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Conspicuous consumption

Sell gold? How about eating (or drinking) it instead?

By Hayley Kaufman
Globe Staff / August 18, 2011

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With the price of gold hovering near $1,800 an ounce, the oh-so-precious metal is living up to its name. And as anyone who’s been shopping lately can attest, some people are hoping to make a quick buck off the soaring prices, trading in their old, unworn jewelry at mall kiosks, watching the scales like players at a roulette table.

Others are spending on gold - albeit in microscopic quantities - just for the luxury of it. At Haru sushi in Back Bay, well-heeled diners can opt for the Boston unCommon Roll, a spicy tuna and salmon maki, dusted with black tobiko and edible 24K gold leaf. Price: $18. Lest you think such golden goodness is new to the menu, guess again. The Boston unCommon has been a favorite since 2007. It survived one recession, why not another?

The folks as Basho, meanwhile, have been sprinkling gold flakes into their Bling-Bling! cocktail since June. Made with Bombay Sapphire gin, St. Germain, Spanish cava, and raw sugar, it may be just the thing to knock back after taking a peek a your 401(k) statement. And at just $11, it’s one splurge you might be able to afford.

Of course, not all that glitters is gold leaf. This fall, metallic makeup is quite the hot trend, especially for eyes and nails. Next month, MAC Cosmetics rolls out its Posh Paradise line, which features, among others, a $15 nail polish called “Immortal Gold.’’

Until prices on the real thing come back down to earth, a couple of coats of that may have to suffice.

Hayley Kaufman can be reached at hkaufman@globe.com.