gold leaf nz

What Types of Gold Leafs Are There, and Where to Buy Gold Leaf?

There are two different types of gold leafs, one is genuine gold leafs which comes in transfer and loose leafs.

Transfer Gold Leaf:

The individual gold leaf are pressed onto a tissue paper. One uses patent gold, also called tempest gold, when gilding outdoors. The tissue paper is larger than the gold leaf, thus it may be more easily handled. It is also possible to cut the patent leaves into desired shapes/forms with sissors. The leaves are placed onto the prepared surface using Instacoll Size, Permacol Size, Aqua Size, or mixtion, and carefully rubbed with cotton wool or Kölner tissue drapery. The tissue paper may then be removed as the gold leaf will adhere to the surface / object.

Loose Gold Leaf:

The gold leaf are placed in paper booklets, loosely inlaid in 25 compartments, one for each leaf. To cut the leaf, one may take it from the booklet with the Gilding Knife and place it on the Gilding Cushion or drop it directly from the booklet onto the gilding cushion. Then, pick up the leaf with the gilder’s tip and place it onto the prepared surface.

and the other type is imitation gold leaf. The imitation gold leafs are made from mixed alloys such as zinc, copper, and aluminium and thus are toxic and harmful. Therefore, they are not to be consumed by humans.

What is the deference between Imitation and genuine leafs?

Genuine gold leaf can be used indoor and outdoor, but imitation metal leafs can only be used indoor to avoid oxidation. In addition, genuine gold leaf can be burnished to create a high gloss and shiny finish, whereas imitation leafs can not be burnished with an Agate Stone Burnisher, instead, it has to be polished with a soft clouth such as Instacoll Tissue.

The genuine gold leaf, although they are made from genuine gold (real gold) however, they are made for two different industries:

One, for the industrial sector, usually used by gilders to gild furniture, picture frames and valuable objects. It is essential to know that they are made in a factory that lubricates their machines with industrial oil; therefore, they are too toxic and harmful for your body when consumed. Unfortunately, there are those who sell these industrial types of gold leafs as edible 24k Gold Leaf, which is a misleading claim.

The second type is made for the hospitality and cosmetics industries. These genuine gold leafs are made with strict hygiene standards, and all the machines are lubricated using vegetable oils instead of industrial oils. In addition, the staff are trained for health and safety standards.

Both the United States and the European Union authorised these types of genuine gold leaf for human consumption under food colouring # E175 and the genuine silver leaf under food colouring # E174). The leafs are so thin that they will disintegrate in your mouth instantly.

Recommended reading:

Choosing the right gold leaf for the indoor and outdoor gilding

Choosing The Right Gilding Adhesive or Gilding Size