A study published in Accounts of Chemical Research, a journal from the American Chemical Society, examined the techniques used by gold- and silversmiths in plating metals. The study found that these smiths used a variety of methods, such as using mercury like glue to apply thin films of metal to statues and other objects. Sometimes the methods were used to apply real gold and silver, but they were also used fraudulently to make cheaper pieces resemble real gold or silver. The study, conducted with funding from the European Commission, may help to preserve ancient artifacts and artistic works.
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