Magpie bait. What is it that is so attractive about shiny, sparkly things? Do magpies really have a sense of value? Of beauty? Is it just sensorially enjoyable to see sparkles, flashes, reflected light on and off surfaces? When I looked this up I realised that magpies liking shiny things is just a myth. They are actually afraid of flashy objects like most animals are, apart from humans.
No material has an inherent value, but we confer it upon silver and gold which are relatively non-tarnishing. They do not corrode, they stay shiny, which gives them a magical quality but also makes them very useful. When we collect or adorn ourselves with blingy things are we hoping to signal that we have higher social status, equating material with self-worth? I am everlasting, rare, magical, glamorous.