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What does an ounce of gold look like? Precious metals experts have several ways to answer that, especially when discussing gold weight versus gold purity. As a standard, the market weighs precious metals like silver, platinum, and gold coins by using the troy weight system (t/oz or oz/t), unless the gold weighs very little.
Sites like Oxford Gold Group aim to help potential gold investors understand what pure gold looks like, whether in the form of an oz-gold bar or something else. The list below details how traders and collectors weigh gold, why that is the case, and how gold measurements differ around the world. We also cover how to get your hands on gold for investment purposes.
What Does a Gram of Gold Represent?
Before diving into the ever-popular discussion on troy ounces, it is helpful to understand the smallest unit to weigh gold: the gram. The Latin word means “small weight,” and grams feature in the metric system for objects that weigh less than one avoirdupois or standard ounce (around 28.3495 grams). Visually, a gram of gold would be the size of a regular paperclip.
What is a Troy Ounce of Gold?
A troy ounce (t/oz) is much more prevalent than grams in the gold market, a measurement dating back to the 1400s. The original troy ounce emerged in conjunction with the medieval British coinage system, the only ancient weighing system still in modern use. We also use the troy ounce to weigh other precious metals so that there is a consistent standard across the industry.
Gold traders use troy ounces when handling bigger amounts. For example, central banks and certified bullion traders use Gold Delivery Bars equal to 400 t/oz. Smaller trades may use 100 t/oz bars for convenience, including trades by everyday investors in gold IRAs.
So, what does an ounce of gold look like in comparison to a gram? One troy ounce contains about 31.1 grams, making it about 3 grams heavier than a traditional ounce. A single troy ounce of gold would look like a plate about the length of the clip on a pen.
A Troy Ounce vs. A Standard Ounce
Traders refer to gold in terms of standard ounces for convenience (but they always mean troy ounces). An almost three-gram difference separates a standard ounce from a troy ounce, a distinction that could drastically affect gold-based calculations when measuring large amounts of this precious metal. Creating jewelry using a standard ounce of gold will yield lighter, less valuable results and could cause confusion in the value of the piece.
What does one troy ounce of gold look like in grams? It equates to 31.1 grams of gold, but this only gives an accurate measurement when dealing with .999 fine gold bullion. Less pure gold will typically have a lower gram count. Traders and investors commonly use the term ‘karat’ to measure gold’s purity (the ratio of gold in the product), and 24 karats equate to pure gold; 23 karats contain about 96.5% gold.
Anything less than 24 karat gold, or pure gold, will typically contain other non-valuable alloys and metals.
How Much is a Troy Ounce Worth in Today’s Gold Industry?
The gold price fluctuates considerably throughout the day, every day. As options on the stock market, the best way to stay up to date with the current gold and silver prices is with free online trackers. Oxford Gold Group’s experts recommend taking a long-term view of gold when reviewing the charts and growth curves of this sought-after commodity.
Reviewing the amounts over just one year will probably seem like the gold price is not moving as much as an investor may imagine (it is a stable commodity, after all). However, every cent counts, considering the quantities in which traders exchange gold. Even one or two cents could represent a profitable transaction for those who are looking to liquidize their holdings.
Pay attention to the karats and ensure the gram count is accurate—gold comes in all shapes and sizes, including:
- rectangular bars,
- ingots and more
It is also important to note that gold coins weigh the same as bars (and have equal karat values) but tend to carry higher premiums. The difference is due to their collector’s value, decorative appearance, and rarity.
Should I Buy, Sell, or Invest in Gold?
What does an ounce of gold look like as an investment feature? Depending on how much you choose to invest, it could feel like a large amount of money. It might look like a sound investment and a safety net, depending on how you choose to leverage it.
For example, gold bars are an excellent starting point for a gold IRA for those interested in investing in precious metals. People recognize the value of these commodities globally.
Why not take a look at the Oxford Gold Group’s selection of 10-oz gold bars, 1-oz gold bars, and gold coins online—each weighs a fraction of a troy ounce? Buying in grams is a surprisingly cost-effective way to start a new investment plan. Purchase between 1 and 100 grams to learn about this kind of trading and decide the best way to build a precious metals portfolio long-term.
Six Professional Tips for How to Invest in Gold
When compared to the stock market, launching an investment campaign in gold or other precious metals can be daunting. Use Oxford Gold Group’s tips below for the top considerations:
#1 Stick to Physical Gold
One of the most convenient ways to purchase gold is using futures, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that track gold prices globally against a range of factors. These are easier to initiate, but futures are not as safe as owning physical gold. Real gold allows its owner to keep it, hold it, check it, and trade it without the worries relating to the ever-fluctuating prices.
Oxford Gold Group’s site gives plenty of information about how to buy gold from online retailers safely and keep the supply secure.
#2 Buy 24 Karat Gold
An ounce of pure gold looks almost indistinguishable from less pure gold of the same weight, but a certified trader will only deal with 99.5% pure gold or higher. The manufacturer will also list the gold’s purity and other information on the bar itself.
If you have concerns about the purity of a seller’s gold before completing the transaction, consult with an expert like Oxford Gold Group to be sure.
#3 Track the Market
The most crucial part of trading involves knowing when to buy and sell, but gold is not a volatile holding like stocks and other investment vehicles. If you must sell, be cautious about where and how you go about it. Sometimes, the best deal might require finding the best bullion dealer (some do offer slightly better prices, while others give more discounts on a larger purchase).
However, stay away from sellers overcharging on shipping, payment processing, authentication certificates, and other fees. These fees will offset any returns quickly.
#4 Shop Manageable Quantities
Most gold traders have an easier time selling smaller quantities. Finding a buyer for a 10-oz gold bar may prove challenging, but buyers for ten 1-oz bars are a dime a dozen. Purchase bars or coins, depending on your preference—both have potentially equal value, but coins tend to maintain a higher demand.
For example, American Eagle gold coins contain 91.67% gold and yet run for higher prices than a pure gold bar. The coin is a collector’s item and represents long-term value to traders. Still, buying collector’s items may pigeonhole you out of the general gold-buying market (gold bars are still the most secure way to invest as an industry standard).
#5 Deal with Trusted Sellers
Certification is critical in the gold market. Research customer reviews before placing an order and ensure the seller is trustworthy before entering a deal. While rare, some untrustworthy sellers will try and pass counterfeit products, wasting your time and money.
If you are unsure, rather use trustworthy online investment education channels like Oxford Gold Group and safeguard your portfolio.
#6 Know the Law
What happens when investors do not comply with the laws governing buying and selling in their local jurisdiction? They run the risk of penalties and lost assets. Tax and transparency laws are crucial, even when purchasing gold in smaller amounts and storing gold in “safe havens” overseas.
When To Buy or Sell Gold
Monetarily speaking, an ounce of gold might look a lot like stocks; buying at higher prices makes it more difficult to resell for profit. Years of experience may make this process easier to predict, but new investors would do well to try and buy as prices dip. Practice monitoring the market and use resources like Oxford Gold Group for information and advice—every gold expert started as a beginner.
What Does an Ounce of Gold Look Like? Profit
An ounce or troy ounce of gold is a standard measure, but investing in smaller amounts may be easier for beginners. Buying and selling gold is exhilarating, and it is an excellent choice if you are building a legacy to stand the test of time.
Call (833) 600-GOLD or browse Oxford Gold Group’s site to learn more about buying gold from us to set up an IRA or retirement plan. Securing gold now can prove instrumental in securing assets for yourself later in life.