Inside particular pots, called “crucibles”, which resist more than 1000 ° C (necessary for the fusion of gold and copper), are dosed with the high precision and according to appropriate percentages, depending of the type of gold requested, the three “basic ingredients”: pure gold, copper and silver. For example, by inserting copper, the classic color of gold becomes darker until it becomes almost red, in the so-called “Red Gold”. Dosing the 3 materials together, according to different percentages, we obtain different alloys with as many colors going from green to yellow, from red to white. Once the right mixture has been prepared, the crucible is placed in the melting furnace, which reaches 1200 ° C and is left until its contents are completely melted. At this point, the alloy is cast in special molds for the production of ingots.
At this stage, the ingot is passed several times through machines, called “rolling mills”, which gradually reduce the thickness to transform it into a very thin strip.
The ribbon thus obtained is placed on machines which cut it into several small squares which are automatically inserted into a pile of resistant plastic sheets, called a “mold”. The mold is then placed in automatic hummer where, making precise movement it’s possible to reduce the small squares into very thin and homogeneous leaves. At this point, the gold leaf is finished and ready for the last stage.
The mold is then placed in the hands of the cutter who, with the experience and with the help of specific wooden pliers, extracts it sheet by sheet, cuts it with parallel knives and then inserts them into the “booklets” of paper vellum.