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Weights Types and Purposes

  • Weighs can be traced back to the earliest civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia and India.

  • The first known weights were seeds, grains and stones.

  • The earliest alloy weights were bronze. Later weights were made from brass, iron, copper and aluminum. Earthenware and glass have also been used to produce weights.

  • Weights come in many shapes. Most of the traditional forms fall into three major categories of geometric, figurative and symbolic.

Assorted Weights

There are many different types of weights used for different purposes. The following are only a few examples of the most common.

  • TRADE WEIGHTS are for the general weighing of goods, except for gems, drugs and precious metals

  • COIN WEIGHTS are used to check the weight of an individual coin to ensure the coin has not been altered and therefore retains its full value

  • POSTAL WEIGHTS are used to check the weight of letters and parcels to determine postage due

  • APOTHECARY WEIGHTS are used primarily by chemists and pharmacists to weigh the ingredients of drugs and medicine

  • TROY WEIGHTS are used for weighing precious metal while diamonds are weighed using carat weights