Interesting…”golden mean” calipers


i have never seen “golden mean” calipers before…have you…?

i thought i would share…

1,584 Likes, 16 Comments - JeanBurgersJewellery (@jeanburgersjewellery) on Instagram: "~Golden Mean Calipers~

The Golden Mean has been used in art and architecture for thousands of years. It is frequently found in nature, in the proportions of the...



I saw a set of these a long time ago in another studio I was visiting.
So being me thinking it would be easy to make a set I took some straight brass strip and made a set for myself. I did discover that with 4 hinge points, you have to be super accurate where you drill for the rivets to go or it will bind up and not work at all.
It took 3 tries to make a working set.
I find them extremely helpful in my drawing jewelry for counter sketching.


I bought a pair from Jean a year ago. They are wonderful. If you order, email her first. The price of shipping it is almost the same price as the calipers. She can send it a slower method at a far reduced price. I did go ahead and order it with the air mail option. I love the calipers, and use them in more than just jewelry. They help a lot in drafting clothing patterns.


Where did you buy your calipers? Thanks…Rob

Online Store – Jean Burgers Jewellery this is Jeans web site. click on tools and it should take you to the calipers listing. She runs out of them fast. She may b out already since she announced a new bunch a couple days ago. They usually don’t last the day.


At present it says they are all sold out.

Sent Jean a note asking to be put on wait list. Se provided me with a link to her store to order a pair and that there would a six-twelve week wait for the next order. DId it. Easy peasy.

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Jean just posted she is taking pre orders for the next batch.


Golden mean gauges (also called phi gauges or Fibbonaci gauges) aren’t a recent invention. Considering the widespread use of the golden mean in ancient art and architecture, they probably had a devise similar to this back then, though current configurations are generally attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. Plans for making your own are readily available online (we are makers, aren’t we). Ready-made ones at very low cost are also listed for sale (and available) on Amazon.

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These are very cool calipers. There is also a numerical way to access approximations of the Golden Mean or Ratio. ( I am a retired mathematics professor.)

Begin by writing out some entries in the Fibonacci Sequence:

 1,  1,  2,  3,  5,  8,  13,  21,  34,  55,  89,  ...

I bet you have seen this before. Here’s the pattern:
Each new entry is the sum of the previous two:
1 + 1 = 2
1 + 2 = 3
2 + 3 = 5, etc.

The caliper’s system could be approximated numerically by using, for example,
Smaller inside length = 21
Larger inside length = 34
Overall outside length = 56.
All three of these numbers appear in order in the sequence. We could have used any three numbers in order.

Here’s another wonderful connection: It turns out that ratio of consecutive entries in the sequence gives better and better approximations to the Golden Mean as you use larger and larger pairs. For example, when I design a rectangular stained-glass window, 55cm by 89 cm would be particularly pleasing shape to our eyes. Using numbers from further out in the sequence would yield a rectangle that is even closer to the Golden Rectangle.

Still curious, if you search with “Fibonacci sequence” you’ll see cool images of the Fibonacci spiral (which I have made into earrings).



amazing write-up, thank you so much!


I just received the golden mean calipers from Jean Burger.

The calipers are very nicely made.

They come in a well-made easy-open wooden box with plastic lid that snaps into place with magnets. Very nice presentation, excellent attention to detail.

It did take a while to arrive, is worth the wait.

Neil A

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I have been looking at them too, just because they are beautiful to look at. I don’t know what I would use them for other than to see if, what my eye is telling me, is also correct. I am curious what others will use them for…Rob

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