22 April 2010

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Most Expensive Television
PrestigeHD Supreme Rose Edition by Stuart Hughes
Price: $2.3 million*

Swiss luxury television maker PrestigeHD asked Stuart Hughes of Goldstriker International to design a spectacular piece for the company, says Hughes. So he took a 55-inch PrestigeHD television and covered it in 28 kilograms of 18-carat rose gold and 72 diamonds. Alligator skin was hand sewn into the bezel. This limited edition TV, introduced just this year, surpasses Hughes’ £1 million television for PrestigeHD, which uses 22-carat yellow gold and 48 diamonds. PrestigeHD CEO Simon M. Troxler says the company is close to closing its first contract for the Supreme Rose Edition and "we are very confident that the limited edition of only three TVs will be sold out soon."



Most Expensive Private Jet
Boeing 747-8 VIP
Price: $295 million*

This jet, which has 4,786 square feet of cabin space, is the newest member of the 747 family and replaces the 747-400. Boeing has sold seven 747-8 VIPs since May 2006 and will start delivering them next year. While the interior is intended to look less like a plane and more like home, Boeing does not furnish the jets—customers must hire interior designers, which can easily add millions of dollars in additional cost, says Boeing spokesman Bernard Choi. He says the jet probably will not enter service until after 2012, because the interior has to be put in.



Most Expensive Cell Phone
iPhone 3GS Supreme Rose by Stuart Hughes
Price: $2.97 million*

Stuart Hughes—who also designed the most expensive television—made headlines in 2009 when he crafted a 22-carat gold iPhone studded with 53 diamonds for an unnamed Australian businessman for £1.92 million. More recently, he says, he was commissioned to make an even pricier version of the phone in 18-carat rose gold with hundreds of diamonds, including a single-cut, 7.1-carat diamond for the main navigation button.



Most Expensive Drawing
Raphael's Head of a Muse
Price: $47.9 million

The most expensive work on paper was sold at auction in December 2009 by Christie’s London. Raphael's Head of a Muse, a black chalk drawing on paper, sold for $47,941,095, handily beating the estimate, which ranged from $19.7 million to $26.3 million.



Most Expensive Chess Set
Chess Set by Charles Hollander*
Price: $600,000

Jeweler Charles Hollander’s Royal Diamond Chess (shown in photo), priced at half a million dollars, is often cited as the world’s most expensive, but Hollander tells Bloomberg Businessweek that the first of his seven chess sets, which made their debut about 10 years ago, quietly sold for $600,000 just after launching. The set was studded with 320 carats of black and white diamonds and two kilograms of 14 carat white gold. Hollander says he presented the unnamed piece at the Basel Jewelry Show and sold it within the first hour to a Russian collector. Hollander has made seven luxury chess sets, all designed by Bernard Maquin, and has moved all but one. Another set, called the Jewel Royale chess set, by U.K. jeweler Boodles, was valued at $9.8 million but has not yet sold.


Most Expensive Golf Club
Long-Nose Putter Stamped "A.D.," attributed to Andrew Dickson
Price: $181,000

An "A.D." stamp on this circa 18th century, long-nose putter is attributed to Andrew Dickson, the oldest known clubmaker to mark his clubs. He is said to have served as a caddy to the Duke of York as a young boy, according to Sotheby’s. This item was estimated to sell for $200,000 to $300,000 but fetched $181,000 in a Sotheby’s auction in New York in 2007.



Most Expensive Bicycle
Aurumania Gold Bike Crystal Edition
Price: $114,464*

Scandinavian design company Aurumania made only 10 of these hand-crafted, 24-carat gold-plated bicycles. Each is decorated with 600 Swarovski crystals. According to Chief Executive Bo Franch-Mærkedahl, this bike was originally conceived as a show piece but quickly attracted interest from buyers. The firm, founded in September 2008, has sold five units to buyers in the U.K., Dubai, Russia, Italy, and most recently, Australia. He adds that four of the clients also bought a matching gold-plated wall rack.



Most Expensive Motorcycle
Dodge Tomahawk V10 Superbike
Price: $700,000

The Dodge Tomahawk, a 1,500-lb. motorcycle with four wheels, has a Dodge Viper's V10 engine and can go from zero to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds, according to Edmunds.com. The top speed is estimated to be more than 300 mph. The vehicle, which made its debut at the 2003 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, was reportedly priced at $550,000, but a Dodge spokesperson confirmed to Bloomberg Businessweek that two units were sold at an even higher $700,000.



Most Expensive Hotel Room
Royal Penthouse Suite, Hotel President Wilson in Geneva
Price: $65,000 per night

This palatial suite, which occupies an entire floor of the hotel and measures 18,083 square feet, has 10 rooms and seven bathrooms. It was renovated in January 2009 to add a new private fitness area, according to a spokesperson.



Most Expensive Speakers
Transmission Audio Ultimate System
Price: $2 million per pair

With a total of 12 units—four dipole subwoofers, two dipole mid-woofers, four dipole medium-frequency and high-frequency ribbon panels, and two dipole high-fidelity super ribbon panels—Transmission Audio’s Ultimate speaker system is a hefty piece of equipment, spanning 37 feet and weighing 5 metric tons. All units are made from aircraft aluminum and have stands in polished red or black granite. The set was introduced in late 2009, and so far two pairs have been preordered, says Bo Bengtsson, president of Transmission Audio. None has yet been delivered, as the assembly time is about six months.

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