The varakh industry is a huge one. India uses over 300 tonnes of silver leaves in paan, chawanprash, tobacco products, ayurvedic medicines, mithais and temples It is used in Germany on food, France on photo frames. In Japan, it is everywhere – interiors, tea, instruments, frescos, temples. In fact, Kanazawa has a Gold Leaf Museum. The whole of Southeast Asia uses varakh, to pay homage to Lord Buddha. It is used on chocolates, cocktails and liquors – German Goldwasser and the Swiss Goldschlager are examples — soups, salads, ice creams, coffees. Now, gold leaf has become a part of anti-ageing creams, face packs and foundations. The use of the gilded leaf is endless. Gold leaf has been used for jewellery, for art decorations, picture frames and gilded art. We have used it in our glass paintings. But we don’t export it, because we make it in a dirty – and now illegal – manner. 300 tonnes translates like this: one kilo of silver has 225 Gaddis (bundles). One gaddi is 150 sheets of silver varakh. That means, 6.75 crore Gaddis every year. The world market asks for 300 kg of gold varakh every day
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