RBS spectrum of a gilt of the Hildesheim chandelier
RBS measurements of the composition and the thickness of the layers of gilding in authentic parts (mercury amalgam) and parts restored (gold plating). Rutherford backscattering (RBS) provides access, from the surface, to the profile of the composition of chemical elements. It was shown that the authentic and restored gilding had the same composition, presumably to ensure color consistency. The gold titre was less than 21 carats,. the thickness of the gilding was 2 to 5 microns for the mercury gilding and 0.2 to 0.5 microns for the gold electrolytic plating. These represent thick coatings, testimony of a special care in the treatment.