$1,000 Worth of Gold Rolling Papers Hidden in Austin

Find the golden briefcase and reap the 24k rewards

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.

A hand-rolled cone with Shine's 24k paper (photo by Joey Gallahan)

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.

Gold teeth, gold leaf (photo by Joey Gallahan)

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.”

Shine Papers lists Oat Willie’s, Gas Pipe, Smoke N Chill, and Adult Video Megaplexxx as their local retailers.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Kevin Curtin
Best of SXSW: Best Stage Banter, Best Show, Best Repeats
Best of SXSW: Best Stage Banter, Best Show, Best Repeats
… and other observations from Kevin Curtin’s notebook

March 19, 2019

SXSW Music News: Arthur Brown Cancels Performance After New Zealand Mosque Shooter Plays “Fire”
SXSW Music News: Arthur Brown Cancels Performance After New Zealand Mosque Shooter Plays “Fire”
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown will not play at Waterloo Records today

March 17, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Shine Papers, Rolling papers, Marijuana, Blunts, 24k, Gold, Oat Willies, Gas Pipe, Smoke N Chill, Adult Video Megaplexxx

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle