Gold-plating has been known since antiquity. The spiritual meaning of gold in Christian art has been well explained by Sergei Averintsev in his work Gold in the System of Early Byzantine Culture. His basis conclusions are: first, gold symbolises the uncreated divine light. Secondly, gold, tested in the hearth, is compared in Scripture to martyrs who have suffered for Christ. Therefore, gold symbolises the transfiguration of the human soul in the fire of trials. Thirdly, in the image of the Virgin Mary, gold symbolises the chastity of virginity as well as royalty.
Mosaic gold is in the form of very thin leaves of precious metal, thinner than a human hair. Times change, but the methods and instruments used in gilding do not. This craft demands accuracy, precision, and patience. Mastery comes with experience. It is not enough to possess theoretical knowledge; it is necessary to live up to it so that this knowledge and skill would enter one's heart. Any mistake has its aftermath in the finished product. Gold-plated artifacts survive for many years. There are many gilding methods, such as oil (or water) gilding and mordant gilding. Items for indoor use (mainly wooden items, such as icons, icon cases, or iconostases) are gilded using oil gilding. Crosses and church domes that are meant to be exposed to the harsh weather outdoors are gilded using mordant. Mordant gilding is also used for interior works that call for special attractiveness. Our workshop can do both types of gilding.