2016 Elections

Donald Trump Loves Gold and Don't You Forget It

What could his obsession tell us about his message?

All that glitters.

Photographer: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Donald Trump had lots of gold on hand for his center-stage speech at the Republican Party's nominating convention Thursday night.

There were the huge gold towers flanking the jumbotron:

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21:  on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Photographer: John Moore/Getty Images

There were cool gold stairs leading up to the stage, and a warm gold hue behind the power display of the TRUMP name:

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21:  on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18. (Photo by Remote 3 Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

And the speaker's podium itself was limned in gold:

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21:  on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Photographer: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Almost everybody else at the convention got cool, neutral shades when they visited the main stage, even Trump's wife, Melania:

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18:  on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Photographer: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Except for Ivanka Trump. Ivanka got the gold, too:

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 21:  on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicked off on July 18. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Photographer: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Gold surrounded Trump in Cleveland because Trump has always coveted gold. He's not the first guy to love gold, of course, and in a nod to his predecessors, he titled one of his books "Midas Touch." But Trump loves gold in his own special way.

There have been little gold-bar party favors at Trump political events:

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Photographer: George Rose/Getty Images

Trump Tower has big, gold-hued letters over the front door:

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Photographer: Waring Abbott/Getty Images

The atrium inside Trump Tower has peach-colored marble and gold-hued brass everywhere:

Das Atrium des Trump Towers in der Fifth Avenue in Manhattan in New York. Das 202 Meter hohe Gebäude hat 58 Stockwerke. !983 baute der Architekt Scutt das Wohn- und Bürohaus. Das Atrium ist mit rosafarbenem Mamor mit vielen Goldverzierungen verkleidet. Unter anderem beherbergt es eine Bar und Restaurant.
Photographer: Volker Hohlfeld/Getty Images

Trump's personal triplex in Trump Tower has lots of gold leaf in it, too, even at breakfast:

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Photographer: Regine Mahaux/MT/Getty Images

Trump's advertisements overseas promote all the fancy gold stuff that comes with Trump condos:

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Photographer: Indranil Mukherjee/Getty Images

Trump's jet has a big gold logo on its fuselage:  

ALL-STAR CELEBRITY APPRENTICE -- "Just As Simple As Making Soup" Episode 1302  -- Pictured: Trump Jet -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)
Photographer: Getty Images/NBC

Trump International Tower in Las Vegas is one big stack of gold:

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Photographer: George Rose/Getty Images

When the Las Vegas tower opened, there were fancy ladies in sparkling gold outfits helping Trump at the ribbon-cutting:

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Photographer: Chris Farina/Corbis

The Trump Plaza casino in Atlantic City used to have snazzy gold tones throughout (before it went bankrupt and closed):

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Photographer: MyLoupe/Getty Images

Trump once hosted an online game show called ... wait for it ... "Gold Rush":

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Photographer: M. Von Holden/Getty Images

Gold is everywhere in the Trump story. When he ventured into Manhattan real estate several decades ago, his first big project, the Grand Hyatt, had gold Mylar tablecloths in the main ballroom. His father, Fred, was proud. “I gave Donald free rein,” he told a reporter. “Everything he touches seems to turn to gold.” Trump put gold linoleum on the kitchen floor of his condo in Trump Tower when he first moved into the triplex. The Trump International Hotel in Manhattan is sheathed in gold-tinted glass, like a giant lame´ party dress. Trump's favorite James Bond character is Goldfinger.

What might be the policy implications of Trump's obsession with gold? He's thought about returning the U.S. to the gold standard. "We used to have a very, very solid country because it was based on a gold standard," he told an audience in New Hampshire. "It would be very, very hard to do at this point and one of the problems is we do not have the gold -- other places have the gold.”

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

    To contact the author of this story:
    Timothy L. O'Brien at tobrien46@bloomberg.net

    To contact the editor responsible for this story:
    David Shipley at davidshipley@bloomberg.net

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