Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Branching Out: Diamonds no longer just for engagement rings anymore

America may have hit a financial slump this past year or two, but there are still some people out there with a lot of time and even more money on their hands. And they are out to prove that diamonds and gold are not just for engagement rings anymore; they think outside the box.


World Most Expensive Phone: Please leave home without it
Stuart Hughes, a London based Jeweler, has just designed and executed the world’s most expensive smart phone. Hughes recently unveiled a diamond encrusted iPhone 4, and told the U.K. newspaper, “The Daily Mail,” that is was “Fantastic Challenge” for which he is pleased with the results.

The original design, which is plated in Rose gold, and adorned with more than 500 diamonds, 53 of which cover the Apple logo alone, is priced at $8 million. A fair price if you consider that the phone comes with two interchangeable diamonds for the ‘home’ button, the first being a 7.4 carat pink diamond, and the second an 8 carat flawless diamond, which together have a combined price tag of 6 million diamonds.

Hughes designed his first gold-plated iPhone in 2003, and has since had luxury smart phone orders from clients in London, Marbella, and Monaco. So far, Hughes has been commissioned to make two similar iPhones for an un-named Australian gold mining billionaire, price tags for which should run around $5 million each.

As for a practical use for the design, even Hughes isn’t sure there is any, and told reporters “It would be a disaster if it was ever lost.”

Diamond Encrusted Bra
When your under-ware is much more expensive than your outer-ware
Over the years, the Victoria’s Secret fashion show has become popular televised event, complete with A list entertainment like Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry. But it is the diamond bra that steals the show every year.

This year, the world’s most expensive undergarment has around 3,000 diamonds hand placed in a starburst design, interspersed with topaz and light blue sapphire stones throughout. It reportedly took 6 craftsmen 1,500 hours to complete “The Bombshell” as it is being called this year. Priced at $2 million, it will be worn by model Adriana Lima down the runway.

If you think that’s the most outrageously priced unmentionable you have ever heard of, think again. In 2005, then Victoria’s Secret star Gisele Bundchen modeled a diamond bra worth $12.5 million, the most expensive VS bra to date.

Solid Gold Monopoly: A lot more than $200 to pass go
The Museum of American Finance, aptly located on Wall Street in New York City, is currently showcasing the world’s most expensive Monopoly board game set.

The set was originally designed in 1988 by San Francisco Jeweler Sidney Mobell after he was inspired by a Monopoly tournament in London. After requesting and receiving permission from Parker Brother, the creator of the game, Mobell spent an entire year crafting the game set.

The board is made out of 18 K solid gold, the houses and hotels from gemstones, and the $10,000 pair of dice has 42 polished diamonds for dots. When Hughes originally created the Monopoly set in 1988, gold was anywhere from $360 to $460 per ounce, in 2010 gold has gone as high as $1300 per ounce, valuing the board game at $2 million.

Mobell’s creation, which is meant to be a symbol of iconic American culture, is on loan from the Smithsonian and was unveiled in NYC on October 15th, 2010.

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