$1,000 Worth of Gold Rolling Papers Hidden in Austin
Find the golden briefcase and reap the 24k rewards
By Kevin Curtin,
8:00AM, Fri. Feb. 1, 2019
Not to brag about the opulence of my current lifestyle, but lately I’ve taken to smoking gold. Yes, gold. Chemical symbol “Au.” Periodic table number 79. The stuff they use to make jewelry and rappers' teeth.
It all began with a care package from Shine Papers, a South Carolina business that engineered a way to make rolling papers and blunt wraps coated in 24k gold. For the past three weeks, I’ve been twisting up fat, cone-shaped hand rolls with them. My friends and family have all shared the same reactions:
1) “Damn, those look cool!
2) “Is it okay to smoke gold?”
To answer the second, more pressing question, I contacted Shine Papers CEO Dave Brown. He referred me to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information in 2011, in which unfortunate lab rats were subjected to inhaling potent gold fumes six hours a day, five days a week, for 90 days, and showed “no observed adverse effect level.”
Brown, whose product is made from applying edible 24k gold to a mostly hemp-based paper with a natural adhesive, also mused on the flash point of gold.
“The temperature gold needs in order to have its form changed and give off any fumes is 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit,” he explained. “Well, when you’re burning a paper, you’re not getting over 700 degrees so, functionally, you’re not actually smoking the gold. You’re smoking the paper that it’s been combined with, and you’re definitely smoking whatever you decided to put in the paper.”
The attraction to Shine’s 24k gold papers is an aesthetic one – putting a little visual sauce on your cannabis-smoking game. In addition to the obvious occasions of birthdays and anniversaries, I can envision them being popular with Instagram models flaunting their love for ganja, stony entertainers who want to show that they're high class high-ons, and event hosts in the marijuana industry of weed-legal states. If Liberace were alive today, these are the skins he’d roll with.
How much quality do you have to trade for that aesthetic draw? From my viewpoint, as a joint roller of 20 years and former head shop employee, not much. The gold rolling paper is thin, yet durable and a nice size, 2 by 4 inches, so it’s easy to roll with and seemed to smoke best when furled in a big fat cone. The taste is minimal, less than what you would expect for gold papers – actually, it’s a little sweet. The most peculiar characteristic is the ash builds up tough on the end. A light tap on an ashtray won't likely knock it off. This is probably from the gold and the adhesive remaining on the ash. Ultimately, it's a much better smoke than most novelty papers.
Shine’s larger product line includes fully gold and gold-checkered cones, which I would only use if you can’t twist one up yourself, plus 24k blunt wraps, which were sturdy, pliable, and fresh, and smoked even better than the papers. They also offer a line of thin hemp papers and two types of broadleaf wraps, which are similar to Backwoods cigars, except better tasting, free of holes, and you have more whole tobacco leaf material to overlap so it doesn’t go all limpy-gimpy like blunts rolled from deconstructed Backwoods often do.
A thousand dollars worth of those products, plus swag from other weed industry businesses, will be stashed in a golden briefcase somewhere around Austin, and 20 other cities, on Monday. Participants who sign up for the Shine Day scavenger hunt, here, will be emailed clues and instructions, beginning at 10am.
“The briefcase is hidden at a secret location and when they win the game, they have to talk back to us and tell us what the final answer is and show us that they’re at the location we told them to get to,” explains Brown. “Then we tell them where the case is and what the combination is to get into it.”