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The History of Gold Leaf

The history of gold leaf goes back some 5000 years ago
to ancient India.

By way of the Near East, gold leaf reached Egypt first and then spread across Greece, the Balkans and Hungary into Western Europe.

At first, gold leaf was beaten only in monasteries, but by the end of the 14th century lay workers took over the manufacture. The first evidence of gold leaf beaters in Schwabach dates to 1463


The dry climate, a result of the sandy soil in this region, was the main reason for its establishment as the center of gold leaf manufacture. In 1900 the area was home to 115 workshops with abut 1500 employees.

Today only a few are left, but they are that much larger. The quality of the gold leaf produced in Schwabach, however, is unchanged. It is in demand the world over, so that the majority of production is destined for export.

Naturally, today modern machines are used. But the principles of gold leaf manufacture have remained unchanged.