Precious moments: Most expensive things money can buy

Published: December 7, 2014 12:20 AM

From a limited-edition pencil and floating bed to a gold-studded teddy bear, here are some of the most expensive things money can buy

*  It’s called Glybra and it is classified as a medicament, but what it is better known for is that it is the most expensive drug ever produced. It is used as part of gene therapy in cases of lipoprotein lipase, a rare hereditary disease. Each course of treatment will cost an incredible $1.37 million. The drug is produced by a Dutch biotech company called UniQure and has just been cleared for commercial sale. In Germany, one ampoule of this drug will cost 53,000 euros and will provide the patient two injections. A typical course of treatment requires 42 shots or 21 ampoules. In Europe, there are currently about 200 patients who are ready for this therapy. They can buy Glybra from February 2015 when it will be officially available—if they can afford it, of course.

*  Who uses pencils these days? Maybe draftsmen, sketch artists, crossword puzzle solvers, architects or designers. Despite that, there’s a pencil on the market made by Castell called Perfect Pencil which comes with a price tag of $12,800. That’s more expensive than most luxury pens, but the makers, German stationery manufacturer Faber-Castell, have created a very special edition. Only 99 pieces are available and each one is made from 240-year-old wood from olive trees. The pencil’s end piece and extender are made from 18-carat white gold. The lid has three high-quality diamonds, under the brand’s coat of arms, which are certified. The diamonds are of exceptional clarity which perhaps explains the price.

*  Come Christmas and those searching for gifts for children will generally start their search in the teddy bear section. Alternatively, those with deep pockets should check out Louis Vuitton. Made in collaboration with well-known toy company Steiff, the LV-branded teddy bear sold at an auction for an amazing $2.1 million. It’s not just the use of a luxury brand name, the teddy bear is studded with gold and has eyes made from sapphires and diamonds. The world’s most expensive teddy bear can be seen at the Teddy Bear Museum in Jeju, South Korea.

*   The use of precious stones is an obvious way to up the price of a product, and the trend has hit even the humble saree. Chennai Silks has produced a luxurious silk saree which has designs created with gold, diamonds and other precious gemstones. The craftsmanship makes it seem like the stones have been woven into the fabric. It is a work of art and the most expensive saree ever created. It costs $100,000 (R62  lakh approximately). The design has been taken from a painting by Raja Ravi Verma called Lady Musicians. Real gold, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, platinum, silver, yellow sapphire, blue sapphire, cat’s eye, topaz, pearl and coral have been used to depict the jewellery worn by the lady figures in the painting. Thirty weavers took seven months to create this singular garment, which weighs in at over 8 kg. This is hardly surprising, considering the amount of gold and stones used.

*  Most people would pay to have a good night’s sleep, but $1,533,419 sounds a bit over the top. Literally. That’s the cost of the world’s most expensive bed, a magnetic floating one that is tethered to the ground. Dutch architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars has created a bed that allows you to sleep in a bed that seems like it is floating in mid-air. The bed frame itself is a simple rectilinear board, painted black, that appears to hover on invisible legs, but the technology is what makes it so expensive—enough to wake you up at night just thinking about what it cost!

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