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I also see a weight associated with the art paper I buy.

For example: I have Bristol Board that is marked 100lbs, Pastel Paper marked 98lb, Sketch Paper marked 50lbs, etc.

What does this mean?

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The weight is the weight of a ream (500 sheets) in the unit of uncut size, which varies with the stock type See Here.

A more consistent measure of paper weight is the grams per sq metre value (gsm) which is what it says, the mass of 1 square metre of the paper, which is the area density of the paper.

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    As a reference, standard copy paper is 80 gsm, 120-160 gsm is thick paper, 300 gsm is cardboard or thick watercolor paper while tissue paper can be around 40-60 gsm. These are approximate ratings, so actual weight of a square meter of two paper types both rated 80 gsm may actually differ. Still, these rating offer some idea of whether you are dealing with thin tissue or thick cardboard. – Michał Kosmulski May 27 '16 at 8:57

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