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| Courtesy Utah Department of Agriculture When buying ro selling gold or precious metals, consumers should make sure the scale has an up-to-date inspection sticker from the Utah Department of Agriculture and Foodís Weights and Measures Program.
Inaccurate gold scales short Utah consumers
Reports » Inspections of 286 in the state show 62 percent were out of compliance.
First Published Mar 19 2014 01:43 pm • Last Updated Mar 20 2014 04:35 pm

Utah consumers who bought or sold gold and other precious metals in 2013 may have been shorted money due to inaccurate commercial scales, according to inspection reports from the Utah Weights and Measures Program of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF).

Inspections of the 286 scales in Utah showed that 62 percent — or 177 — were out of compliance. Most of the scales provided an inaccurate weight that shorted the consumer an average of .60 grams per transaction, the UDAF report showed.

At a glance

Consumer tips

Eight tips to ensure you receive a fair value for gold and other precious metals.

Look for an inspection certification label on the scale from the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food’s Weights and Measures Program, indicating it has been inspected and tested.

Make sure you can see the scale readings.

The scale must register zero before weighing begins. If a container is used to hold the items being weighed, the scale must register zero with the empty container on it.

Do not allow weighing if the scale has wording that states “Not Legal for Trade.”

Know if the scale is weighing in grams, troy ounces or pennyweights.

Make sure conversion between units of measurement are correct.

Make sure the scale is on a level surface.

Do not allow weighing if the scale indications are fluctuating; this may be caused by heating or air conditioning air currents, and may cause inaccuracies.

For more information, or to lodge a complaint about the accuracy of a commercial scale in Utah, contact the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, 801-538-7158, or email: udaf-measures@utah.gov.

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With the market value of gold hovering around $48 per gram, UDAF estimates that customers could have been shorted an average of nearly $29 per transaction.

"A few of the scales gave inaccurate weights that favored the consumer, and many scales were ‘not legal for trade’," Brett Gurney, weights and measures program supervisor said in a news release. "Follow up inspections have been conducted and each of these scales is now in compliance."


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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