Now, we all know that 1 troy oz of gold is exactly as heavy as 1 troy oz of silver. If they both weigh 1 troy ounce, they are clearly the same weight. What if a gold and silver bar look alike, in shape and size? Which will be heavier?
There is a big difference in weights when you bring volume into the picture. Due to its nature, gold is much denser than silver is – i.e. smaller gold products are deceptively heavier when compared to a silver product of the same size.
Confused? Let’s say you’re weighing a large grocery bag full of feathers. You can lift it up since it seems light enough; no problem. What happens when you fill that same large grocery bag with concrete? It’ll be heavier, right? Although both those things fit into the same bag, concrete is clearly heavier.
Similarly, the difference between the weights of gold and silver becomes apparent when you hold up a gold bar and silver bar of approximately the same size. You can clearly notice the difference between their weights. Hence, a 1 oz bar of gold will look much smaller than a 1 oz bar of silver but will weigh the same. While a smaller bar of gold might weigh more than a larger bar of silver.
Why is there a difference?
We’ll need to delve into some 10th grade science to understand why this difference exists. Why does a handful of gold weigh more than a handful of silver?
A single atom of silver (Ag) has a total of 47 protons and electrons and 61 neutrons. On the other hand, a single gold atom (Au) consists of 79 protons and electrons and 118 neutrons; i.e. close to double the elements of a silver atom.
This is why there is a substantial difference between the density of gold and silver. While gold has a density of 19.32 g/cm3, silver has a density of only 10.49 g/cm3.
Thus, a 1 oz bar of gold will be almost half as small as a 1 oz bar of silver. So, the next time you purchase gold bullion and silver bullion, weigh them in your hand and look at their size and verify this difference for yourself.
Learn how to test your gold and silver bullion coins, bars, and rounds using a Specific Gravity test.