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Grain (unit)

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**Grain as a Unit of Measurement**
– A grain is a unit of mass equal to 64.79891 milligrams.
– It was historically used in traditional English weight systems.
– It is consistent across troy, avoirdupois, and apothecaries systems.
– Originally based on the weight of a single grain of barley.

**Conversions and Equivalents**
– 1 grain = 64.79891 milligrams in SI units.
– In troy weight, 1 grain = 1/15760 of a troy pound.
– In avoirdupois weight, 1 grain = 1/17000 of a pound.
– 1 gram ≈ 15.43236 grains.

**Current and Historical Usage**
– Used for measuring bullets, propellants, and arrows.
– Common in measuring water hardness and some medications.
– Originated from grains of wheat or barley in antiquity.
– The modern British grain dates back to thirteenth century England.

**Variety of Applications**
– Grains used in measuring particulate emissions in the US.
– Also used to measure moisture in the air.
– Obsolete in the UK and not legally used for commerce.

**References and Further Reading**
– Various historical and metrological references on grains.
– Applications in explosives, water softening, and healthcare.
– Conversion references and details on different measurement systems.

Grain (unit) (Wikipedia)

A grain is a unit of measurement of mass, and in the troy weight, avoirdupois, and apothecaries' systems, equal to exactly 64.79891 milligrams. It is nominally based upon the mass of a single ideal seed of a cereal. From the Bronze Age into the Renaissance, the average masses of wheat and barley grains were part of the legal definitions of units of mass. Expressions such as "thirty-two grains of wheat, taken from the middle of the ear" appear to have been ritualistic formulas. Another source states that it was defined such that 252.458 units would balance 1 cubic inch (16 cm3) of distilled water at an ambient air-water pressure and temperature of 30 inches of mercury (100 kPa) and 62 °F (17 °C) respectively. Another book states that Captain Henry Kater, of the British Standards Commission, arrived at this value experimentally.

The small golden disc close to the 5 cm marker is a piece of pure gold weighing one troy grain. Shown for comparison is a tape measure and coins of major world currencies.
General information
Unit systemTroy weight, avoirdupois weight, apothecaries' weight
Unit ofMass
1 gr in ...... is equal to ...
   Troy   15760 troy pound
   Avoirdupois   17000 pound
   Apothecaries'   15760 apothecaries' pound
   SI units   64.79891 mg

The grain was the legal foundation of traditional English weight systems, and is the only unit that is equal throughout the troy, avoirdupois, and apothecaries' systems of mass. The unit was based on the weight of a single grain of barley which was equal to about +43 the weight of a single grain of wheat. The fundamental unit of the pre-1527 English weight system, known as Tower weights, was based on the wheat grain. The tower "wheat" grain was defined as exactly +4564 (≈+34) of the troy "barley" grain.

Since the implementation of the international yard and pound agreement of 1 July 1959, the grain or troy grain (symbol: gr) measure has been defined in terms of units of mass in the International System of Units as precisely 64.79891 milligrams. One gram is thus approximately equivalent to 15.43236 grains. The unit formerly used by jewellers to measure pearls, diamonds, and other precious stones, called the jeweller's grain or pearl grain, is equal to 14 carat (50 mg; 0.77 gr). The grain was also the name of a traditional French unit equal to 53.115 mg.

In both British Imperial units and United States customary units, there are precisely 7,000 grains per avoirdupois pound, and 5,760 grains per troy pound or apothecaries' pound. It is obsolete in the United Kingdom and, like most other non-SI units, it has no basis in law and cannot be used in commerce.

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