If there’s one thing that satellite television is good for, it’s to allow you to become quick witted at channel hopping. On one such occasion, I stumbled across an advert to send in gold in return for cash. It didn’t take a moment to realise that this advert is a product of our current economic climate. Happy shiny people offered testimonials as to how much money they never knew they had.
The world in the advertisement seemed like a distant one. I can’t think of anyone realistically routing around for gold in their house to sell. It’s not like searching down the back of the sofa for loose change. What’s more, we’re then expected to trust our valuable gold in a tiny little plastic bag and send via mail? Aside from me thinking it was a dodgy operation, I began to think about the wider implication of the advert. Not necessarily the desire to make the most of unwanted gold, but about our personal relationship to it.
Gold is indeed big business globally, and has been traded more prominently in times of economic unbalance. However, I sensed that it had a bigger, perhaps more sacred relationship in the east. They say Lanka was paved with it, and its references are embedded throughout Indian myth and history. It’s an important part of rites, rituals and ceremonies, so surely it would be the last thing to part with? Imagine then, my surprise, when I heard the same advert in Punjabi on a Punjabi radio station. Had the sentimental relationship to gold simply been a subjective assessment on my part? It’s certainly possible - but I think before we come to giving up our gold, we’ll have a wealth of skills, assets and moneymaking initiatives to exhaust before hand. Mind you, it might be a good opportunity to part with unwanted gifts from Argos.