Gilding Basics

Difference between Chinese and European Leaf

Other than cost, is there a difference between Chinese and European metal and gold leaf? In short, YES.

The equiptment used in the beating of gold leaf is standardized so the leaf size and thickness are the same. Genine Gold, Silver and Palladium Leaf are 3 3/8" sq (85mm) and beaten to approx. 0.5 microns thick. Each pack of leaf contains 20 books. Each book contains 25 lvs, with a total of 500 leaves. Each leaf is 3 3/8" x 3 3/8" square. Approx. coverage is 39 sqft.


The size and thickness of European gold and Chinese gold is essentially the same. The big difference is the density, also measured as weight of gold per 1000 lvs. With our Eurpoean leaf we can offer a variety of gram weights to suit the needs of your specific project. Gram weight is determined by the weight of 1000 leaves of 3 3/8 inch square gold leaf. This relates more to 'density' of leaf rather than thickness. Each leaf is beaten to approx. 0.5 microns thick. Whether you purchase European gold leaf or Chinese, the size (3 3/8" sqr) and thickness (0.5 microns) is standard. The weight changes by the amount of gold content per leaf. So a Chinese 23kt gold leaf weighs 14 grams per 1000 lvs, and is therefore less dense than an Italian gold leaf, weighing 16 grams. The European leaf will be firmer, is less likely to tear and may show less wrinkling in the final product (depending on your gilding technique). European leaf is perfectly suited for exterior gold applications and any project that requires a higher level of luster and brilliance.
The size and thickness of Chinese gold and European gold is essentially the same. The big difference is the density, also measured as weight of gold per 1000 lvs. With our Chinese leaf we offer one weight of gold leaf per karat level. Gram weight is determined by the weight of 1000 leaves of 3 3/8 inch square gold leaf. This relates more to 'density' of leaf rather than thickness. Each leaf is beaten to approx. 0.5 microns thick. Whether you purchase Chinese gold leaf or European, the size (3 3/8" sqr) and thickness (0.5 microns) is standard. The weight changes by the amount of gold content per leaf. So a Chinese 23kt gold leaf weighs 14 grams per 1000 lvs, and is therefore less dense than an Italin gold leaf, weighing 16 grams. The Chinese leaf will be less firm, is more less likely to tear and may show more wrinkling than its European counterpart. Chinese leaf is well suited for interior projects, any project requiring an antique glaze, for beginners and intermediate gilders.

About European Gold Leaf

Product Description

We offer a variety of gold leaf karats with varying alloy blends and gram weight options. Please visit our Gold Leaf home page to learn more about each product.

Leaf size and thickness

Genuine European gold leaf. Each leaf is 3 3/8" sqr. and thickness approx. 0.5 microns.

Shipping Information

There are no shipping restrictions.

About Chinese Gold Leaf

Product Description

We offer a variety of gold leaf karats with varying alloy blends and gram weight options. Please visit our Gold Leaf home page to learn more about each product.

Leaf size and thickness

Genuine Chinese gold leaf. Each leaf is 3 3/8" sqr. and thickness approx. 0.5 microns.

Shipping Information

There are no shipping restrictions.

Same leaf Different packaging

What's the difference between Loose leaf, Patent or transfer leaf and Ribbon leaf?

It's all in the packaging! This video shows it all. Essentially the leaf is all the same, it's just packaged differently.