Oddly enough, I wasn’t aware of any of the sources pertaining to this quote until after it was finished. It was brought to my attention as a favorite quote from a previous boss. I inferred it meant staying true to yourself which wasn’t very far off. After some Urban Dictionary and Wikipedia research it seems it has a few influences.
1. A Robert Frost poem, “Nothing gold can stay.” Often can refer to staying true to yourself and your own character.
2. The Outsiders: “Johnny also urges Ponyboy to “stay gold,” by which he means to stay the way he is & follow his dreams.