Gold is rarely a metal that is 100% pure, which makes weighing it a unique challenge. Due to the malleability of gold, it is often paired with other metals for increased strength. To properly weigh gold, you will not only need to find the weight of the item, but also the percentage of gold that makes up the piece. To weigh gold accurately, it’s best to use a scale specifically designed for weighing gold. Gram scales, analytical balance scales, pocket scales, and jewelry scales are all viable options for weighing gold.
In choosing the appropriate scale for gold, you will probably need to consider the following: why you are weighing it, how often you plan to weigh it, and what your budget is. All factors are likely to be co-dependent upon each other.
First off, if you plan on measuring your gold for commercial purposes, make sure the scale you use is certified as “legal for trade.” The phrase is pretty self-explanatory; it simply means the scale has been approved for use in business operations.
If you plan on weighing gold at a shop (or anywhere outside your own home), the best gold scales for the task will be portable models. There are several “pocket scales” or “palm scales” that will fit in an average-sized pocket. They will typically come with some casing or feature that prevents damage to the machine while it’s being moved. While nearly all scales available have an on/off switch, make sure that if you do plan on storing the scale in a pocket, slight movements will not inadvertently turn it on.
Whether you’re weighing gold for trade purposes or personal reference, it is important that the model you choose has a very high level of accuracy. Grams are one standard unit of measurement. A gram, however, is a small unit (especially in comparison to gold’s weight: 31 grams equal one Troy ounce). Similarly, you must pay attention to the number of decimal places that the scale makes available.
If you don’t plan on using the scale often, you can probably save money by opting out of particular features. Additionally, you may want to put extra focus on the storage of the unit, since it will not be in use frequently. Most scales for gold are petite and easily tucked away, but you may want to look for scales that come with some protective covering to prevent dust build-up from affecting your next measurement. Remember that scales used for weighing gold can be used for other purposes, such as weighing gems, platinum, or silver.
For convenience, look into models that offer automatic calibration and push button tare. If you plan on weighing gold regularly, learning how to calibrate the scale will prove beneficial since it will likely increase accuracy. Because of gold’s natural weight, and the small units of measurement involved, everything must be very precise when measuring gold. You may even want to weigh the gold item a few times in each instance to acquire an average of all the measurements.
If you do have room available in your budget, there are some basic upgrades you may wish to consider. There are advanced models that will weigh your gold in multiple units. You can also find models that’ll perform unit conversions and other calculations for you.
Despite the challenges involved in weighing gold, the need for accurate gold weighing scales has allowed for the creation of numerous and varied scales catered to measuring gold jewelry, bar, coins, and bullion. Once you know your particular needs, finding the best scale will be easy.