Gold leaf is brilliant and shiny and can transform the look of everything, including furniture, decorations, desserts, and beverages. Given its beauty and the fact that it is gold, you’re not alone if you’re asking, “is gold leaf expensive?” You may even be asking, “is edible gold leaf expensive?” Both of these are excellent questions. And we’re going to explore them in the next few sections. 

How Expensive Is Gold Leaf?

Gold leaf comes in packs of square sheets. While the cost to purchase gold leaf can vary, it probably isn’t quite as expensive as you may think. This is especially true when you consider that each sheet is made from real gold. Generally speaking, you can find a pack of 25 genuine gold leaf sheets available for between $40 and $65. The specific price can vary by manufacturer or retailer and will also depend on the purity level of the gold. 24-karat gold leaf sheets, the purest option, will be more expensive than 18-karat gold leaf sheets, for example.

What Is Edible Gold?

When you’re assessing the price of gold leaf, you may be looking for a specific type of gold leaf: edible gold. If you’re not already familiar with edible gold, it is precisely what it sounds like. Edible gold is gold that is safe to eat and that can be used for food decoration and other similar tasks. Edible gold leaf is biologically inert. Items that are biologically inert do not get absorbed as they move through an individual’s digestive tract.

Edible gold offers a wide variety of uses. These can include dessert decorations for cakes and cupcakes, for instance. Edible gold can also decorate sushi and entrées, such as risotto, soups, or pasta. In addition to being used to decorate food, edible gold is also commonly used to add some sparkle and a more upscale feel to champagne, cocktails, and other beverages.

Edible gold can be tricky to work with. So, you’ll definitely want to practice before you try to create something complex or something for a special event. However, the time and effort you put into your creation will be worth it; edible gold offers truly spectacular transformations.

Is gold leaf expensive? Edible gold flakes may not be as pricey as you think.

Is Edible Gold Expensive?

For those wondering, “how expensive is edible gold leaf,” it is priced comparably to other types of gold leaf you may use for craft and DIY projects. One key difference, however, relates to the purity level of the gold leaf. Edible gold leaf must have a very high purity level, between 23 and 24 karats. 

Gold leaf with a lower purity level, say 18 karats, can work well for some craft projects. However, you should not consume 18-karat gold. This is because lower karat levels are not as pure and contain other metals. If consumed, these metals can be toxic to humans.

Edible gold sheets of 24-karat gold tend to cost between $2.50 and $3.00 per sheet, but this may vary based on the retailer and the quantity you are looking to purchase. 

Another option to consider when you’re looking to integrate edible gold into your creations is gold flakes. Just as you may guess, gold flakes are small pieces, or flakes, of gold leaf. Gold flakes are sold in jars, and you can find jars of different sizes depending on your needs. The price to purchase a jar of edible gold will vary based on the quantity. You can find small jars available for under $20.

While the price of a small jar of edible gold flakes may seem quite high, it is also important to remember that you won’t need many flakes to make a big impact. That jar of gold leaf you purchase will likely last for a good while. It can help you make a variety of unique desserts and beverages.

How to Use Edible Gold

There are so many different ways to use edible gold. Some ideas include making drinks with gold flakes, like a Gold Fashioned or Champagne Royal D’Oro, decorating cakes, cupcakes, and other pastries, or even adding some shine to a favorite soup recipe. You can get creative with your gold leaf and experiment on your own. If you’d prefer to use a tried and true recipe, there are plenty of great ideas online.

If you want to add edible gold leaf in desserts like chocolate, you may be wondering "is gold leaf expensive?"

Edible Gold Leaf Storage Tips

Edible gold leaf is certainly a bit of an investment. As with any other investment, you’ll want to protect it. This will ensure that it is safe and ready to use whenever you need it. Proper storage will keep the gold leaf usable for a very long time. 

Keep gold leaf laid flat for storage. This will prevent it from getting wrinkled or torn, making it more difficult to work with. Gold leaf should also be placed in a sealed container for storage and kept in a dry place. This will keep it free of moisture and ensure it is ready and easy to work with in the future.

Final Thoughts: Is Gold Leaf Expensive?

Everyone’s financial situation is different, but gold leaf isn’t generally seen as prohibitively expensive. For a small investment, you can decorate a cake, make delicious and shimmery cocktails, or bring some sparkle to your appetizer tray. If you’ve been holding off trying to work with real gold leaf sheets or gold leaf flakes for a special treat, why not give it a try today?

FAQs

What is the cost of gold leaf?

The cost of gold leaf can vary based on a number of factors, including the purity level, the number of sheets you’re purchasing, and the retailer. In most cases, you should expect to spend between $40 and $65 on a pack of 25 real gold leaf sheets.

Why is gold leaf expensive?

Gold leaf is made from real gold, which is quite valuable. The average price of gold will impact the cost of gold leaf sheets. If you’re looking for a less expensive alternative, you can consider imitation gold leaf. However, imitation gold leaf should never be used with items that will be eaten because it is not safe to eat.

Is gold leaf paint real gold?

Gold leaf paint is not typically made with real gold, and it wouldn’t be able to come close to the purity content of gold leaf sheets. It is gold in color, but when compared side by side with genuine gold leaf, the difference in brilliance and shine will be noticeable.

How can you tell real gold leaf?

One way to determine whether something has been gilded with real gold leaf is to look for signs of tarnishing or color changes. Pure gold leaf does not tarnish, while imitation gold leaf will. You can also purchase an acid testing kit to determine whether gold leaf is genuine gold leaf or imitation leaf.