The subject of a couple weighing gold belongs to the tradition popularized by Quentin Massys, Marinus van Reymerswael, and other early Netherlandish painters, for whom it was associated with the admonition in Leviticus 19:35: "You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure". The theme was always understood as a warning against covetousness and greed; indeed, when the present work was engraved in 1760, it was accompanied with the inscription: "What do you wish to do with this Gold? A vain Pile, what folly! Soon you will lose your Life; Will you take your Treasure with you?". Peter Sutton tentatively dates the present work to the late 1640s.