troy weights


troy weights
   a traditional English weight system of great antiquity, apparently in use since long before the Norman conquest of 1066. The system is believed to be named for the French market town of Troyes, where English merchants traded at least as early as the time of Charlemagne (early ninth century). The system is based on the troy pound2 of 5760 grains. The pound was divided into 12 ounces (of 480 grains), each containing 20 pennyweight, with each pennyweight equal to 24 grains. Apothecaries, however, divided the troy ounce into 8 drams (of 60 grains), each containing 3 scruples, with each scruple equal to 20 grains. The origin of the troy system is not clear, but a number of scholars believe the dram corresponds to the denarius, a Roman coin that weighed about 60 English grains and (when used as a weight) was also divided into 3 scruples. The troy system was always the theoretical basis of the traditional English monetary system, in which there were 12 pence (pennies) to the shilling and 20 shillings to the pound. However, in medieval England pennies did not actually weigh a troy pennyweight, because they were made using the tower weight system (see above) and thus weighed 22.5 grains instead of 24. In 1527, Henry VIII abolished the tower pound and made the troy system official for coinage; thereafter silver shillings weighed exactly 0.6 troy ounce. The smaller troy weights continued in common use in pharmacy and monetary affairs into the early twentieth century, but the troy pound was abolished in 1878 to avoid any commercial confusion with the avoirdupois pound. The troy system is nearly obsolete today, but the prices of precious metals are still quoted by the troy ounce.

Dictionary of units of measurement. 2015.

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  • Troy ounce — A gold bar weighing one troy ounce …   Wikipedia

  • troy ounce — A measurement of weight where one troy ounce equals 31.10 grammes. In writing, it is often shortened to troy oz. after figures, e.g., 25.2 troy oz. Troy weight is divided into grains, pennyweights (24 grains = 1 pennyweight), ounces (20… …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • troy weight — /trɔɪ weɪt/ noun a system of measurement of weight used for gold and other metals, such as silver and platinum COMMENT: Troy weight is divided into grains, pennyweights (24 grains = 1 pennyweight), ounces (20 pennyweights = 1 ounce) and pounds… …   Dictionary of banking and finance

  • Troy weight — is a system of units of mass customarily used for precious metals, black powder, and gemstones.Named after Troyes, France, the troy system of weights was known to exist in medieval times. One cubic inch of distilled water, at 62 °F (17 °C), and… …   Wikipedia

  • Troy — Troy, n. Troy weight. [1913 Webster] {Troy weight}, the weight which gold and silver, jewels, and the like, are weighed. It was so named from Troyes, in France, where it was first adopted in Europe. The troy ounce is supposed to have been brought …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Troy weight — Troy Troy, n. Troy weight. [1913 Webster] {Troy weight}, the weight which gold and silver, jewels, and the like, are weighed. It was so named from Troyes, in France, where it was first adopted in Europe. The troy ounce is supposed to have been… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • troy — late 14c., standard system of weights for gems and precious metals, from Troyes, city in France (ancient Tricasses), former site of a fair at which this weight is said to have been used. Many medieval towns had their own standard weights. The… …   Etymology dictionary

  • troy weight — n. [ME, after TROYES2, where first used at medieval fairs] a system of weights for gold, silver, precious stones, etc.: see the table of weights and measures in the Reference Supplement …   English World dictionary

  • troy — trȯi adj expressed in troy weight <a troy ounce> * * * (troi) a system of weights commonly used in England and the United States for expressing quantities of gold and silver; for equivalents see Appendix 7 …   Medical dictionary

  • troy — (also troy weight) ► NOUN ▪ a system of weights used mainly for precious metals and gems, with a pound of 12 ounces or 5,760 grains. Compare with AVOIRDUPOIS(Cf. ↑avoirdupois). ORIGIN from a weight used at the fair of Troyes in France …   English terms dictionary


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