Finding the perfect gift is always difficult—but it can be particularly challenging when shopping for a favorite Wall Street CEO, hedge funder, or Russian billionaire. They probably already have everything they want. So the trick is to find something so outrageous, even they might think twice about buying it.
Let’s say they already own a $380,000 Lamborghini Aventador. What they might not have is a 1:8 scale model of the car made of gold and fitted with 1,400 precious stones for $4.7 million (probably one of the only examples of a replica costing more than the original). Or, if they have a taste for gold, you might actually give them a taste of gold. Literally. The $426-per-lb. Long Clawson’s Stilton Gold cheese contains edible gold leaf.
Then again, with those pesky Occupy Wall Street protests and concerns about distribution of wealth, conspicuous consumption is a little less popular than it once was. All too often, the highest bidder at an auction is an undisclosed buyer. So, if the right present is something more discreet, how about a Mercedes Sprinter van that looks like it could be delivering dry cleaning but actually contains a mobile party room complete with flat-screen TV, wraparound couch, and full bar?
From least to most expensive, read on for the most ridiculous gift ideas for the wealthy.
Elvis Costello Box Set
Price: $260.92 (on Amazon.com)
If you have money to burn on an overpriced stocking-stuffer, consider the new Elvis Costello box set. Costello himself said the price was “either a misprint or a satire,” in a post on his website.
Long Clawson’s Stilton Gold
Price: $426 per lb.
Had the moon been made of cheese instead of rocks and dust, this might have been the price of a hunk of lunar cheese. Instead, British dairy Long Clawson has found a way to get rocks into the cheese with edible gold leaf. You’ll have to find your own gold-plated biscuits.
If your special someone has already eaten gold, wears gold, wants gold all the time, everywhere, try these $19,000 shoelaces. They’re only slightly less classy than diamonds on the soles of your shoes.
INuke Boom from Behringer
See that tiny little iPod in there? Take a closer look. This is the iPod dock to end all iPod docks, with the power of 10,000 watts. Behringer introduced this behemoth in December. It’s 8 feet wide and weighs more than 700 lb. In essence, it’s the perfect gift for someone with extra space in the game room.
World’s Most Expensive Dessert
It didn’t take long for a heartbroken lost soul to take a spoon to this mélange of edible gold, various kinds of chocolate, a tooth-breaking two-carat diamond, and, to top it off, Champagne caviar. Businessman Carl Weininger bought it and took it to a ball, according to the Daily Mail. He told the British paper, “I’m not much of a chocolate lover myself but all the women who tasted it said ‘Wow.’ ” If you want something unusual for a Christmas gift, at that price it’s likely that Windeth Howe Country House Hotel in Windermere in the U.K. would be happy to whip up another.
Is there something ironic about an overpriced luxury cruise to see the Titanic wreck on the 100th anniversary of the ill-fated voyage? Four two-week trips are planned by Deep Ocean Expeditions, with two submersibles onboard to view the wreck.
Stretch limos are so 1982. If you want to be over-the-top luxurious, it’s best to do it undercover. With swanky touches like leather seats and flat-screen televisions, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van is the customizable elite vehicle du jour, according to the New York Times. The base sticker is $41,315 but, to trick it out properly, figure on putting in at least an additional hundred grand.
A Trip to Space
For the man or woman who has summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, hunted boor in Borneo, and bicycled across the Outback, it’s probably time for space tourism. Virgin Galactic has already booked 430 tickets for commercial flights into space. Above, SpaceShipTwo is docked with the larger WhiteKnightTwo. Though the first flight has yet to launch, a man from Singapore recently plopped down $1 million to surprise his wife and two children with a flight, according to Agence France-Presse.
A Piece of Apollo 13 History
For Christmas, it’s either the Apollo 13 Collector’s Edition DVD for $10.99 on Amazon or the notebook of Captain James A. Lovell Jr., pictured above. The notebook sold for $388,375 at an auction in November. If the notebook doesn’t show up in your stocking, go for the DVD.
Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid
When compared with some other high-end sports cars on the market, like the $1.8 million Zenvo ST1, the Spyder Hybrid’s price tag of $845,000 is relatively reasonable. AutoWeek notes that this plug-in gasoline-electric, which made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in 2010, is capable of zero to 62 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds and gets 78.4 miles per gallon. Think of the savings in gas!
Gold Christmas Tree
Price: ¥150 million ($1.95 million)
You can’t go wrong with gold. It’s been a good investment during these uncertain times. So you may as well have something nice to look at for Christmas. Rather than just storing bricks, consider this Christmas tree from Japanese jeweler Tanaka Kikinzoku.
Photography by: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty
Action Comics No. 1
Price: $2.16 million
The comic book that introduced the character of Superman in 1938 recently sold for $2.16 million in an online auction. The new owner remained anonymous. So, if you’re hoping for the Christmas gift of an old comic book, it could be in the cards. The seller was reportedly actor Nicolas Cage, who refused to confirm or deny to Bloomberg Television that he was the owner.
Secret Fantasy Treasure Bra
Price: $2.5 million
Back in 2008, Victoria’s Secret unveiled a diamond-encrusted bra that had a price tag of $5 million. While the Wall Street Journal reports the bra still hasn’t sold, this year’s version costs a mere $2.5 million. Times are tough all over. Above, model Miranda Kerr unveils the bra in October.
Photography by: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty
Price: €2.2 million ($2.9 million)
This land yacht is miles beyond the average recreational vehicle. Complete with deluxe touches like a rainfall shower and sun deck, this mobile home can be delivered in six to nine months from order (so it wouldn’t be ready in time for Christmas). Eight vehicles, configured for other uses, have sold, though the RV design was only recently launched and has not sold yet, according to Juliane Rönisch, spokesperson for Vienna-based maker Marchi Mobile.
Amour, Amour Dog Collar
Price: $3.2 million
This little pooch is sporting 1,600 diamonds that add up to a total of 52 carats. It’s a look that quite clearly says “one percent.” If you’re looking for a simple stocking-stuffer, check out the $150,000 La Jeune Tulipe (also from ilovedogs.com), a collar with a 1.52-carat diamond dangling off the front. Photo: ilovedogs.com
Price: HK$25.3 million ($3.3 million)
Snuff bottles have long been a way to express status in China. A November auction at Bonhams Hong Kong shows the tradition is not dead. A three-inch-tall “famille-rose enameled glass European-subject snuff bottle” sold for $3.3 million to an undisclosed buyer. It remains unclear whether the purchase was a Christmas stocking-stuffer or for the buyer’s own use.
Gursky’s Rhine II
Price: $4.3 million
If you’re bored with images that are pretty or interesting to look at, throw down a few million for an Andreas Gursky photograph like the one the Guardian called a “smudgy image of desolate, featureless landscape.” Gursky’s Rhine II became the most expensive photo on the planet after it sold at auction in November at Christie’s.
Model Lamborghini Aventador
Price: €3.5 million ($4.7 million)
You could buy this model of the Lamborghini Aventador or you could buy a dozen of the actual vehicles. Of course, the real cars don’t come with 700 precious stones per seat and the carbon fiber isn’t wrapped with gold thread. It’s the world’s most expensive model car, set to be auctioned by Sotheby’s in either Dubai or New York this month, according to Wired. The model car is only slightly better than a stocking-stuffer, considering the next item on our list.
Boeing 747-8 VIP
Price: $333.5 million
The bare-bones price of $333.5 million is just the starting point, not including the interior, which is like your own house in the sky considering the 4,786 sq. ft. of cabin space (compared with the puny 787′s 2,404 sq. ft.). The image above is Boeing’s suggestion of a design for an interior office. It will likely be a while until we know who actually bought the jets, nine of which have sold to private buyers, according to Boeing spokesperson Dina M. Weiss.