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jewelry glossary

Antieke juwelen glossarium
(verklarende woordenlijst)

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z         (alles)


The process of overlaying or covering any metal, wood, etc., with a thin layer of gold alloy.

The technique has been used since ancient times, and was practised by the pre-Columbian American Indians.

The methods include: oil gilding or water gilding, by attaching gold leaf by means of an adhesive (called a 'mordant'); mercury gilding, by applying an amalgan of gold and mercury with a brush, then heating the object to cause the mercury to vaporize and to leave a thin film of gold; friction gilding, by rubbing the surface with ashes of linen rags soaked in a solution of gold chloride, then burnishing and polishing; and electroplating, by depositing a layer of gold by an electric current, leaving a thin 'flash' of gold or a substantial covering, or leaving a more durable layer by 'hard gold plating'. After certain gilding processes, the effect was enhanced by 'tooling', i.e. by incising the gold surface to create a design or a textured surface.

From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson

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