Density of Gold and Other Metals

Written by Ian Davis – Bullion Manager • Last updated 23 Aug 2019

Every week several people ask us questions about the weight or density of gold. A typical question is "What does a cubic meter / foot / inch / centimetre of gold weigh?".

This takes up a serious amount of time so rather than giving each enquiry an individual reply, we have provided this page for your information.

Density and Specific Gravity

For most practical purposes, density and specific gravity are the same, however there are slight differences between them, as most scientists would appreciate.

Density

Density is defined as the ratio of the mass of an object to its volume.

Density should correctly be expressed in units of "unit mass per unit volume", e.g. grams per cubic centimetre. The figure quoted is often the same as that for specific gravity. For those who are unsure what "mass" means, consider it to be the same as "weight", you will not be far out.

For the benefit of Nottingham University students, please note that the figure for S.G. is the same as the figures in grams per cubic centimetre = tonnes per cubic metre = S.I. units.

Specific Gravity

Specific gravity is defined in Webster's dictionary as the ratio of the weight or mass of a given volume of a substance to that of another substance (usually water for solids and liquids) used as a standard. Specific gravity is not expressed in units as it is purely a ratio.

Specific Gravity Table

All figures quoted are approximate. Please note that actual densities may vary according to the exact physical state of the metal, as cast, rolled, drawn, because of varying degrees of porosity, and its temperature.
Alloys will vary considerably according to the other components they contain.

Metal Density
Gold 19.3
Silver 10.5
Platinum 21.4
Palladium 12.0
Copper 9.0
9ct 10.9 to 12.7
14ct 12.9 to 14.6
18ct Yellow 15.2 to 15.9
18ct White 14.7 to 16.9
22ct 17.7 to 17.8
Sterling Silver 10.2 to 10.3
950 Platinum 20.1

Other Facts about Gold Weight

It follows from the above table that:-

  • A cubic centimetre of gold will weighs 19.3 grams.
  • A cubic meter of gold will weighs 19.3 tonnes.
  • A cubic inch of gold will weighs 315.2 grams = 10.13 troy ounces = 11.06 avoirdupois (ordinary) ounces.
  • A cubic foot of gold will weighs 545.225 kilos = 1188.6 pounds (avoirdupois).

We hope this helps!

Our thanks to Dr. Alastair Brown who spotted that we had given the units/no units information the wrong way round, and kindly e-mailed, to allow us to correct the error. (We owe you a beer, Dr. A.)

Further Reading

You may wish to read more articles in our gold guide and silver guide. 

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