All that glitters is not gold.

Meaning: A showy article may not necessarily be valuable.

My informant would hear this saying throughout her childhood from her mother who discouraged spending and was always thrifty.  As a child, she would always want to buy jewelery and wanted to purchase the game “Pretty Pretty Princess”.  Her mother would discourage the idea and refused to purchase something that was advertised as something much greater on television.  The television commercials made the game look much more expensive, but when purchases, pieces were cheaply made and from that day her mother was more skeptical when buying toys.

The meaning was used in Shakespearian times and was used in one of his less famous plays The Relikes of Rome.  “All is not golde that glistereth.”

The 12th century French theologian Alain de Lille wrote “Do not hold everything gold that shines like gold”.   Shakespeare also used this saying in other plays such as The Merchant of Venice.

More recently, this term is used to describe people’s personalities.  For example, actors and actresses have lots of money, but their personalities and psychological mind set is often not “gold”.  On the outside, they seem to have everything, but are often unhappy.  This shows that having wealth is not always the important part of life.