In Myanmar. gold-leaves are widely sold at the famous pagodas to gild the Buddha image or stupa with gold-leaf. This is the Myanmar tradition for meritorious deeds. These gold-leaves are originally make in Mandalay. Mandalay's gold-leaf makers are concentrated in the south-east of the city. near the intersection of 36th and 78th Sts. Sheets of gold are beaten into gossamer-thin pieces which are cut into squares and sold in packets to devotees to use for gilding images or even complete stupas. The typical gold-leaf square measures just 0.000127 cm. thinner than ink on the printed page. Gilding a Buddha image or a stupa with gold leaf brings great credit to the gilder. so there is a steady growth of gold leaf on many images in Myanmar. Metal leaf. or leafing. is a thin foil of some nearly pure metal. often gold. silver. aluminum. copper and sometimes palladium.
Process of Making the Golf Leaf Metals that are made into metal leaf are highly malleable. They can be pounded into sheets just micrometres thick without breaking or tearing. When made by hand. small pieces of metal are placed between sheets of parchment and pounded repeatedly with wooden mallets. As the metal thins out. it forms large sheets. These sheets are divided and the process repeated. The final sheets of metal are trimmed. cut to various sizes. and sandwiched between sheets of paper to protect them. A small amount of metal will result in a sheet with a large surface area but only a few atoms thick.
Decoration Metal leaf is most often used for decoration. Before the discovery of electroplating it was the only cost effective way to gild statues. rooftops or other objects. In Asian countries. edible gold is sometimes used in fruit jelly snacks. cakes. sweets and many other food products.