Gold and silver leaf are two types of metal leaf which are used for a range of different applications. They are basically made from the metal itself (gold or silver) being hammered into extremely thin sheets. Gold and silver leaf are available in various qualities and purities, with the better quality leaf being the most expensive.
What are gold and silver leaf usually used for?
The three main uses of gold and silver leaf are in art, in architecture (for both interior and exterior decorating), and in various food products.
In food – Both gold and silver leaf are included in various food and drinks despite being flavourless. They are used purely as a decorative feature which is meant to indicate class and to create an image of luxury and wealth. Many sweets and alcohols include some sort of gold or silver leaf to improve their looks and to distinguish them from similar products.
In art – Both gold and silver leaf have been used for thousands of years by civilisations throughout the world. They have both been used as components of various artworks, including painting, sculptures, and engravings. They were heavily used in a religious context, especially in Europe. Many old paintings are framed with a gold plated frame.
In architecture – The architectural use of gold and silver leaf also stretches back thousands of years. The majority of ancient temples, palaces, and other buildings of status were decorated with a combination of gold and silver, giving them an air of wealth and power. There are also many modern buildings which are decorated with gold and silver leaf. Their use is becoming increasingly popular in personal buildings.
The modern use of gold and silver leaf as decorating materials:
Many contemporary interior designers use both gold and silver leaf extensively, particularly for their wealthier or more artistic clients. They both shine with a beautiful metallic lustre, are symbolic of success and high social status, and their use will impress friends and family alike.
There are many different ways that you can use gold and silver leaf. Some examples of these include:
- To cover a ceiling. Silver leaf is usually used for this as it is cheaper. Both will give a shiny, lustrous look to the room.
- As components of a mosaic or artistic piece. They can be used to make certain things stand out and to draw your eyes to certain places in a room.
Whatever you decide to use gold and silver leaf for, your local interior design specialists can help you out.