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Of course, if you want to impress someone but you’re not sure of their personal tastes, shoes and handbags are a risky choice. Far safer to go with some lovely champagne, and with a covering handcrafted by master goldsmiths, the Cristal Louis Roederer Champagne Jeroboam 2012 is sure to impress. The champagne comes wrapped in ribbon that has been dipped in 24-carat gold, and there are only 400 bottles made, so you can be fairly confident that no-one else will get the same thing. It’s said to have an intense taste with “hints of white flowers, citrus and fruits, followed by warm notes of toast and wood”. You might think there are far cheaper ways of tasting toast and wood, such as making a piece of toast and nibbling on a table, but this is the most impressive way. Oh, and it’ll cost you $26, 000.
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And it’s on to Harrods for our third ridiculously bling-y item. You might think that $6,750 is fairly modest for a high-end luxury handbag, but for that much money, wouldn’t you want something you might want to be seen leaving the house with? Not an over-the-top embellished child’s toy? Pity that whichever buyer signed off the Globe Clutch didn’t feel the same way. It’s impressive, in a “that’s a lot of gems” kind of way, but it’s also hideous. This is what happens when the worlds of luxury and novelty collide and it’s not pretty. The only person I can imagine wanting this is a 10-year-old boy who’s really interested in countries of the world. And even he might wish it was a bit less sparkly so he could actually focus a bit more. And it doesn’t even have the country boundaries in the right place (why is California a different color to the rest of the country?) Sheer madness….
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Another venerable British department store provides the next item, and that’s the Gina court shoes, available at Selfridges for just $2100. Like the perfume, they are gold, to show off just how expensive they are, and they are tastefully decorated from wedge-heel to peeptoe in hundreds of Swarovski crystals in red, green and gold. They would make an excellent Christmas present because, let’s face it, when else in the calendar can you get away with wearing gold, red and green together? Especially in an unyielding wall of bling? Selfridges says they are a “walking style-statement”. I say for that kind of money you’d expect a more comfortable looking insole and a less plastic-y heel tip. But maybe that’s just me…
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For something that’s billed as “the world’s most expensive perfume” it’s disappointing that this is almost affordable. A 50ml bottle in Fortnum & Mason will set you back just $750 – for some people, that’s the cost of one meal! Granted it’s not a huge bottle, but you expect to pay more for even a drop of the world’s most expensive perfume. Even more disappointingly, there’s currently a bottle on ebay that’s starting at $9.99. That doesn’t really reflect all the “rare and precious ingredients” that go into it now, does it? Still, the shiny gold bottle will totally impress the woman in your life and make her think you spent a year’s salary on it.
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We’re back to Harrods for another tasteful bag, this one in unambiguous gold – the color of “look how much money I have”. Priced at a hefty $28,000 it is made of alligator skin and named after Ralph Lauren’s wife. According to the product description, it is also “extremely practical”, thanks to its multiple strap configurations and roomy inside pockets. Practical, that is, as long as you’re happy carrying around something that costs the same as a small car. Further proof that Harrods customers probably don’t inhabit the same world as the rest of us do – theirs is probably a world where the sea sparkles and California is picked out with orange gemstones…
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Don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s only high-end retailers that stock hugely overpriced gifts. The next three are from Amazon, that most universal of retailers. Whether it’s due to Amazon’s strange auto-pricing system that pushes the price up if stock is low, or whether you could genuinely spend the price of a house on a website best known for books and CDs is unclear but should you want to do the latter, why not start with the Millage Flying Tourbillon watch – currently priced at $99,000. It comes in several colors, has a watch made from alligator leather (what did these alligators do to the makers of luxury goods?) and a 7-year guarantee. The reviews may be somewhat cynical and possibly not entirely true but don’t let that put you off if you’re looking for something very, very expensive to put on your wrist.
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There are no mistakes on this next item, by luxury jewelers Tiffany. The price isn’t even on their website, presumably going by the mantra “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it”. But a little digging reveals that this rather bling-tastic bracelet is a cool $1.3 million. It has 59 yellow diamonds, and the rest of the platinum bracelet is filled in with boring old white diamonds, bringing the total carat count to over 100. It’s also, as you might be able to see, a bit ugly. It’s garish and heavy-looking and breaks the cardinal rule that gold and silver shouldn’t be seen together. But still, if you really want to impress someone just buy this and show them the receipt. They’ll have to love it, even if they don’t like it.
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For our last Amazon item – nothing quite says “I love you” like a speaker cable, does it? And if you want to really spoil the audio-lover in your life, there’s a piece of cable on the UK Amazon site right now for $175,000 as shown in the screen shot above. The reviews say it’s a very good cable and definitely worth paying the extra money for but again, we’re getting into house-buying territory here. You may admire its “SOLID 100% PERFECT-SURFACE SILVER CONDUCTORS” (sic) and “MULTI-LAYER CARBON-BASED NOISE-DISSIPATION” (sic) but you may want to invest your money slightly more wisely.
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So, where to put your very expensive watch? Why, a very expensive watch box of course! It holds 20 watches and is retailing on amazon.com right now for $99,999.00, just a thousand dollars more than the watch it’s designed to hold. Sadly, a peek on Steinhausen’s own website reveals that the box is actually worth more like $250, which puts it into the luxury range but not the “need a mortgage” range. So, it looks like it might be a victim of a rogue Amazon pricing algorithm but still, if you wanted to buy it today there is the option of spending $100,000 on it (and still getting a dollar in change!)
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But if you’re going to splash out in true billionaire style, there’s nothing quite like buying someone their own private island. When you look at the islands available, you might be surprised to see that they were less than a modest-sized London property – in fact, they start around $27,500 which wouldn’t buy you a garage in London. Mind you, they are the kind of windswept rocks off the coast of Canada that no-one really wants to live on. For real style, you need something like Rangyai Island, Thailand which is currently on sale for $160,000,000. It’s said to be a holiday paradise, with “beautiful white sand beaches and lush tropical forests” and comes with its own electricity generator and fresh water supply. It’s even close to Phuket Airport, for jetting in between meetings.
The drawback is that foreigners aren’t really supposed to buy Thai islands, and there are a few loopholes you might have to get through before being able to set up your summer house. Marrying a Thai national might do the trick but that might upset whoever you bought the island for. It might be best to stick to that handbag after all…