Eli5: How durable is gold leaf


I am interested in making custom watch and applying gold leaf, But I have no idea how durable it is???

In: Chemistry

I don’t think that would hold up well. It’s a very thin layer of gold and would probably scratch off from light contact pretty easily.

It depends what you are going to do with it. Gold is very ductile (can be made very thin) hence gold leaf so there are normally only a few atoms of gold in thickness, so can very easily be punctured since pure gold is a fairly soft metal.

Pure gold is highly resistant to corrosion but very soft and vulnerable to scratches and wear. Mechanically, gold leaf is very fragile.

However, if you look at gold damascene inlaid firearms, for example – these are not items intended for hard use in the field, but if done properly they are effectively timeless.