[[quoteright:330:[[Disney/TheLittleMermaid http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ariel_gilded_tail_3472.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:330:Ariel, the 24 karat mermaid.]]

Because gold was so valuable throughout history (and since its heaviness and softness made it not good for much else until recently), it has been primarily used for decoration. Whether it's for jewelry, gold lamé, gold plating, or even making something entirely out of gold, it's a good way to make something pretty.

Of course this is TruthInTelevision, but fiction will take it further, freely ignoring those pesky physical limitations of gold as a material (i.e. heavy and soft) -- [[BlingOfWar armor]] and [[BlingBlingBang weapons]] made of gold will be no heavier or softer than steel or iron (and frequently much more effective in combat); lamé will move as if it was silk. This can be ArtisticLicense just as often as it's carelessness.

And of course buying something like this is a good way to show ConspicuousConsumption. Having loads of things like this is common for a {{Fiction 500}} character. Heck, even if gold is WorthlessYellowRocks, that still means the writers could have gold put everywhere.

A SuperTrope to GoldTooth.

Compare [[UsefulNotes/{{Gold}} Gold (useful notes)]], GemEncrusted, PrettyInMink, FluffyFashionFeathers, CityOfGold, BlingBlingBang, BlingOfWar, EverythingsSparklyWithJewelry, EverythingsBetterWithSparkles.
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''HeartcatchPrettyCure'' has Cure Sunshine and her gold lamé chest ribbon.
* One episode of Anime/{{Pokemon}} featured a golden Sudowoodo.
* In ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'', Dorothy Catalonia seem to have a thing for gold-plated vehicles: a limousine, a space shuttle and a truck.
** From ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam'', we have [[CharClone Quattro Bagina's]] golden Hyakku-Shiki. It's (supposedly) an anti-beam coating that granted a measure of protection against long-range weapons. Paptimus Scirroco's mobile suit The O is also golden.
** In ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'', Alejandro Corner's Alvatore and Alvaaron are both gold-plated, simply because he's a rich guy who likes showing off. He even modified his GN Tau Drives to emit golden particles rather than the usual dark red.
* ''SaintSeiya'': The Gold Saints
* In ''{{Naruto}}'', the Fourth Kazekage has the Magnet Release bloodline, which allows him to utilize gold dust similar to that of his son Gaara. However, the gold dust is actually extremely heavy, [[spoiler: which enabled him in his lifetime to subdue Gaara's Tailed Beast if he wished so]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/TheSmurfs'' comic book version of "King Smurf", the title character shows off his shiny new gold outfit, which everybody else sees as ''yellow''.
* ''ComicBook/RichieRich'' had an entire museum with objects made of gold, including a gold suit of armor, which a group of visiting aliens trade with diamonds, because they simply want to drive the people of their homeworld crazy with gold.
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[[folder:Fanfiction]]
* The preview images of each chapter of [[http://alaxr274.deviantart.com/gallery/37280372 Hottie 3: The Best Fan Fic in the World]] is nothing but gold.
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[[folder:Film]]
* Jill Masterton in ''Film/{{Goldfinger}}'' (the film) dies by having her body completely covered in golden paint (based on a false assumption that merely painting skin can smother people), in one of the most iconic scenes of the ''Film/JamesBond'' franchise.
* StarWars: C-3P0 gets his gold plating between episodes 2 and 3, shown in ''StarWarsCloneWars''.
* In the climax of ''Film/ToCatchAThief'' Creator/GraceKelly's PimpedOutDress is all gold lamé. She also wears a golden wig.
* Appropriately, in ''Film/RichieRich'', Richie is loaded with gold-plated versions of everyday items, from pacifiers and rattles to socket wrenches.
* In ''Film/TheHobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'', Smaug ends up getting ''covered in molten gold'' until he shakes it off. It also literally makes him "Smaug the Golden", one of his appellations in the book.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' has the Lannister family, who coat everything with gold - platemail, horse armor, even swords. However it's specifically mentioned that this is only gilding (not solid gold armor, as Tyrion Lannister falsely claims at one point to impress someone) designed to boost the image of the Lannisters as the richest and most awesome House in the Seven Kingdoms.
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's ConanTheBarbarian story "Literature/TheTowerOfTheElephant", the tower has a gold door.
* In the ''Literature/DreamOfTheRood'', the tree out of which Christ's cross was made is alternately sparkling with gold and [[GemEncrusted gems]] and streaming with blood.
* Martel of ''TheElenium'' liberally decorated his armor with gold, thanks to the wealth he acquired as a mercenary. This came back to haunt him when [[spoiler: the added weight wore him down faster than Sparhawk in a duel, leading to his death]].
* In ''Literature/DorrieTheLittleWitch'', Dorrie once got a gold cauldron as a reward for capturing a notorious evil witch.
* ''Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'' has the world going crazy buying Wonka Bars in hopes of finding one of the five Golden Tickets -- which grant admittance to the titular FamedInStory factory -- beneath a wrapper.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Inverted in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', where gold pressed latinum is just to give something to hold the {{Unobtanium}}, not that the gold actually made it prettier, as replicators made it WorthlessYellowRocks. One episode mentions that gold does have some value, if only because there are civilizations out there that don't have replicators.
* Series/PowerRangersSamurai introduces us to The Gold Ranger, with light reflecting off the golden parts of his suit that it becomes all but blinding. Emily's first reaction is "He's so sparkly..."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology and Religion]]
* ClassicalMythology: The fable of King Midas seemed to be against this trope, but the actual {{Aesop}} was actually BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor, and being against {{Greed}}.
** ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' did a variation on that with a magic golden duck.
* The mythical city of El Dorado.
* Eastern Orthodox churches' interiors are designed to look mostly golden (sanctuary, chandeliers, etc), sometimes using actual gilding. Prayers written in Bysanthia are also pretty interesting though: one refers to Virgin Mary as a gilded doorknob. Although it would seem as a failed attempt at insult, it's supposed to be poetic and two metaphors are here: Jesus Christ is the door, and gilding back in their days was supposed to be incredibly beautiful; nowadays, gilding household appliances is just poor taste.
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[[folder:Pinball]]
* ''Pinball/SilverballMania'' has a variation, where everything is incredibly shiny due to being covered in silver.
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[[folder:Toys]]
* {{Franchise/Barbie}}'s 1994 HappyHolidaysDress was of simulated gold lamé trimmed with white fur.
** Two of Eden's dresses, and the Ghost of Christmas Past's dress, are decorated with gold. Eden's red dress even has a gold GiantWaistRibbon.
* Several toys get limited edition gold variants, like [[Film/{{Transformers}} 70s Bumblebee]], [[BBSenshiSangokuden Ryubi, Kan-U and Chouhi Gundams]] and so on.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Golden armor shows up as items in some ''FinalFantasy'' games.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII'' has golden swords, but like you'd expect ([[TheCoconutEffect or perhaps not]], given how nearly all other [=RPGs=] treat gold) these are useless as weapons. They [[VendorTrash sell for a neat price]] though. They're found in [[MeaningfulName Goldor's]] mansion, which happens to be made entirely of gold.
* In some ''Franchise/MightAndMagic'' games, golden chain and plate armor is the most powerful kind. (Justified because powerful armor and weapons in the game tend to be enchanted.)
* Some ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' games use gold weapons.
** ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaIISimonsQuest'' had the gold knife.
** The ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow'' duology had Joyeuse, a gold sword.
* There are gilded sets of armour in ''VideoGame/{{Runescape}}''. This is not as extreme an example as sets of armour made out solid gold, though - decorating armour with gold was not common practice, but there ''is'' historical precedent for it.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'': Sure, you can make a sword out of that gold you just mined. It'll be roughly as effective as one made of ''wood'' and break about as quickly. On the other hand, using [[BoringButPractical iron]]...
** Of course, a gold pickaxe can [[FastTunnelling bore through stone at an incredible rate,]] but only stone. And it still breaks easily.
** Gold armor looks pretty and shiny, but the protection they give is not much better than leather armor and it breaks just as fast. However, gold armor is still better than having no armor at all.
*** Gold armor and gold swords have their weaknesses compensated by having a much higher chance of getting strong enhancements compared to other tools made out of other materials, making gold based items a GlassCannon.
** Three words: gold-plated food. Golden Apples are [[TooAwesomeToUse one of the most coveted items in the game]], being used to make horses breed, cure zombie villagers, or give the player not only several drumsticks' worth of hunger satisfaction, but also regeneration for a short time. A twice-plated ("enchanted") Golden Apple also grants fire resistance, damage resistance, and a limited feather-fall effect. Golden Carrots are also used to breed horses, or give the player regeneration, and are used in potions of night vision. Glistering Melons are pretty much only used in potion-brewing, and aren't edible.
* Moody dwarves in ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' can make artifact gold armor or weapons (the only other way to get gold weapons requires modding the game files); despite being artifacts, they will perform rather poorly (except for blunt weapons, which will be significantly more effective due to their increased mass).
* The triforce in ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' games are always shown as gold triangles.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'' and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' had the Gold Gauntlets, which were the strongest levels of items that let Link lift stuff normally too heavy for him, like those huuuuuuuuuuuuuge obelisks.
** Meta Example: The two original NES games came on shiny gold cartridges; the [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZelda first game]]'s box even had a cutout showing it off. A limited edition run on both ''Ocarina'' and ''Majora's Mask'' also came on a matte-gold cart.
* About a third of the CostumePorn outfits in the ''{{Growlanser}}'' have gold trimming.
* In ''VideoGame/DisneyPrincessEnchantedJourney'', the bonus outfits from Belle's world are shiny and golden. Once you complete the princess worlds, their outfits and portraits become golden as well.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Old-Timey [[WebAnimation/HomestarRunner Strong Bad]] in "That A Ghost" has the line, "I'll be marching around in gold pants in no time!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* One set of {{Pimped Out Dress}}es the {{Disney Princess}}es wore were of gold lamé, with a variation of Ariel having her tail and SeashellBra be gilded, as seen above.
* At the end of ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'', Ariel wears a [[CoolCrown gold tiara]] with her FairytaleWeddingDress.
* Many of the things in ComicBook/RichieRich's house are gold.
* As with Goldie of ''WesternAnimation/GoldieGoldAndActionJack''.
* On ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'', Heloise decorates a carriage meant for her and Jimmy with gold. [[StickyFingers Peep promply steals it]].
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'':
** Bender from Universe 1 in "The Farnsworth Parabox" decided to be gold plated.
** Fry attempts to Deconstruct this Trope in the earlier "Hell is Other Robots" when the Robot Devil challenges him and Leela to a fiddling contest with a solid gold fiddle. (A ShoutOut to the song "The Devil Went Down to Georgia".)
-->'''Fry:''' Wouldn't a solid gold fiddle weigh a hundred pounds and sound terrible?
-->'''Devil:''' Well, it's mostly for show.
* One animated version of ''Theatre/TheNutcracker'' had the line "I wear gold-plated underwear!" in the [[BigBad Rat King's]] VillainSong. [[AwesomebutImpractical Two seven-year-olds immediately caught that they would chafe horribly.]]
* In ''TheSimpsons'' the man who won the lawsuit that he invented Icthy and Scratchy buys a solid gold house.
* ''WesternAnimation/SymBionicTitan'': Ilana's mecha-like armor Corus is gold and is often very shiny, particularly when Octus washed it off with water.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Wildfire}}'': Diabolyn tried to win over the people of Dar Shan by wearing a dress made of Golden fabric. It failed when Princess Sara revealed where the gold came from.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* [[RequisiteRoyalRegalia Coronation robes]] are often gold lamé, whether on its own or with an ermine lining.
** The latter was common for [[TsaristRussia Russian royalty]].
** And in medieval and Renaissance Europe, sumptuary laws dictate that only kings (and queens) are allowed to wear cloth of gold--garments made from gold thread.
* Ever seen the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_of_Versailles Palace of Versailles]]? Some rooms don't seem to have a square inch without the stuff. And, yes, that includes mattresses.
** When the kings of France went insane of the bling bling, they started out by getting furniture made of ''solid silver'', but little later sanity returned (relatively speaking), and gilded wood became the norm.
* This is the case with the colonial Indonesian soldiers (KNIL I mean.) The Dutch thought that the islanders love shades of yellow (including gold, yes!) and their uniforms were decorated with tons of yellow/gold things...
[[/folder]]
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