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What is the gold on edges of china dinnerware

Rella Jun 19, 2012 03:48 PM

I've oft wondered what material is on the edge of a plate like this.

It must be something powerful not to disintregrate over the years .

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  1. m
    mangiare24 RE: Rella Jun 19, 2012 04:54 PM

    On the better china, I believe it is gold leaf. On cheap stuff, I have no idea. Not sure which your plate is. Who's the manufacturer?

    1. e
      ellabee RE: Rella Jun 19, 2012 06:47 PM

      That looks like Haviland china. The gold is painted on, but it's gold. It will disintegrate over the years if abraded during washing, which is a major reason to wash it by hand.

      7 Replies
      1. re: ellabee
        mangiare24 RE: ellabee Jun 19, 2012 06:57 PM

        It's paint with gold in it; gilding. Not actually pure gold. Correct? Pure gold would have to be molten to be liquid and I don't think you can really paint with it.

        1. re: mangiare24
          Rella RE: mangiare24 Jun 19, 2012 08:02 PM

          I have seen guilded clocks. I think, though, guilding would wash off pretty fast, but it is just that, a thought. I suppose it would depend on how it was fired. I'm not sure of the firing temperatures of paint vs. china. But not something I am interested in -- too complicated :-))

          1. re: Rella
            ferret RE: Rella Jun 20, 2012 12:54 PM

            The gilded clocks that you often see in antique stores were a very different process, they used mercury as a carrier which was then burned off to leave the gilded surface - generally, and gradually, killing off the workers who made them.

          2. re: mangiare24
            meatn3 RE: mangiare24 Jun 20, 2012 07:58 AM

            My understanding is that it is gold which was mixed with a "carrier" to make it paintable. During firing the "carrier" burns off, leaving the gold behind. It is painted on, but it is not a paint.

            Gilding is the application of gold leaf or powder to an object. It is not fired. This technique is generally used on decorative objects rather than functional/utilitarian objects.

            1. re: meatn3
              mangiare24 RE: meatn3 Jun 20, 2012 08:23 AM

              Got it. Thanks meatn3. That clarifies things. We are all in agreement that in some form or another it is real gold though.

              1. re: meatn3
                Rella RE: meatn3 Jun 20, 2012 10:07 AM

                A succinct explanation. My many thanks!

            2. re: ellabee
              Rella RE: ellabee Jun 19, 2012 07:59 PM

              Yes, it is Haviland china - quite old, I believe (depending on whom one is addressing :-)) Some of it is in really good shape.

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