Gold goblets can be a bit of a misnomer- they can be goblets made of gold, as well as crystal or glass goblets that are gilded.
The solid gold goblets are among the most precious of goblets, if not due to their material of manufacture, than the craftsmanship put into their making. They are made similarly to other metal goblets, usually cast in a mold by pouring liquid metal. They are then finished using a variety of techniques varying from all manual to using machines.
Inlays of precious stones are not uncommon in these golden cups. This is a process that happens after the initial pouring of metal and before the final finish. Stones are soldered in using metals to anchor them in place. Crystal or glass 'gold' goblets are typically factory made stemware that has gold applied to the surface afterward.
The goblet is made, as described elsewhere on goblets.com, then the part to be gilded is roughed with fine sand paper. The roughed surface is coated with flux and the cup is then placed in a gold solution. A current is passed through the liquid and gold adheres to the flux creating designs or simple bands of precious metal on glass.
In the case of all handmade goblets, the gold is added to a bubble of hot glass before it is blown up into its final shape. Typically gold is used on the stem of goblets alone. In this way the gold does not affect the shape of the chalice or foot nor does it interfere with the user's enjoyment of what is being drunk. Instead, the gold acts as an accent for the goblet and a design element to add to its beauty.
Written by Ryan Staub.