One tael equals 1.20337 troy ounces (37.4290g). Centers for gold trading in tael bars are Hong Kong and Taiwan. 1. The gold is mostly traded in 5 and 10 tael. A basic tael gold contract consists of 100 tael, combined of 5 times 20 tael bars. A tael was a Chinese currency unit and measurement for silver. Its exact weight varied in place and time.
Tael bars are produced in three shapes: biscuit, doughnut and boat. Boat bars range from 1/2 tael to 10 tael. This has been traditionally the shape of Chinese silver currency for more than 200 years (Han dynasty 2006 BC – 220 AD). The biscuit is the most popular tael bar with a weight of 5 units (6 ounce). They are produced in Hong Kong and accredited by the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange. The last shape, doughnut bars, named after the hole in the center, used to be a Chinese coin shape. Nowadays they are available in 1/2, 1 and 2 tael units.
Good delivery 5 tael bars have a fineness of .990. Their dimensions are 78mm x 20mm x 5mm. The bars bear the official stamp of the manufacturer and the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society (Hong Kong-based gold exchange). Certified refiners are: King Fook Gold & Jewellery Co Ltd, Po Sang, Financial Investment Servicese Co Ltd, Lee Cheong Gold Dealers Co Ltd, Heraeus Ltd, Wong Sha Co Ltd, Sun Yip Hong Gold Dealers Ltd, Marigold International Bullion Dealers Ltd.
After 1868, one tael corresponded to 10 Chin (錢 / 钱, Mehs), 100 Fen (一分錢 / 一分钱, Candareen), 1000 Li (釐 / 厘), 37,78g, 33,387g in foreign trade. There were more than 170 different tael sizes, between 30g and 40g: Kanton (Hong Kong) Tael: 33,816, Shanghai Tael: 37,759g.
In some (South) East Asian countries, the tael is still in use. On the Chinese Mainland, a Tael stands for exactly 50 gram. In Hong Kong 37.423g, in Singapore and Malaysia 37,799g, in Taiwan 37,450 and in Vietnam 37,50g.
The illustration shows a boat-shaped Chinese silver tael bar from the 19th century.