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When is gold leaf 'real'


Hello orchidians, Can someone tell me if the gold leaf sold in many
Asian countries at Buddhist temples 100% gold?

I have always thought so but would like to know for sure before I
use it on a project I want to try.

Happy hammering all,

Sharron in rainy Kuala Lumpur way into the official dry season, and
watching outstanding lightening storms every day at 4 PM.


if it passes a greenish light than it’s gold, at least to my
knowledge, brass would be impossible to make it that thin…

  Can someone tell me if the gold leaf sold in many Asian
countries at Buddhist temples 100% gold? 

Hi Sharon, I can’t speak for all Asian countries but from what I
have seen it is as close as you can get to pure in Asia. I assume it
to be around 23 carat or so. Some places have relitively sophicated
setups with store bought rolling mills. Once I watched them make
gold leaf by hand in Mandalay. No mill no nothing … just two
sledge hammers-- one for an anvil; one for pounding… leaf was waxy
paper wrapped then layered in between thin layers of leather bound on
one side like a book placed on the anvil and beaten for hours. Every
ten minutes or so the beater would place the book on the cheek of his
face. I asked him about this and was he explained that he was testing
the temperature but I could never figure out if he wanted it hot or
cold my Burmese is worse than basic. They were making the typical
postage stamp size leaf for sale outside the temples. Even more
intresting in that town are the folks that make the waxy bamboo
paper that is layered inbetween the sheets but thats a different
story. Anyway for me purity is always relative in Asia if you get my
drift. I once alloyed fine silver in Gujarat with zinc to make
sterling only to later find out that the ingots I had that were
stamped .999 were in reality more something like 96% at best. I
didn’t make sterling but something more akin to coin silver but it
was ok because I wasn’t hallmarking the jewelery anyway and my stuff
was more pure than most at the market. I’d be leary about buying
gold leaf at the temples as it goes through too many hands (markups,
ricebowls, or whatever you want to call it) and try to get closer to
the source if only for the fun a watching it be made… good luck
Mark Kaplan currently in Rhode Island and dreaming of the