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Varnished wire inductors/transformers can handle several hundred volts. I'm running a solid state tesla coil like device with a transformer I ripped out of an electronic neon sign power supply. It runs off 338VDC (rectified and doubled line voltage) at 30kHz. The 338VDC primary is just enameled copper wire ('magnet' wire).

The reason, of course, is because the voltage difference between one wire turn and the next is very small. If you have 100 turns on the coil, you only have 3.38V between one wire turn to the next. So seeing 700V into a coil could be totally OK. Now if they screwed up the winding process it could short out, but the voltage across it alone wouldn't have killed it.

In fact, the backlight inverter for the CCFL bulb in LCD monitors is usually a very small transformer wound with teeny teeny magnet wire, and it outputs about a kilovolt in most cases. Here's a data sheet, the primaries can't handle any voltage really because they are wound such that they might short, whereas the secondaries are wound with much attention paid to winding-to-winding voltage. These little things are hardly bigger than a thumbnail and put out over 1000VRMS.

This tangent has been brought to you by a bored engineer. Back to your regularly scheduled program.
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