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The 23kt Gold Option

All Gilded Diplomas include 23kt gold illumination.

This means that the initial letter of the school name and the printed seal of your choice are both "gilded," or "illuminated" by hand with 23.5 kt gold. The 23 kt gold is also offered as a "per letter" option  -- this option is found below the order form for the Personalized Diploma. There is an additional "per letter" charge for gilding on the Personalized Diplomas.

Gilding is an art that dates from medieval times, one which requires specialized tools and a steady hand. We apply 23.5 carat gold by hand. It is completely opaque, will never lose its shine, and adds a touch of unmistakable importance.


Above: A close up view of the enlarged and gilded letter, and of the gilded "Soli Deo Gloria" seal. For reference, the height of capital letter is 3/4", seal diameter 1 3/4". (The paper color is not true; it is very difficult to get accurate photos of gilding.) The size of your gilded letters will vary, depending on how many characters your school name contains.


Below: some of the tools and supplies we use to produce your diploma -- left to right:
Sumi permanent ink, 0000 brush, Brause calligraphy dip nib with marbled nib holder, and a pan of 23.5 carat shell gold. The gold comes from Germany, in a tablet about the size of half an aspirin.

More about Gilding:

Beautiful illuminated and gilded manuscripts that date from the Middle Ages are a testimony to the permanence of real gold. There are a number of different techniques for applying gold to paper, and some of them are very temperamental, especially those involving the use of gold leaf. The application of gold leaf is extremely sensitive to atmospheric humidity and also creates quite a bit of waste. We do not use gold leaf. The method we use is the application of "shell gold." Shell gold is pure, 24kt gold that has a tiny amount of binder added to it (hence, it is actually sold as 23.5 carat) so that it will adhere to the paper.It does not have an extremely "bright" finish like gold leaf, nor does it have a "tinny" look like foil, but has a richer and more subtle appearance than either one. The "flash" of shell gold when the light hits it is a very warm gold color. It is absolutely permanent, and very beautiful.