The red color in 19th century Thai glass studied by X-ray and optical spectroscopy
Bruce D. Ravel, Wantana Klysubun, G. Lawrence Carr, Christoph Hauzenberger
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok, Thailand is noted for its glass mosaic decorations on exterior walls and statuary. The original mosaic artwork dates to the early 19th century and is composed of variously-colored, mirrored glass pieces. In this work, we examine the chemical composition and optical properties of the red glass manufactured at that time. Through the use of X-ray and optical spectroscopies, we demonstrate evidence that the 19th century craftsmen produced "ruby-gold" glass, wherein the red coloration is caused by the dispersal of nanoscale metallic gold particles throughout the glass matrix.