The Difference Between an AVP Oz and Troy Oz

November 2nd, 2012 by

Since Gainesville Coins started carrying copper products, we are often asked: “What is an AVP ounce? How is it different from a troy ounce?”

confusedAVP stands for “avoirdupois.” This is the “ounce” you are familiar with in everyday usage: your soda, groceries, and most everyday items are measured in the U.S. in AVP ounces and pounds. 16 AVP ounces make a pound.  By contrast, troy ounces are used to measure precious metals such as platinum, gold, and silver bullion. The troy weights system descended from Roman gold and silver monetary weights. The troy ounce we use today was introduced in the 1400s. There are 12 troy ounces to a troy pound. To make things more confusing, a troy pound is lighter than a “normal” AVP pound, but since there are 12 troy ounces in a troy pound, and 16 AVP ounces in an AVP pound, the troy ounce is the slightly heavier of the two. Of course, no one uses troy pounds anymore, so just remember that a troy ounce is the same as 1.09714 AVP ounces. The base unit of the troy ounce is the barley grain. For comparison:

Troy ounce =      31.1034768 grams     = 480 grains

AVP ounce =      28.3495231 grams     = 437.5 grains

So, a troy ounce is about 10% larger than an avoirdupois ounce.

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Since Gainesville Coins deals almost exclusively in precious metals, we simply use “ounce” in our item descriptions with the understanding that precious metals are measured in troy ounces worldwide. When we list a copper item whose weight is measured in AVP ounces, we explicitly spell that out. Have a question about investing in gold or silver? Have you run across a word or term regarding gold or silver coins that confuses you? Let us know, and we’ll help you out!