Tin is implicitly contrasted here with precious metals. The phrase seems to have originated in Rudyard Kipling's Plain Tales from the Hills where he described idols that he thought were given undeserved veneration : Pleasant it is for the Little Tin Gods When great Jove nods. But Little Tin Gods make their little mistakes In missing the hour when great Jove wakes.
1987 - Fannie Flagg - Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe - This little tin God in the polyester suit and the three-pound shoes. So smug, so self-important, with the nurses fluttering around him like geisha girls.
RELATED IDIOMS :
God's acre = Gods acre
a churchyard – archaic
This phrase comes from the German word Gottesacker meaning God's seed field in which the bodies of the dead are sown.
God's gift to him = God's own gift to him
the ideal or best possible person or thing for someone or something (used chiefly ironically or in negative statements)
1998 - Spectator - Their [the English] hooligans, their pressmen, hell, even their footballers behave as if they were God's own gift to sport.
used to express the wish that you will be able to do as you intend or that something will happen as planned
This is an expression found in many cultures.
in the lap of the gods
(of the success of a plan or event) open to chance depending on factors that you cannot control
This expression comes from one used in several passages in the works of the Greek epic poet Homer. The original Greek refers to the knees of the gods, possibly because suppliants laid gifts on the knees of those who were sitting in judgment upon them.