Gold and Silver Gilt edges: Opinions?

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Joan Marie

Gold and Silver Gilt edges: Opinions?

Post by Joan Marie » 05 Dec 2017, 06:54

My biggest question about gilt edges concerns durability.

I'm sure a new deck with gilt edges looks great, but does it last or does it flake away after some use?

Another question I have is about the silver gilt edge. Does it really look silvery or just grey?

Would really appreciate some input from anyone with experience with a gilt edge deck.

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CharlotteK
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Re: Gold and Silver Gilt edges: Opinions?

Post by CharlotteK » 05 Dec 2017, 08:23

I guess it may partly depend on whether edges are gilded using metallic foil or metallic ink. The former adds high mirror like shine and I think this would add durability whereas the ink option would be less shiny and less durable.

I have a couple of decks - The Fountain tarot has silver folding which is extremely silvery and very beautiful. I've not used it heavily but I should think it will last well. And I also have the Golden Tarot by Kat Black - again very shiny and lovely, but I've barely used this so not put it to the test.

https://www.barnardandwestwood.com/prin ... gilding-2/

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Joan Marie

Re: Gold and Silver Gilt edges: Opinions?

Post by Joan Marie » 05 Dec 2017, 09:51

CharlotteK wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 08:23
I guess it may partly depend on whether edges are gilded using metallic foil or metallic ink. The former adds high mirror like shine and I think this would add durability whereas the ink option would be less shiny and less durable.

I have a couple of decks - The Fountain tarot has silver folding which is extremely silvery and very beautiful. I've not used it heavily but I should think it will last well. And I also have the Golden Tarot by Kat Black - again very shiny and lovely, but I've barely used this so not put it to the test.

https://www.barnardandwestwood.com/prin ... gilding-2/
Thanks for the link. I understand better now why the cost for gilding is so high. It looks to be a pretty intense process with the metallic foil.

Also I had not realised there were foil and ink options. Makes it worth asking or noting which process is used.

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CharlotteK
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Re: Gold and Silver Gilt edges: Opinions?

Post by CharlotteK » 05 Dec 2017, 11:49

Actually I don't know if inked metallic gilding is done commercially or if this is just a hack that readers and collectors use on their decks. The only decks I have that came gilded seem to be of the foil variety.

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theFeeLion
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Re: Gold and Silver Gilt edges: Opinions?

Post by theFeeLion » 05 Dec 2017, 13:52

I don't have a deck with gilded edges but I have noticed that my Golden Universal, that CharlotteK so wonderfully black edged, now has tiny sparkly golden flakes on its edges. So I would guess there would be some wear, it would all depend on how heavily the deck was used and maybe the shuffling methods involved...
Come faeries take me out of this dull world. For I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame. - W B Yeats

May you touch dragonflies and stars, dance with faeries and talk to the moon. - Unknown

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CharlotteK
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Re: Gold and Silver Gilt edges: Opinions?

Post by CharlotteK » 05 Dec 2017, 14:40

theFeeLion wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 13:52
I don't have a deck with gilded edges but I have noticed that my Golden Universal, that CharlotteK so wonderfully black edged, now has tiny sparkly golden flakes on its edges. So I would guess there would be some wear, it would all depend on how heavily the deck was used and maybe the shuffling methods involved...
That's interesting because the edges were white! Do you think it's come off the face of the cards? I assume they are foiled.

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Re: Gold and Silver Gilt edges: Opinions?

Post by theFeeLion » 05 Dec 2017, 14:44

CharlotteK wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 14:40
theFeeLion wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 13:52
I don't have a deck with gilded edges but I have noticed that my Golden Universal, that CharlotteK so wonderfully black edged, now has tiny sparkly golden flakes on its edges. So I would guess there would be some wear, it would all depend on how heavily the deck was used and maybe the shuffling methods involved...
That's interesting because the edges were white! Do you think it's come off the face of the cards? I assume they are foiled.
You black edged them before sending them (I'm pretty sure it was you...?) Yes they are foiled, so I believe that some of the gold foil has flaked off with use, which TBH doesn't surprise me. I kind of like it because I've always liked a bit of sparkle :icon_mrgreen:
Come faeries take me out of this dull world. For I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame. - W B Yeats

May you touch dragonflies and stars, dance with faeries and talk to the moon. - Unknown

Beginners Tarot Club

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CharlotteK
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Re: Gold and Silver Gilt edges: Opinions?

Post by CharlotteK » 05 Dec 2017, 14:50

theFeeLion wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 14:44
CharlotteK wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 14:40
theFeeLion wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 13:52
I don't have a deck with gilded edges but I have noticed that my Golden Universal, that CharlotteK so wonderfully black edged, now has tiny sparkly golden flakes on its edges. So I would guess there would be some wear, it would all depend on how heavily the deck was used and maybe the shuffling methods involved...
That's interesting because the edges were white! Do you think it's come off the face of the cards? I assume they are foiled.
You black edged them before sending them (I'm pretty sure it was you...?) Yes they are foiled, so I believe that some of the gold foil has flaked off with use, which TBH doesn't surprise me. I kind of like it because I've always liked a bit of sparkle :icon_mrgreen:
Yes I edged white edges with black. Sorry Fee, I was confused, I thought you assumed they were gold underneath which now seems a very stupid assumption to make indeed.

I noticed a bit of shedding with the gilding on The Fountain but tiny amounts and hasn't left any "bald bits".

If you notice gaps or "bald bits" in the foiling on the Golden Universal Fee don't worry, it was designed that way, presumably to look 'aged'. It was a hotly discussed subject on AT for a while.

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CharlotteK
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Re: Gold and Silver Gilt edges: Opinions?

Post by CharlotteK » 05 Dec 2017, 15:22

Uusi hand gild a lot of their decks with nearly pure metals (E.g. Pagan Otherworlds) and on a playing card forum someone posted this from Linnea at uusi about what they do:


"Once the sizing (which is really just linseed oil) has set with the gold leaf the gilding process is essentially finished. Since traditional gilding is more an art form than a machined process, the drying time for the sizing can be anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months depending on the climate and conditions the deck is kept in (moist climates have longer drying times). But once the sizing has set, a hand gilded deck will break the same way in 3 months as it will in 10 years or more.

All gilded decks "stick" when you break them as the gilding has created a solid metal surface on the deck's edge. But after you thumb the cards apart, the deck is completely playable and has zero stickiness. The great thing about using this traditional method of gilding and solid gold leaf is that it allows the cards to remain flexible. I know one or two of you have already broken your decks and played with them and have mentioned that they work great. No one ever gilded a deck to make it more playable – its definitely an artistic, decorative process – but if done right you should be able to enjoy it in any casual game of cards you play. Of course, with constant, repeated use eventually the deck's gilding will begin to wear, but really all decks do if used regularly. And even when they wear, some of the very old gilded decks we have look super cool with that distressed gold edge.

Here is a longer explanation that Peter recently sent to a backer:

The gold (or silver) leaf is applied when the sizing is at a drying point – when it has just an ever so slight tack; almost dry but not quite. Once the gold (or silver) leaf is applied it deprives the sizing of oxygen and dramatically slows down the final drying/curing rate, thus making it important to wait a minimum of two to three weeks before handling or breaking the deck. Waiting longer is better as it ensures the sizing has completely cured. There are old historical English records of gilding drying times taking up to three months (of course there are many factors involved in drying time). It's not an exact science, really the entire process is about having a feel for it – hand gilding is an art form, not a production process.

One of the other things floating around out there is the "flaking off" of the gilding - this isn't going to happen with a traditionally gilded deck. To the best of our knowledge, all the other gilded decks that have been available in recent years have either been some sort of imitation gold or most likely foil stamped with gold foil or silver (not real gold or silver). I believe we are the first people to traditionally hand gild playing card decks in a long, long time. Artificial gold was patented and used on card decks some time in the 1920's and has been widely used in machines as well as hand gilding ever since. Its cheap and easy and makes sense if you are doing large production numbers.

We use gold leaf that has the highest amount of gold in it. The layer of gold leaf on our decks is incredibly thin, so of course it will wear the more you play with the deck - but this has always been the case. Gilded decks are somewhat of a novelty, definitely a collectors item and all collectors are different with how they interact with their collection. Some like to be able to use their collectables (by the way Linnea plays with one of the gilded decks here at the studio and after she broke it in, she says it plays great) and some just display them on a shelf, never to be used. Whatever your plans, gilding a deck is not done to make it more playable, it is again, essentially an artistic and highly decorative process, but if done right, they can be enjoyable to play with in casual card games and will actually look really cool as they wear

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Joan Marie

Re: Gold and Silver Gilt edges: Opinions?

Post by Joan Marie » 05 Dec 2017, 16:47

This is a far more interesting topic than I thought. A lot more to it than expected.
Thanks so much for posting that Charlotte.

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