What is Tola? Where did the term originate? How many grams are in a Tola? Is a Tola weight still used today? This article explains the history and importance of Tola.

What is Tola?

A Tola (tolah/ tole) is an ancient unit of weight. It was used in India and South Asia to allow the fair trade of grain and precious metals. It was defined as 180 troy grains or 3/8 of a troy ounce. Today, the Tola is equivalent to 11.7g in the metric system.

How do we know how many grams are in a Tola?

Before the metric system was established, measuring systems all over the world were based on natural units like grain or seed. In India, one Tola weighed 100 Ratti seeds – a reasonably fair method of ensuring that one buyer received the same as the next. It was used to weigh food and grain
as well as silver and gold. In the sixteenth century, the first one Tola coins were minted. Did you know?
Te first Rupee weighed one Tola. Meanwhile, over in Europe during the Middle Ages, traders were becoming a bit too liberal with their weighing systems, swapping between various definitions of the “pound” – and the English, with their “stone” of 14 pounds, added to the bewildering mess.
In England, “standards” were issued – bronze weights that were marked with the correct mass – in an attempt to regulate the weighing discrepancies of traders. But there was very little worldwide agreement. Some of the big trade fairs, such as the one in Troyes, France, had their own particular measuring standards. It is thought that the “troy” pound originated here. It was used at the fair to weigh gold and silver, while the separate Avoirdupois pound – a completely different weight – was used for foods like grain and sugar. Te troy weight made its way back to England.
One troy ounce was defined as 20 pennyweights (every 24 grains), totaling 480 grains. Although the grain weight varied across cultures, it still helped communities to trade more fairly with one another. When the English came to India, they brought their own weighing system with them, and the Tola was defined as being between 176 and 180 troy grains (3/8 of the troy ounce). Of course, in a world where grain growth depends on natural factors every year, the grain-based system was never perfect. How was the weights system resolved? The Weights and Measures Act made some progress in 1824 by defining a gallon and a yard, but it wasn’t really until the nineteenth to twentieth centuries, when the metric system was adopted in Europe, England, and India, that weights and measures were finally settled.

How many grams in one Tola?

Te traditional Tola remained in popular use until quite recently. It wasn’t actually until the 1950s and 60s that the metric system was properly adopted in India and England.
At this time, the Tola was translated into grams and is now agreed to weigh 11.7 grams. Tere are 11.7 grams in a tola.

How many grams is 1 Tola in gold?

The Tola is still used in countries such as India, Pakistan, and Nepal as a denomination of gold and precious metals. It has been generally accepted as 11.7 grams, but many Indian jewelers have rounded it down to 10 grams – which makes calculations simpler to use and understand.  One Tola in gold can be 10 grams or 11.7 grams – make sure you check. So if you’re in India, you might find there are 10 grams in 1 Tola of gold.  But if you buy in the UK, you’re likely to receive 11.7 grams in 1 Tola of gold. There’s one important thing to remember: If you buy gold by the Tola,  you should always ask the jeweler how many grams are in 1 Tola of gold. This will enable you to divide it and compare the price per gram to find a  good deal. (You can find gold price indices on the internet, or message us for the latest prices if you want to be sure.)

How many grams in 1 Tola of silver?

1 Tola is the same in any precious metal. In the UK, it is 11.7g, the closest approximation of 180 troy grains; in India, it is often rounded down to  10g. So there are 11.7 grams in 1 Tola of silver – see our collection of 1 Tola coins below. Did you know? The history of silver hallmarks is long and complex.

How did we decide how many grams should be in a one Tola coin?

PureJewels introduced the silver One Tola coin several years ago. We are the only British jeweler to mint a 0.999 silver One Tola coin, and we  offer it in exclusive designs, releasing one per year.
It is a collectible coin that represents an investment in silver. It is a good gif as well as a coin to put aside for the future. Did you know?  Sterling silver is 925 parts silver per 1000; our Silver One Tola is 999 parts silver per 1000 – the purest silver available. PureJewels has a world heritage, founded by an Indian migrant who moved to London and started trading during the 1970s. As such, we have adopted the metric system and we have used the metric definition of one Tola. At 11.7 grams, our silver One Tola coins weigh more than a One Tola from most Indian jewelers.
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Ganesh (2019)

Lord Ganesha, the god of new beginnings,
was commemorated on our 2019 Silver One
Tola. This is an auspicious gif for any holiday
and, presented in a handsome gif box, is sure
to be well received.

Krishna (2017)

Our 2017 Silver One Tola coin features
Krishna playing the flute to an adoring
peacock. It is minted in 0.999 silver –
a very special collector’s piece.
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Godess Lakshmi (2018)

Te beautiful Goddess Lakshmi seated on a lotus
leaf, from the ancient legend. Symbolizing health
and prosperity, our Lakshmi silver one Tola
makes the perfect gif for the family at Diwali.

Lakshmi & Ganesh

This very special collector’s coin was designed
with both deities, a wonderful gif for any
birthday or special day.
Browse all of our Silver One Tola coins