See also: tael.
In China, 3rd century bce–20th century, a unit of mass. It is currently a part of the metrified shi zhi system, 10 liǎng = 1 jin, 1 liǎng = 50 grams. Slightly earlier, in the People's Republic of China, 20th century, 31.2 grams, while on Taiwan, 1 liǎng = 10 ch'ien = 37.5 grams (about 1.32 ounces).
16 liǎng = 1 chin, about 1¹/₃ oz. Also romanized as leang.
As a silver weight, = ¹⁄₁₆th catty = 10 tchen (mass or mace) = 100 fen (condorines) = 1000 li (caches). The names in parentheses were employed by European traders at Canton in the 19th century.
In commerce, 19th century, a slightly different value was used = 1.2 ounces avoirdupois = ¹⁄₁₆th of the commercial catty, about 37.80 grams.¹
When liǎng occurs before measure words, or before bàn (半 'half'), qiān (千 'thousand'), wàn (万 'ten thousand'), or yì (亿 'a hundred million'), it means two.
|Dynasty||Dates||Value of liǎng
|Former Han||205 bce–8 ce||16.14|
|Hsin Mang||9–24 ce||13.92|
|Liang & Chen||502–588||13.92|
|Later Wei & West Wei||386–557||13.92|
|Later Wei & East Wei||495–550||—|
Chung-kuo tu liang heng shih. (History of Chinese Weights and Measures)
1. Doursther (1840) page 511.
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Last revised: 22 February 2016.