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What is "Gold foil"?

History of Kanazawa Gold Foil

The origin of Kanazawa Gold Foil

It is said that the first Kaga lord “Toshiie Maeda”, who was in Osaka to command the Japanese army for conquering Korea, at Kanazawa area in the feudality dictated firstly in 1593 to produce “Gold foil” or “Silver foil” to make Kanazawa abundant or rich country.
Gold Foil manufacturers in Kanazawa

In order to revive the Ninomaru palace of Kanazawa castle burned away, many gold foils(Kinpaku in Japanese) was needed, and Kaga feudal clan called the craftsmen who mastered the production of gold foils from Kyoto. The movement which tried to establish a gold-foil-making industry in Kanazawa area occurred between Kanazawa's people, but the Tokugawa shogunate banned three times at 1820, 1824 and 1826 to stop the production of gold foils not to make kaga clan rich. But Kaga feudal clan kept producing gold foils in the Kaga clan’s workmanship place mainly.

The license was formally given to Notoya Sasuke in Kanazawa to sell Edo foils from Goto family of Edo gold foil mint in 1845.
The quality and the amount of Kanazawa Gold Foils made a further progress at this occasion.

A reference book "Gold foil (Kinpaku) in Kaga Kanazawa" of Shimode issued by Hokkoku newspaper in 1972year.


Techniques : How to make Gold Foils thin

Gold foil(Kinpaku) is approximately 1/ 10,000-2 mm of thinness. It's possible to spread 2 gram gold foil(about half of the ten yen coin) to 182cmx182cm.
The way: Melt the gold foil by 1,300℃ and mix it with a tiny bit of silver and copper, as 99.99% gold is very tender and does not make any shape.
However, we use 99.99% gold foil for food and cosmetics.
When spreading gold foil, the Japanese paper is a must, which is used for an inserting paper between gold foils to separate each other. The quality of gold foil depends on the finish condition of this Japanese paper. So, it becomes so important.


Kinds of Gold Foil

There are various kinds of gold foils.
- Pure gold foil
- Gold foil made of an alloy of copper and zinc
- Aluminum gold foil
- Othters

The size of Gold Foil

The pure gold foil is about 10.9cm x 10.9cm. Other gold foils are between 12.7cm X 12.7cm and 15.7cm x 15.7cm.