Alternatives to Liebenzeller Gold I Rosin

Liebenzeller rosin has been around a long time. In fact, I still have a cake of it from the 1980s. This brand took rosin “upscale,” by adding trace amounts of gold, copper, silver, and other metals (along with lots of dollars) to the price of rosin.

After all these years, Liebenzeller has finally been discontinued. From what I understand, it is unlikely that it will ever be available again, unless it is produced and sold by a different company.

Liebenzeller’s “flagship” entry was its “Gold I” rosin. Designed to be exceptionally smooth and fine, this rosin contained trace amounts of pure gold and a high price tag. Violinists in search of a smooth, sweet, refined tone often sought out this extremely fine, light, rosin.

Although it may still be (temporarily) possible to find Gold II, I do believe that Gold I may be nearly impossible to find. I performed a thorough search of shops with an Internet presence both in the United States and abroad, as well as looking on eBay and craigslist, and I couldn’t come up with any Gold I. A couple of stores that still sold it about a year ago (one in Australia and one in England) are now out of stock too.

But not every shop advertises its products on the internet, and I suspect that if you called a few excellent string shops that don’t do the majority of their business online (such as Moenning in Philadelphia, Reuning in Boston, House of Note in Minneapolis, or John Waddle in St. Paul) you might find that somebody still has some supply left.

However, many different brands of rosin have come out since Liebenzeller first appeared on the market that are, in my opinion, just as good; and some (such as Andrea Paganini) have qualities similar to the refined nature of the Liebenzeller. I’d highly recommend looking into these options for fine and light (rather than coarse and dark) rosins that you might like just as much or even better. In my experience, Liebenzeller Gold I had a tendency to apply rather lightly and come off quickly. Because of this, even within a rehearsal or performance, one might feel that the bow already needs more rosin. In sum, a lot of new brands of rosin have entered the market that are excellent and worth trying that might perform even better than Liebenzeller.