not comprehensive lists.

You will note mention of minted bars there. The consensus of opinion is that Argor-Heraeus (ch) was the first (1952) accredited refiner, worldwide, to issue a range of minted bars. Now a number of accredited manufacturers produce minted bars in grammes and / or ounces.

Minted gold bar weights range from 0.3 g to 500 g, and from 1/10 oz to 20 oz. The world’s largest minted bars: the 20 oz and 500 g are manufactured by Johnson Matthey (ca).

How to Make Gold

Table 2: Gold Bar Weights - Part 1
Bar Weight (gm)
Gold Bar Name
Manufacturer
Since
Characteristics / Notes
1
Fine Gold Cards
Mitsubishi (jp)
1980s
Multi-coloured printed designs. Most widely sold in Japan.
5
Koban
Tokuriki Honten (jp)
1960s
Commemorate traditional Japanese coinage.
5
Double pendant
Pamp (ch)
1996
Launched in Middle East. Two shapes: heart & circular
7.5
Double pendant
Pamp (ch)
1996
Launched in Middle East. Two shapes: heart & circular
10
Full-colour
Pamp (ch)
1996
Full-colour pendant.
10
Double pendant
Pamp (ch)
1996
Launched in Middle East. Two shapes: heart & circular
15
Gold Leaf
 
1930s
Vietnam until 1975. Very thin for ease of transport.
37.5
Boat Tael
Hong Kong
 
1 tael
37.5
Biscuit Tael
Hong Kong
 
1 tael
37.5
Doughnut Tael
Hong Kong
 
1 tael
37.5
Twin coin
Yoo Long Kim Lee (th)
1989
1 baht. Experimental
37.5
Mirror
Yoo Long Kim Lee (th)
1989
1 baht.
37.5
Chi
Pamp (ch)
 
10 chi
41
Fine Art
Singapore Mint
1994
Depicting historic banknotes
50
Minted brick
SEMPSA (es)
 
Tapered sides.
50
Rothschild's
Rothschild's
To 1967
 
50
Koban
Tokuriki Honten (jp)
1960s
Commemorate traditional Japanese coinage.
73
Bas Relief
Buan Hua Long (th)
 
Marks carved in base - 5 baht.
75
Fine Art
Singapore Mint
1994
Series of 4 'Art Ingots'.
75
Doughnut Tael
Hong Kong
 
2 teal
75
Mirror
Yoo Long Kim Lee (th)
1989
2 baht
Alternaive sized gold bars
Alternaive sized gold bars
Pixabay

World's Smallest and Largest Gold Bars

The smallest cast bar weighs 10 g:

  • Degussa (br) (1985+)
  • Ourinvest
  • CRM

The smallest cast bar 

  • ‘button’ bar made by the Perth Mint (au) (1976+)

The world’s smallest minted bars weigh only 0.5 g and 0.3 g:

  • manufactured by Tanaka (jp) (1990+), mainly for jewelry industry.

The 1 g minted bars:

  • first issued by Credit Suisse (ch) (1980)
  • now manufactured by Degussa, Heraeus.and others

The world’s largest standard minted bars weigh 20 oz and 500 g

  • manufactured by Johnson Matthey (ca).

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Table 3: Gold Bar Weights - Part 2
Bar Weight (gm)
Gold Bar Name
Manufacturer
Since
Characteristics / Notes
100
Rothschild's
Rothschild's
To 1967
 
100
Bone
Degussa (br)
1982
Bone-shaped
117
Tola
Europe
 
10 tola. Traded in Middle East, India, Pakistan & Singapore.
146
Bas Relief
Buan Hua Long (th)
 
Marks carved in base - 10 baht.
150
Baht
Thailand
 
10 baht. Purity = 96.5%
150
Mirror
Yoo Long Kim Lee (th)
1989
4 baht.
187.5
Biscuit Tael
Hong Kong
 
5 tael
365
Bas Relief
Buan Hua Long (th)
 
Marks carved in base - 25 baht.
375
Boat Tael
Hong Kong
 
10 tael
375
Biscuit Tael
Hong Kong
 
10 tael

The above table shows the diversity of bar weights which have been available. This is not a comprehensive list. It is presented in order to show the diversity now and previously available.

Large Gold Bars

Large gold bars
Large gold bars
Pixabay
Table 4: Gold Bar Weights - Part 3
Bar Weight (gm)
Gold Bar Name
Manufacturer
Since
Characteristics / Notes
1000
Kilobar
Many
 
Traded at v. low premium. Flat or 'brick' shape.
1000
Decorative
Many
1980
Design on reverse by CH, DE & BR manufacturers.
1000
Hologram
Pamp (ch)
1990
Multi-coloured
1000
Rainbow
Mitsubishi (jp)
1993
Purity = 18 carat (karat, kt, ct, k), 75% (.75)
1000
Fine Gold Cards
Mitsubishi (jp)
1980s
Multi-coloured printed designs.
1000
Minted Bank
External
 
Europe, Brazil. Bank has own name on bar.
1000
Commemorative
Degussa (de, br)
 
Produced by accredited manufacturers.
1000
Kinebars�
Argraeus
 
For UBS as security device.
1250
400 oz
Many
 
Only 55 refineries have LGD status.
1 oz
Bullion Watch
Pamp SA (ch)
1994
Designed to be traded.
25000 (up to)
Dore
Gold mine
 
Produced by gold minesoduced by accredited manufacturers.
No precise weight.
Tezabi
 
 
Rough cast (99.9%?) manufacture in Pakistan.
The above table shows the standard bar weights and the larger bar weight.
Square gold bars
Square gold bars
Pixabay
Table 5: Gold Bar Weights - Part 4
Bar Weight (gm)
Gold Bar Name
Manufacturer
Since
Characteristics / Notes
small
Cartoon
Pamp (ch)
1996
Warner & Disney cartoon characters.
 
Ying-Yang
Ishifuku (jp)
1993
Kidney-shaped, represents harmony of opposites.
 
Pendant
Degussa (de)
1976
Hexagonal shape.
 
Heart
Pamp SA (ch)
1997
 
 
Model
LG Metals Corp. (sk)
 
Pigs, toads, turtles. Denominated in dons.
 
Gold Fillet
 
 
From thin rolled gold strips. As support for official stamps on 1250 g bars.

This final table shows a number of other gold bars that have been available.

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Updated: 10/21/2017, humagaia
 
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