Scientists from University College (isn't that redundant?) London, United Kingdom analyzing the graves of indigenous Cubans who traded with Columbus found that they valued shoelace tags more than gold:
... the most common artefacts were small brass tubes thought to be cheap lacetags from European clothing.
These tags were used from the 15th Century onwards in Europe, to prevent the ends of laces fraying, and to ease threading in the points for fastening clothes.
The native Taino people of Cuba often threaded the tags into necklaces.
Early chroniclers report that pure gold was considered the least valuable metal among indigenous Cubans. It held significantly less esteem than copper-based alloys.