The History of Gold Leaf

Save

The manufacture of gold leaf began thousands of years ago, and remains a viable industry all over the world, with a range of applications. Today, the process of manufacturing gold leaf is automated and handled through rolling mills. Depending on the eventual use of the gold leaf, manufacturers combine solid gold with different measures of silver or copper. The resulting alloy is then pounded and flattened evenly to produce the desired composition and thickness.

Ancient Europe

  • According to some accounts, the ancient Egyptians were already manufacturing gold leaf around 2,500 BC, apparently the first to do so. They applied gold leaf to the pyramids. In Ancient Rome, gold leaf was used to ornament buildings. In Nanjing, once the capitol of China, the creation and application of gold leaf has been a traditional art for more than 1,700 years.

Renaissance Europe

  • In Renaissance Europe, gold beaters received specific measures of raw gold called ducats from which they produced gold leaf. They hammered the raw gold between pieces of leather. Each ducat produced a standard amount of gold leaf. If the beaters were able to produce more than the standard amount, the excess constituted their profit.

Kanazawa

  • Kanazawa in the Ishikawa Prefecture of Japan, is known as the "City of Gold Leaf." Because Kanazawa has ideal climate conditions and water quality to sustain the production of gold leaf, this specialized industry has developed steadily since the sixteenth century. From around the nineteenth century, Kanazawa took the lead in the manufacture of gold leaf in Japan.

Applications

  • The Golden Pavilion ("Kinkaku-ji") in Kyoto is an example of the application of gold leaf to buildings, such as temples and churches, in Japan and worldwide. Gold leaf is used to accentuate traditional Japanese paintings, lacquer ware, ceramics, and in a host of other uses including beauty and skincare products. Companies like Saduka Gold & Silver Leaf Co., Ltd. and Hakuza Inc., are gold leaf manufacturers in Kanazawa. Hakuza has developed an optimum product, pure gold platinum leaf, which is said to retain its original color and is not subject to environmental influences.

Custom Signs

  • Custom made gold leaf signs are considered as symbols of a prestigious address. In the United States, companies like Gerhart Studios Dimensional Signs and Carvings in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, provide this specialized service for clients throughout the country.

Edible Gold Leaf

  • Apparently Italian nobility dined on risotto with edible gold during the sixteenth century. In sixteenth century England, the Elizabethans sprinkled edible gold dust on their sweets and fruits, while in Japan, it was served with sake. Gold leaf remains popular as an edible delicacy. In its purest, 24-carat form, gold is blended with silver, and the resulting product can be used to decorate cakes and other desserts or special dishes.

Imitation

  • Buyers should be aware that there is a difference between genuine gold leaf, and the imitation called composition gold leaf. The latter contains 85 percent brass and 15 percent zinc, and tarnishes. Real gold leaf retains its shine.

References

Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

Resources

You May Also Like

  • Edible Gold Leaf Dangers

    Nothing says elegance more than a delicate pastry accented with a touch of edible gold leaf. Yet home cooks worry needlessly about...

  • Can Gold Leaf Be Melted Down?

    Gold leaf is gold that is beaten into very thin sheets, then typically applied to the surface of an object to make...

  • The History of Mixed Media

    By definition, mixed media art is any form of art that combines two or more mediums in one work. Use of the...

  • The Value of a Gold Leaf

    Commonly sold in sheets, gold leaf is a moderately priced ultra-thin layer of pure gold used mostly by craftsmen. Craftsmen today and...

  • How to Paint Using Gold Leaf

    Gold leaf is a great addition to any artwork and can be used as the art itself by applying it as the...

  • How to Burnish Gold Leaf

    Burnishing can emphasize areas of a certain object. It will make it glossy and reflective. Burnishing gold leaf is pressing the leaf...

  • Best Gold Edible Wedding Cake Decorations

    Ready-made edible gold cake decorations are not usually available for sale, although you may be able to special-order decorations from an accommodating...

  • Uses of Gold Leaf Electroscopes

    The gold leaf electroscope has been used by physicists for hundreds of years. It indicates the presence and magnitude of a charge...

Related Searches

Check It Out

Are You Really Getting A Deal From Discount Stores?

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!