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Diamonds are the epitome of luxury. Although diamonds are traditionally used in jewelry, many designers have created other beautiful and one-of-a-kind items with this precious stone. These unique pieces allow their owners to find new ways of displaying their wealth and creativity. Some of these items have been criticized as an unnecessary extravagance. In this two-part series, I’ll take a look at some interesting albeit unconventional items that have been made extraordinarily valuable through the presence of diamonds.
Diamond Golf Putter
For the golf enthusiast, Odyssey Golf created a golf putter studded with 240 rubies and 378 diamonds. The head of the club is made of 18-karat white gold. The idea to create this gem-encrusted putter was initially conceived following a social game of golf involving renowned jeweler Theo Fennell and Odyssey’s marketing director, Nick McInally. Anyone adventurous enough to actually use the club on the golf course will first have to shell out £100k to buy it from Harrods of London.
Upon its launch in 2009, this shirt, with its diamond-studded buttons, was the world’s most expensive shirt. It has since been eclipsed by a shirt made of three kilograms of gold. Swedish shirt maker Eton, which is known for producing some of the world’s most luxurious clothing, produced the diamond shirt. The company made the shirt to celebrate its 80th anniversary. It features both white and fancy colored diamonds, and retails for $40,000.
Master manicurist Leighton Denny offers the insanely expensive “encapsulation” manicure from within Harrods’s Urban Retreat Spa, one of the most posh in London. The $32,000 manicure includes 9-carats of real diamonds, affixed to a lucky girl’s nails. It's reportedly a huge hit with Arab princesses, and once had a 175-deep waiting list. Not to be outdone, Cherish….Me, another London-based company run by Cherish Angula, offers the $51,000 Iced manicure, where a manicurist will travel to the customer anywhere in the world.
For those who don’t mind applying nail polish themselves, there is the $250,000 ‘Black Diamond’ nail polish by jewelry couturier Azature of Hollywood. Containing up to 267 carats of black diamonds, the nail polish was proudly worn by Kelly Osborne at the 2012 Emmy awards. At the time, she was widely criticized for wearing nail polish worth more than most people earn in a year. But don’t worry, the company offers a $25 version for more budget-conscious consumers.
Diamond Tea Bag
To celebrate its 75th birthday, UK-based tea manufacturer PG Tips partnered with Boodles Jewellers to create the world’s most expensive tea bag. Each one of these incredibly expensive tea bags contains 280 excellent-quality diamonds, and are filled with Silver Tips Imperial Tea from Makibari Estate, the most expensive Darjeeling tea in the world, which itself retails for about $3,000 per kilogram. The tea bags were actually used to raise money for a charitable cause in Manchester, England. We’re just not sure what you’re supposed to do with it once you’ve used it.
For the discerning baby on your shopping list, luxury baby and mom brand Suommo offers a $2.5 million bejeweled pacifier, shaped out of 18 carat gold and studded with diamonds. The piece is designed to be a baby’s first jewel. It converts into a pendant or collar pin once the baby no longer needs it, and can be shared with the baby’s parent. If this sounds expensive, the company also offers a $12 million crib made out of solid gold.
The world’s most expensive meal will set you back $2 million, but will send you home with some beautiful diamonds as a parting gift. Ce La Vi restaurant, in Marina Bay Sands tower in Singapore, is the home of a $2 million luxury dining experience. The meal features an 18-course degustation menu that includes caviar, oysters and pigeon, paired with a range of expensive wines and champagnes. The lucky couple will bring home a gorgeous set of gold chopsticks, featuring 4 carats of round diamonds, as well as a 2 carat blue diamond ring set in rose gold, known as “the Jane Seymour”.
The world’s most expensive dessert is a $1.65 million fruitcake, produced by a renowned Tokyo pastry chef. It was sold for Christmas 2015. It apparently took the chef six months to conceptualize the cake’s creation, and another month to produce it. We know that the cake is adorned with 223 diamonds of various sizes. However, the rest remains a mystery, as the chef has steadfastly refused to disclose any of the other ingredients in his work.
The finale of the ninth season of America’s Got Talent saw host Nick Cannon stroll out in a world record-breaking pair of shoes that he had custom made for the event. The shoes feature 14,000 diamonds, totaling 340 carats. It took 2,000 hours to craft the footwear and nearly a year to complete. Just sourcing all the diamonds and having them made to be the same size took over four months.
(Damian Hirst. For the love of God. Diamond skull)
You may have heard of this one: "For the Love of God," a diamond-covered skull by British artist Damien Hirst. The skull, likely that of a 35-year-old European/Mediterranean man from about 1720-1810, was covered with 32 platinum plates and then set with 8,601 VVS to flawless white and black diamonds (the black diamonds are set in the eye sockets for dramatic value). Rumor has it that the skull belonged to a monk.
The total weight of the pavé-set diamonds is 1,106.18 carats. The teeth inserted into the jaw are real, and belong to the original skull. As source of inspiration for covering a skull with diamonds, Hirst reportedly thought to himself, “what can you pit against death?”
The skull cost an estimated $15 to $18.8 million to make, and was sold to a consortium of anonymous buyers that included Hirst himself.
Probably the most famous item on this list, Victoria Secret’s Fantasy Bra, is an annual creation introduced every year before Christmas, since 2001. With different designers such as Pascal Mouawad behind the creation of the bras, they are usually set with thousands of diamonds and other precious stones, and are always valued in millions of dollars.
This year, the bra was designed by Eddie Borgo, set with 9,000 diamonds and emeralds, and is valued at $3 million.
The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity. No one should act upon any opinion or information in this website without consulting a professional qualified adviser.