Genuine Gold Leaf
The technique used in gilding with gold is usually set by the desired result -- eglomise for gilding on glass; water gilding for interior objects and surfaces (picture frames); oil (mordant) gilding for exterior gilding. Class, DIY Tutorials, and our Technical Help experts are available to assist in choice and execution of technique.
Karat Weights and Thicknesses of Gold Leaf:
Useful for all multi-purpose gilding, Genuine Gold Leaf is available in various karat weights: 24K, 23.75K, 23K Red Gold, 23K, 22K, 21K Moon Gold, 18K, 12K. 24K is the highest purity gold available (99.95%); 18K is 75% gold alloyed with other metal(s); 12K is 50% gold. Wikipedia offers accurate technical information on karat weights.
Genuine Gold Leaf is sometimes available in various thicknesses (130 grams, 160 grams, 180 grams, each per 10,000 leaves) called standard leaf, double leaf, and triple leaf, with the names denoting relative characteristic thickness.
Gold Color Charts for comparison and matching
Gold Color Charts show the many varieties side-by-side for comparison.
Karat weight (percentage alloy or purity of gold) and thickness imparts inherent coloration, texture and other properties to gold leaf. Surfaces and colorants added behind gold leaves (glue, bole); surface workings (burnishing); and topical applicants (sealants) all affect final color, richness, lustre, shine and durability. Gilding is both old science and creative art.
Loose Leaf / Surface Leaf form of Gold Leaf
Genuine Gold Leaf in "Loose Leaf" form is suitable for water gilding interior picture frames and objects having fine detail.
Each leaf measures 85 mm x 85 mm (3-3/8 inches x 3-3/8 inches) square and is sold in Packs containing 500 Gold Leaves. A Pack is divided into 20 booklets each containing 25 Gold Leaves interspersed between pieces of thin rouged paper.
- 1 Sheet: 3-1/8" x 3-1/8" (7.94 cm x 7.94 cm)
- 1 Booklet (25 sheets): 1 5/6 square feet (0.56 square meters)
- 1 Pack (500 Sheets): 31 square feet (9.45 square meters)
A Gilder's Tip (a flat natural-hair brush) can be used to individually transfer each Gold Leaf onto a properly prepared surface. The Gold Leaf is then rubbed with cotton wool and various techniques and finishes may be applied. Our Technical Help, Videos, DIY, and Classes offer further information and guidance.
BANNERS OF SELLERS OF LOOSE LEAF GO HERE ---
Patent Leaf / Transfer Leaf form of Gold Leaf
Gold Leaf in "Patent Leaf" form -- also called "Transfer Leaf" or "Tempest Gold" -- is often used for outdoor gilding. Individual Gold Leaves are each specially pressed onto a rouged tissue paper that is slightly larger than the Gold Leaf to ease handling and application. This form of Gold Leaf is used outdoors or where conditions would make Gold Leaf in Loose Leaf form unmanageable.
APPLICATION -- The gilder can readily remove one leaf at a time independently of the remaining leaves; Patent Gold Leaf may be removed from the book without the aid of a Gilder's Tip. The Gold Leaves will remain on each tissue until pressed onto the prepared surface and the tissue backing removed.
USAGE -- Patent Gold Leaf may be cut with scissors or sharp razor into desired shapes/forms. Exterior gilding is often accomplished with purer carats, 23.75K up to 24K Gold or Silver Leaf. Gold Leaf in Patent Leaf form is not suitable for water gilding and is best suited for flat surfaces.
STORAGE -- Gold Leaf in Patent Leaf form is sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity and needs to be stored properly: Patent Leaf is best stored in a damp environment of about 80% humidity wrapped in plastic wrap.
BANNERS OF SELLERS OF PATENT/TRANSFER LEAF GO HERE ---
Ribbon Leaf (Rolls) form of Gold Leaf
Gold Leaf packaged in roll form is referred to as "Ribbon Leaf". 4-1/8 square leaves of gold are placed onto a continuous length of lightweight paper with slight (2mm) overlaps. Ribbon Leaf is not Patent Leaf. Unlike Patent Leaf which is pressed onto tissue paper, Ribbon Leaf is adhered to the paper with fine wax during the rolling process.
APPLICATION & USAGE -- Ribbon Leaf is intended for use with oil or a synthetic size on flat surfaces. The paper backing prevents Ribbon Leaf from reaching into ornate crevices or recesses.
STORAGE -- Ribbon Leaf is sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity and needs to be stored properly: at normal room temperature and humidity. Ribbon Leaf may become loose in the paper if stored in too dry and warm an environment. Ribbon Leaf stored in too hot and humid environment may adhere too tightly to the paper. To control humidity fluctuation during extended storage, wrap the roll in plastic wrap or use a sealable plastic bag.
BANNERS OF SELLERS OF RIBBON LEAF GO HERE ---
Powder / Shell
Leaf Coverage (approximate) Chart:
|Gold Leaf - Pack||3-3/8 inch x 3-3/8 inch|
(85 mm x 85 mm)
|500 Leaves||39.5 sq. ft. (3.66 m^2)|
|Gold Leaf - Book||3-3/8 inch x 3-3/8 inch|
(85 mm x 85 mm)
|25 Leaves|| 1.98 sq. ft. (0.17 m^2)|
|Metal Leaf - Pack||5-1/2 inch x 5-1/2 inch|
(139 mm x 139 mm)
|500 Leaves|| 105 sq. ft. (9.75 m^2)|
|Metal Leaf - Book||5-1/2 inch x 5-1/2 inch|
(139 mm x 139 mm)
|25 Leaves||5.25 sq. ft. (0.48 m^2)|
|Japanese Leaf||4-5/16 inch x 4-5/16 inch|
(109 mm x 109 mm)
|500 Leaves||64.6 sq. ft. (6 m^2)|
|Manetti - Italian Gold Roll||4-1/8 inch x 67 ft.|
(104 mm x 20.4 m)
|Master Roll||22.25 sq. ft. (2.06 m^2)|
|Manetti - Italian Palladium Roll||3 inch x 67 ft.|
(76 mm x 20.4 m)
|Master Roll||18.8 sq. ft. (1.74 m^2)|
|Crocodile - German Gold Roll||4-1/8 inch x 69 ft.|
(104 mm x 21 m)
|Master Roll||23.5 sq. ft. (2.18 m^2)|
|Italian Silver Master Roll||5-1/2 inch x 82 ft.|
(139 mm x 24.9 m^2)
|Master Roll||37.5 sq. ft. (3.48 m^2)|
|Metal Leaf Roll - 50 meter||6-1/4 inch x 164 ft.|
(158 mm x 49.9 m^2)
|Master Roll||82 sq. ft. (7.61 m^2)|
|Metal Leaf Roll - 75 meter||6-1/4 inch x 246 ft.|
(158 mm x 75 m)
|Master Roll||123 sq. ft. (11.4 m^2)|
|Schlagmetal Leaf - Box||6-1/4 inch x 6-1/4 inch.|
(158 mm x 158 mm)
|10,000 Leaves||2,720 sq. ft. (252.69 m^2)|