What Is Gold Leaf?

What Is and How Is Gold Leaf Made?

Gold Leaf, occasionally called gold foil, is real gold that has actually been compressed right into an actual thin sheet 0.12 microns in thickness. For comparison, photo copier paper is around 130 microns, in addition to human hair around 60 microns. One ounce of 24k gold would certainly make a coin with a 33mm diameter in dimension (as an example, the existing US Dollar coin is 26.5 mm), and can be flattened in to gold leaf sheet that would absolutely cover the ceiling of 10 foot x 15 foot area or 150 square feet.

History of Gold Leaf

Gold leaf art started countless years back by the Egyptians. They believed that gold was the color of the gods, pharaohs, as well as coffins. Actually, the main decoration in the rooms of the pharaohs’ tombs was gold leaf. While Egyptians were well known as master gilders, the Chinese also have actually gilded timber, pottery, as well as fabrics wonderfully designed in variegated leaf gold. On the other hand, the Greeks also gilded masonry, marble sculpture, wood as well as also fire-gilded various metals. The Romans obtained this art from Greeks who made use of it to decorate their palaces as well as holy places with brilliant gold leaf. In both an economic and also social sense, gold leaf has actually often been used throughout history to represent riches and also high social standing. Its strength, rareness, and, of course, beauty, has suggested luxuriousness throughout a wide variety styles of design. In spiritual art and style, gold leaf has actually long been connected with the divine, signifying the spiritual value of the decoration. Even in contemporary times, gold leaf decoration is prominent in churches, mosques, temples, and also various other liturgical art.

Karats, Shades, and Imitation Gold Leaf

Gold leaf is a different material than gold ink and is offered in a range of karat values in addition to tones which differ from yellow to silvery. 24k gold leaf is 99.9% gold along with is yellow-colored in look. 12k is 50% gold and the rest normally silver, which has a lighter shade for it to routinely be referred to as White Gold. 22-karat yellow gold leaf is about 92% gold, along with is frequently made use of for image frames. Various metals mixed with the gold change the color or color of the gold leaf. Far more silver or palladium makes the leaf brighter and less yellow. Copper makes it redder. Our 12k gold leaf is silverish given that it is mainly a silver and gold mix. A 12k gold leaf made with copper instead of silver would absolutely be red. 22k gold leaf made with palladium as opposed to copper is paler and called Moon Gold.

Genuine gold leaf (24k) will definitely not stain or change shade gradually. Silver leaf, 18k as well as 12k gold leaf will certainly tarnish over time if not sealed against oxidation. Imitation gold leaf, in addition described as make-up leaf or Dutch Leaf, is created from copper and zinc, and likewise will absolutely discolor. Imitation silver leaf is typically thin aluminum foil and will additionally slowly tarnish the longer it is exposed.

Artificial gold leaf is also available, but is not recommended for sign panels being placed in an outside environment.  For our sign projects, we use 23k gold leaf, which is ideal for outdoor use.

Buy Gold Leaf - how is it Packaged?

Gold leaf used in the gilding process is packaged in a paper booklet.  Gold leaf books, utilizing specialty tissue paper that divides the leaf as well as does not attach to the gold. Each booklet includes 25 leaves. Twenty booklets make up a bundle of gold leaf with 500 leaves total amount.

The gold leaf books can be found in two variations:

Loose Leaf (also known as Surface Leaf)

The gold leaf is positioned in the booklet between the pages, and does not stick to the paper. It is quickly removed, and if you are working outside on a windy day, there is a good chance the gold will merely blow away when the leaf is exposed.

Transfer Leaf (additionally called Patent Leaf)

The gold leaf product is formed into its very own piece of transfer (or patent) paper, which enables it to be dealt with without the leaf coming loose. When the gold leaf contacts a prepared surface with size adhesive, the gold leaf will come off the transfer paper. The transfer leaf (paper and gold) is placed in a regular gold leaf publication. Transfer leaf books can easily be distinguished by the paper poking out from the end of the booklet.

Gold Leaf Size

Authentic gold leaf is normally either 3-1/8″ square (Asian standard), or 3-3/8″ square (European standard). Silver leaf is bigger at 3-3/4″ square. Some gold leaf is readily available in a 1-3/8″ square dimension that is prominent in the Eastern market as well as with hobbyists. Man-made gold leaf, also called replica gold, is normally just available in bigger sizes, which is one method to tell the difference visually.

Gold Leaf Thicknesses

Most gold leaf is offered as solitary density, yet some is offered as “double” or “three-way” gold, which are however misleading however accepted, sector terms. “Double” gold has about 20% even more gold by weight than regular gold leaf, that makes it concerning 20% thicker, as well as three-way gold has about 40% even more gold by weight. Because it is thicker than regular gold leaf, it is a lot more resilient as well as non transparent than normal single density gold leaf.

What About Edible Gold?

Is Gold Leaf edible?  Edible Gold is a type of gold that is used as a food additive as it does not rust or oxidize when it contacts moisture.  Edible Gold is used to decorate food items as well as added to liquids.  While you could eat the gold we use for sign production, it would no be recommended.

The reality is that gold is an inert metal and does not get absorbed or react in the human body.  There are no health benefits associated with consuming gold.

Edible Gold also has it origins in the ancient Egyptians, but was also seen in countries such as Japan, India, and China.  Edible Gold was used in medicines as it was believed to have divine effects.


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