Re: Identifying sparkly gold
Re: Some pictures of both -- hans Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Ms J Post Reply
02/08/2016, 13:48:46

Here are some tips for identifying sparkly metal in lampwork glass beads:

Most of the shiny gold and silver is sheets of metal "leaf", which is a thinner (and less expensive) version of foil.

To my knowledge*, only high karat gold and fine silver can handle the high temperatures of the torch without turning black in the flame. Thin metal leaf, while less expensive, also burns away easily.

Because of this, gold and silver elements used in beads are usually covered with transparent glass for protection - either buried in deep layers (sommerso) or with a thin coating for surface decoration. As Joyce mentioned, a lot of "gold" is actually silver with a yellow transparent layer.

Gold foil can also be coated with clear glass and "stretched" which creates a flaked or textured appearance.

Goldstone, gold leaf, dichroic -- can be tricky to differentiate.
--Shiny or matte gold is usually foil/leaf
--Sparkly/shimmery gold is either goldstone (powdered copper encased
in clear or glass)
--Sparkly/shimmery that changes colors is likely dichroic glass(glass
coated with metal oxides).

DISCLAIMER -- There's a lot of shiny gold showing up in cheap Chinese beads...I can't imagine that it's real gold, so perhaps they've found another metal that cheap and stands up to the heat of lampwork torches.

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