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Golden Girl

As long as I can remember, I’ve been a silver girl. While I adored gold jewelry, silver seemed to match my personality better and looked cool against my tanned skin. With my blonde hair, wearing gold always made me feel as obvious as the fiery sun—or even C-3PO.

A brief attempt to wear both metals together as a teenager was quickly quashed by my grandmother. “Never mix your metals,” she advised. It’s an old rule that’s flouted nowadays, but I can rarely attempt it without wanting to pull off offending pieces of jewelry moments later.

My nearly lifelong gold boycott came to an end on my recent trip to Colombia when I visited the Museo del Oro in Bogotá.

More than 55,000 pieces of pre-Hispanic gold artifacts are displayed at the museum. Exhibits range from metalworking, the use of gold in different Colombian cultures, and the significance of cosmology and symbolism to those cultures and how they translated in golden artifacts. But my favorite exhibit was the Offering Room, where I stood in darkness until a series of lights illuminated walls with gold pieces that had been tossed into lakes as offerings to the gods.

The glimmering artifacts are more seductive than overwhelming, and by the end of my visit, I fingered golden earrings in the museum shop with new eyes. They weren’t quite as delicate as my favorites from the museum’s collection, but my previous barriers against gold jewelry had been shattered and I bought a pair.

Now, I don’t care if they make me look like a golden girl.

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