In Asia, a unit of mass variously defined. In the 20th century1:
1. United Nations, 1966.
Another name for the Chinese liang.
In Hong Kong, 20th – 21st centuries, the tael troy, a unit of mass used for gold, = 37.429 grams. 1 tael troy = 10 mace troy = 100 candareen troy.
On the island of Sumatra, two distinct units of mass, varying by locality.
Doursther (1840) lists the following magnitudes:
|Locale||Names, equivalents||English grains (troy)||grams|
|Achem||The tale = 1/5th buncall = 2 4/5 pagodes = 3 1/5 mayons or miams = 16 maces or mas = 64 copangs or coupangs||148.2||9.60|
|Bencoolen or Bencoulen.||The tael or tale for gold and silver = 1½ ringit = 12 kepings = 16 maces or mas = 100 condorines = 360 coondees||638||41.34|
|Jamby||The tale or tail = 16 mas||614||39.78|
|Marlborough (Fort-)||The tael for gold and silver = 1½ ringit = 12 keping = 360 coohdees.||638||41.34|
|The tael of Mocamoca, 1/16th catty = 1½ ringit = 4 pauh = 16 mas = 64 koopang or soocoo.||638||41.34|
|The Chinese tael, a commercial weight, 1/16th catty = 10 chehs = 100 hoons = 1000 lees = 10,000 see = 100,000 hoots||583.333||37.80|
|Natal, Ayer-Bonghye and Tappanooly||The tael or tale, for gold and silver, = 16 ammas = 100 condorines = 384 rackays||584||37.84|
|The Chinese tael, a commercial weight, 1/16th catty = 1 1/3 ounces avoirdupois||583.333||37.80|
|Padang||The tale or tail = 16 mas or maces = 100 condorines = 700 rachin||636||41.21|
|Palembang||The tale or tail, 1/10th catty = 2¼ réaux||949.5||61.52|
Doursther then comments:
Nous ferons observer que les poids du tale d'Achem, indiqué ci-dessus, d'apres toutes les métrologies, est basé sur d'anciennes donnés, de l'exactitude desquelles on peut douter, d'autant plus que ce poids ne s'accorde en aucune manière avec ceux des autres parties de l'ile Sumatra, telles que Bencoulen et Fort-Marlborough dont les poids ont été vérifiés a Londres sur des étalons reçus directement en 1821.
We observe that the weight given above for Achem, following all the metrologies, is based on old data, the accuracy of which one may doubt, especially since this weight does not agree in any way with those of other parts of the island of Sumatra, such as Bencoulen and Fort Marlborough, whose weights were verified in London based on standards received directly in 1821.
Odd as this inconsistency seems, it appears to be genuine:
The most established weight in trade, is the tial or tael, which differs however in the northern and southern parts of the island, being in Natal twenty four penny weights, nine grains [37.9 grams], and at Padang, Bencoolen and elsewhere, twenty six penny weights, twelve grains [41.2 g].
The History of Sumatra… Second Edition.
London: Printed for the author, 1784.
Kelly (1835), who had the active cooperation of the British East India Company and made a special effort to ascertain East Asian weights accurately, also states “the tale differs in the Northern and Southern parts of the island” (page 112). He gives the following magnitudes:
|Locale||Value of tael||grams||page #|
|Acheen||1/100th catti of 30 oz 17 dwt 12 gr troy||9.60||97|
|Bencoolen||26 dwts 12 gr. troy||41.21||101|
|Natal||1 oz. 4 dwt. 9 gr. troy||38.10||112|
|Padang||1 oz 6 dwts 12 gr troy||41.21||112|
|Palimbang||gold and silver, 1/10 catty of 19 oz 15 dwt 14 gr||61.52||112|
|638 gr (silver weight)||41.34||343|
|575.625 gr. = 1 1/3 oz (commercial weight)||37.30||344|
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Last revised: 3 February 2011.