What is the difference between gold powder vs gold leaf? What makes one and what makes the other? And which is more expensive?
Let us find out, shall we? Today, we will be exploring the very definitions of gold leaf and gold powder for your keen and curious eyes and minds.
Table of Contents
What is Gold Leaf?
Believe it or not, gold leaf is actually real gold that has been hammered into thin sheets. Pure gold, owing to its chemical composition, can afford to be hammered through gold beating to a point where it is usually around 0.1 µm thick. Though it is usually available in a variety of different gradations and shades, the most commonly used gold is 22 karats and is more often than not yellow.
Though gold leaf is a type of metal leaf, this term is rarely used when referring to the gold leaf itself. Instead, the term is usually used in reference to thin sheets of metal of any color that does not contain any real gold, hence the distinction. Pure gold and the gold leaves that come as a result are 24 karats.
Real yellow gold leaf sheets should be approximately 91.7% pure. Often, you might bear witness to white gold, a variety that consists of about 50% pure gold.
Layering gold leaf over a surface is called gold leafing or gilding. Traditional water gilding is one of the most difficult and highly regarded forms of gold leafing, though due to its difficulty, it is more and more rarely encountered and practiced.
Those that do practice it are partaking in a tradition that has remained virtually unchanged for hundreds of years, since, in fact, its inception many centuries ago. It is all done by hand. The process of gilding is, however, more democratized than ever, with gilding projects being undertaken by all manner of folk nowadays.
What is Gold Powder?
Powdered gold, then, is a variety of gold leaf or, rather, created using gold leaf.
Genuine gold powder uses real gold leaves and crushes them finely. By combining this fine powder with melted glue, a paste is then formed. Once this paste has dried and been broken into pieces, it can then be transformed into powder much like the gold powder we have under our microscope today.
Firstly, the gold leaves are crushed into microscopic pieces, followed by the application of the glue which turns the whole thing into a paste. Once it has dried, it is then crushed up, with the glue washed out with water and dried.
Once the process has been completed, the powder at the end of it will be as smooth and fine as flour. Much research has been conducted to ensure the lubrication and satisfaction of this entire process.
There is a long and storied history of consuming this kind of gold. Edible gold has been used since antiquity and has been known to be consumed in many different regions and time scales. The earliest example has been among the ancient Egyptians around 5000 years ago wherein gold was used in many fields.
In these societies, gold was used for mental, bodily, and spiritual purification, believed by many to have divine effects. Research since has shown that there are little to no health benefits to consuming gold, however, this does not count any relating to placebo.
So, there you have it! Hopefully, this study has been of use to you in investigating gold leaf and gold powder for yourself. Godspeed!
FAQs Gold Powder vs Gold Leaf
Gold powder is a form of gold that has been powdered for a specific purpose. To create gold powder, gold leaves are taken and finely crushed and combined with special glue. The resulting paste is then dried and rid of glue with water and, once crushed again, will become the gold powder of which we speak. This powder has a variety of different uses in the long and short term and has been known to be used by many different civilizations, both ancient and recent.
Gold powder has a variety of uses. Nowadays, it can often be found in food, providing those who have bought it with a feeling of luxury and style. Gold has been used in this way for thousands of years, the earliest known examples occurring in ancient Egypt where it was used in many such fields, believing it to have divine effects. The alchemists of Alexandria, for instance, developed various medicines and elixirs featuring drinkable gold which they believed restored and rejuvenated the body, mind, and spirit. Cleopatra herself is believed to have had body treatments with gold every night, such as gold baths or face masks of pure gold. More can be read about it here.