The Top 10 Most Expensive Luxuries
The world is host to thousands - if not millions - of fabulous, covetable luxury items that most of us can only dream of seeing in person, much less possessing. The hefty price tags on these fabulous frivolities can rocket into the millions. This doesn't stop the world's rich and possibly famous from buying them - sometimes in multiples - for themselves or their closest 100 friends.
Man's obsession with the finer things is nothing new. From the ancient tombs of Egypt to the icy mausoleums of the Russian steppes, treasures and finery have fascinated man since the beginning of time. Silk, gold, jewels, and even the more obscure, such as ambergris, whale vomit with a distinctive odor that is so highly valued that people have been known to kill for it. Our desire to possess opulent objects hasn't lessened over time - if anything, it's grown.
Interestingly enough, some of the most coveted items in the world aren't made of gold or diamonds. Some are simply fabric; others are carefully distilled liquids that when poured and enjoyed, are gone for good. Despite the fleeting or delicate nature of some of these treasures, people are willing to pay thousands, millions, and sometimes even billions for the pleasure of ownership, even just for a few minutes.
Our curiosity piqued, we have set out to gather together some of the most exclusive and unobtainable niceties the world has ever seen. We've searched and built a comprehensive list of fascinating, unusual material marvels to wow your senses and stir your envy. The sums of some of these objects are enough to make Donald Trump stop and think twice - and believe us, that doesn't happen often with that man!
Without further ado, we present you with ten of the most valuable and coveted objects on the planet.
Ambergris - up to $10,000/lb
We know we caught your attention with the whale vomit. So here's what makes it so special and why people go nuts over the stuff. Ambergris is a waxy, grey substance produced in the digestive track of the sperm whale. While it smells somewhat like, well... vomit when it is first expelled, once it has aged and been exposed to the elements, it takes on a sweet, musky odor that is highly prized for its use in high-end perfumes. Given that whales aren't exactly everywhere, this digestive by-product is worth its weight in gold.
Diamond Wedding Gown - $12 million
It is said that a diamond is forever - and let's hope that the marriage that this gown is worn for is, too. At $12 million, this designer, one-of-a-kind gown is the priciest gown ever made. It was designed by Renee Strauss in 2006 for a bridal show that was held at none other than the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Rey, California. The abundance of stones was provided by Martin Katz, the luxury jewelry designer. This dress is so famous and coveted that it was displayed at the Fashion and Diamonds Show in Dubai, one of the wealthiest cities in the world.
22 karat Gold Toilet Paper - $1.3 million
We're not kidding. Charmin is going to be given a run for its money with this high-quality, three-ply toilet paper that is teeming with 22 karat gold flakes, which apparently will fall to the floor and grace your arse with their sparkle. The Australian originator got his idea from using a solid gold commode in Dubai. We're curious if it comes in a single-ply economy version, too?
Tiffany Pink Lotus Lamp - $2.8 million
Thought to be the only one of its kind, this lamp, created around 1905 by Tiffany & Co. (founded by Louis Comfort Tiffany) is an extremely fine example of the exquisite stained glass work Tiffany is renowned for. This beautiful lamp is made of bronze and close to 2,000 individual pieces of leaded stained glass, capturing and releasing the light in gorgeous shades of pinks and greens. It was sold at auction in 1997 for $2.8 million.
Almas Iranian Caviar - $25,000/2.2 lbs
You learn something new every day. Caviar originally hails from Iran, where it has been eaten for centuries. It was believed that those who ate it would gain physical strength and endurance. This particular caviar is from sturgeons that are over 100 years old. As they age, their eggs become silkier, whiter and smoother. The roe harvested from these fish is referred to as Almas, which means "diamond" in Russian. A fitting name for something so rare. It is proffered in a tin that is plated in 24-karat gold, adding to its opulence. Definitely not something to be served with spray cheese and saltines!
Cervelt Socks: $1,500
Okay, so these socks don't necessarily rank up there in price with some of the other items we've curated so far, but they definitely register on the "rare and covetable" scale. These socks, of which only 200 pair were manufactured, are made of the hair of a red deer that is only found in New Zealand. Yep. Someone brushed a deer for this wool. They're said to be softer than cashmere, which is not an easy feat (no pun intended). We're not exactly sure how you'd go about washing these... our guess would be VERY. CAREFULLY.
Pule Cheese - $576/lb
We couldn't help thinking about cheese after going on that caviar kick above. So, after some research, it was found that the most expensive cheese in the world is called Pule and it's made in Serbia from donkey's milk. Stop laughing. Seriously. A kilo of donkey milk cheese will run you over a thousand bucks. And here you were thinking about putting new tires on your car! Such silliness in light of the gastronomical wonders that, er... donkey cheese could present to you. We feel sorry for the people that have to milk the donkeys. On second thought, it's probably worth every cent.
No1 Passant Guardant Perfume - $219,000
Okay, so this isn't really about the perfume so much as the bottle, but what a bottle it is! A celebratory one-off for Harrod's new Salon de Parfum boutique opened in 2014, this gold-covered, diamond-encrusted beauty is finished with a crown-shaped top, in honor of Queen Victoria. There's a whole lot of British love floating around this opulent little flask!
Saffron - $10,000/lb
One of the world's wonders, this brilliant yellow spice is actually the stigmas from the saffron crocus, an unassuming little purple flower. To get just one pound of saffron threads, it takes around 70,000 crocus flowers (each yielding three stigmas), the likes of which would fill a football field. The spice is so costly, due to its associated labor costs - each flower must be handpicked, then the saffron stigmas or "threads" removed. It also has a rather short window of blossoming, each bulb only producing two to four flowers each during the blooming season. It is revered for its medicinal and culinary properties.
Tiffany Solid Gold Shoe Horn - $11,995
This was just too weird to leave off the list. We haven't seen a shoe horn since our grandparents took us to the orthopaedic shoe store on a "special outing." These outdated accessories are as old as the dinosaurs, but apparently just as expensive. Be that as it may, this hand-engraved shoe horn is made of about 4.5 ounces of 18 karat solid gold and served someone well, we're sure.