Gold rush

What's in a nameplate?

Ah, the gold nameplate. . . . Once an accessory of '70s night-clubbers, then a necessity for streetwise hip-hoppers, next an extravagance for ladies who love Lee Press-On Nails, this gaudy goody has finally arrived as a fashionable sign of our brashly materialistic times. What once signified funkiness, street cred, and chintz now marks America's flashy elite: The postspiritual Madonna sports one; Sex and the City's swanky single Carrie Bradshaw loves hers; bad-ass bitch Lil' Kim flaunts one. Just because Seattle's so far west of Manhattan or Milan doesn't mean the Emerald City doesn't go for gold. Surely, as Seattle Weekly's investigative reporter discovered, the town that erected a gleaming Pacific Place and demolished a dated Kingdome knows how to wear the nameplate. . . .

Location

Item

Worth

Left on a private beach on the eastern shore of Lake Washington, next to a bottle of Stoli and a pair of leopard bikini bottoms

$2,000,000

Placed inside the medicine cabinet of Paul Allen's LA-bound Learjet

$1,500,000

Clutched inside a sweaty palm at an Amazon.com investors meeting

$750,000

Discovered inside party favor bags at a Microsoft '90 reunion party held at the Four Seasons

$100,000

Snatched from Paul Schell's stretch limo soon after the mayor vetoed the All-Ages Dance Ordinance

$5,000

Tucked inside Jean Godden's purse, on the counter of the women's rest room at The Seattle Times

$1,000

Found inside the pocket of Judy Nicastro's modestly priced leather jacket at a renters' rights forum

$350

Abandoned in a Nordstrom sales bin, on the eve of the company's return to sensible stuffiness

$150

Spotted around the neck of a humble, stock-optionless temp

$19.99

 
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