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DWT not PWT


#1

OK, burning question of the day: Does anyone know why Pennyweight is
abbreviated with a D?

Cindy Crounse
Refined Designs Original Fine Jewelry
www.refineddesigns.com


#2

Just had to get me to do a web search, didn’t you? According to

Even after the denarius was no longer regularly issued, it continued
to be used as an accounting device and the name was applied to later
Roman coins in a way that is not understood. The lasting legacy of
the denarius can be seen in the use of “d” as the abbreviation for
the old French denier and the British penny prior to 1971. The
denarius also survives in the common Arabic name for a currency unit,
the dinar used from pre-Islamic times, and still used in several
modern Arabic-speaking nations. The Italian word denaro, Spanish word
dinero, and the Portuguese word dinheiro, all meaning money, are also
derived from Latin “denarius.”

BTW, pwt is an accepted alternate abbreviation.

Also, nails (the kind you drive with a hammer) are sized by pennies
and the “d” is also used for them, eg. 10d, 12d. A long time ago,
this was the cost of buying 100 of these nails. You could buy 100 10d
nails for ten pennies, or 100 12d nails for 12 pennies. The larger
the nail, naturally, the more you had to pay for 100.

Dr. H. D. (Del) Pearson


#3

Hello Cindy,

it’s an old British measurment. Leave it to the Brits, Pennyweight
"DWT", Pound “LB”.

When I came to the U.S. 30 something years ago I had to to a lot of
adjusting. Gram to DWT, Millimeter to Gauge for metal, Inches and
fractions for dimensions of that metal, Drill bits by numbers, Stones
by mm. I’m getting a headache again. Is it clear to you now, it ain’t
to me.

Hans
http://www.hansallwicher.com


#4

I didn’t actually know this, but it piqued my curiosity:

I knew that we used an old fashioned weight unit, but I didn’t know
we used an “obsolete” unit every day!!

A pennyweight (dwt) is an obsolete unit of mass which is the same as
24 grains, 1/240th of a troy pound, 1/20th of a troy ounce, or
approximately 1.555 grams. A penny coin was literally, as well as
monetarily, 1/240th of a troy pound of sterling silver.

The troy pound and the pennyweight lost their official status in the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in the Weights and
Measures Act of 1878. Only the troy ounce and its decimal
subdivisions remained legal after then, and even now in the 21st
century the troy ounce enjoys a specific legal exemption from
metrication in the UK.

Custom jewellers still use the pennyweight in their calculations for
the necessary amount of precious metals in casting items using the
lost wax process.

While “dwt” is the most common abbreviation for pennyweight (as "d"
was the abbreviation for “penny” in the pre-decimalisation British
system), some sources list “pwt” as an alternative.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#5

Hello Cindy

OK, burning question of the day: Does anyone know why Pennyweight
is abbreviated with a D? 

Ah, the differences between British and English. Britspeak is very
fond of words that are not pronounced as spelt. There are the famous
examples such as; Raymond Luxury-Yacht (pronounced Throat-Warbler
Mangrove) and of course Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet)

So back in yesteryear the UK monetary system used Pounds, Shillings
and Pence. That is a spelling of the correct pronunciation. The real
spelling is Lira, Salarium and Dinar, which is why the abbreviations
for UK funds was L.S.D. Although the Romans left 2,000 years ago
nobody thought it wise to change until recently when the British
government figured out they weren’t coming back. Most of the UK had
however been secretly spelling the money phonetically but abbreviating
correctly, just to annoy foreigners. It’s nice to know that it’s
still doing that because a lot of effort went into it.

A further aside the real Pound sign is a capital 'L’with a line
through it, that tic-tac-toe thingy on your telephone is an
octothorpe.

Tony.

Anthony Lloyd-Rees.
www.OpalsInTheBag.com
www.TheGemDoctor.com

Vancouver,
Beautiful British Columbia


#6
OK, burning question of the day: Does anyone know why Pennyweight
is abbreviated with a D? 

pennyweight (dwt or pwt)

a unit of weight in the traditional troy system (see also pound
[2]), equal to 24 grains or 1/20 troy ounce. One pennyweight is
approximately 1.5552 gram. The d in the traditional symbol dwt is
from the Latin word denarius for the small coin which was the Roman
equivalent of a penny. (The letter d was also the symbol for the
penny in the traditional English monetary system.) See troy weights
for additional

measures.

Lisa, (Made peking duck for dinner last night. Boy was that good!!!
No…it was not one of my own ducks…I don’t have ducks) Topanga, CA
USA


#7

Anthony,

I am so glad you spelled that out for us. Afterall we do not speak
the kings English, I don’t even know who’s english we speak. But it
was certainly fun reading your clarification on pronunciations.

Thank you,
Jennifer Friedman
Ventura, CA


#8

Because, in the UK, it was the Romans who brought the concept of a
fixed monetary system and their smallest coin was a Denarius. Other
invaders brought their own currency with them such as the Penningr of
the old Norse and Pfennig of the Germanic peoples. These words became
translated into Mediaeval English as Penning or Pennig which
subsequently became Penny. The use of ‘d’ rather than ‘p’ is just a
historical relic respecting the Romans who were the people who really
started to civilise the British Isles. The term Penny is now used in
many cultures as a generic, colloquial term for a small coin - it was
even used in the US to refer to the Cent.

Best wishes,
Ian

Ian W. Wright
SHEFFIELD UK


#9

Cindy,

According to my encyclopedia:

Pennyweight is an obsolete unit of mass the same as 24 grains,
1/240th of a troy pound, 1/20th of a troy ounce, or approx 1.555
grams.

A penny coin was literally, as well as monetarily, 1/240th of a troy
pound of Sterling Silver.

While “DWT” is the most common abbreviation for pennyweight (as "d"
was the abbreviation for “penny” in the pre-decimalisation British
system), some sources list “PWT” as an alternative.

The Roman currency system included the “denarius”, a small silver
coin as the most common coin in circulation. Hence the words
"dinero" Spanish, “dinheiro” Portuguese and thus the “D” in the
abbreviation for pennyweight.

Lawrence Silva
Da Gama Designs


#10

Hi Ian…

Among the things other than stones that I fool around with…Are
Roman coins…

The denarius, at least as I’ve seen it come through, is usually a
silver coin… There seems to be some agruement as to exactly how the
Roman monetary system(s) worked, but in many periods at least, there
also bronze coins, which most folks figure are a lower
denomination…

Someswheres I saw a conjecture that a denarius was a day’s pay for a
legionnaire, and that would feed one a basic diet for a week…

Oh yeah…when I say silver…that’s a relative term… Like
most governmental agencies, Rome debased it’s precious metal coinage
alloys to some extent or another at given points in time…

Another ref I’ve seen is that Nero was the first one to really get
that act going as part of officialdom…

Among other interesting antics…

Gary W. Bourbonais
A.J.P. (GIA)