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rolled gold

Victorian yellow rolled gold bangle with green rhinestones

- Jane H. Clarke/Morning Glory Antiques & Jewelry (www.morninggloryjewelry.com)

Definition: a hybrid material, consisting of a thin layer of gold that's mechanically bonded or heat-fused to one or both sides of a base metal (often brass or copper), then rolled out into sheets to create jewelry; the thickness of the gold layer can vary, but is generally at least 5% of the total metal weight (vs. gold-plated, which uses a thinner sheet of gold); patented in England in 1817, it became a prime source for semi-precious and better-quality costume jewelry in the Victorian era; saw a renewed surge of popularity in 1920s and 1930s, especially in utilitarian objects such as watches and fountain pens

English and American 19th-century rolled gold articles might be stamped "Gilt." Designations such as "1/20 12K G.F." or "12 Kt. Gold Filled" indicate a later, 20th-century piece.

Also Known As: gold-filled (a later designation, indicating that the amount of gold be 1/20th of the total weight, as mandated by law), rolled gold plate (generic, can also apply to gold-plated materials containing less than 5% gold)

Example: The 1932 Bulova wristwatch had a beautiful rolled-gold band which, 80 years later, still gleamed with the luster of solid gold.

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