Do we like Hermes belts because they’re tasteful and well crafted, or do we like them because they’re expensive and elusive? It’s hard to say. On the one hand, the company wouldn’t get away with selling such pricy merchandise if it were shoddy as the stuff at H&M, which grows threadbare after one spin in the rinse cycle. But on the other hand, there are probably many other belts in the world which are of better or of at least equivalent quality, and which do not cost nearly as much.
The answer is probably somewhere in the middle. The clothes are nice, but not unsurpassable by all others. Certain things, like plutonium for example, are expensive because they’re in short supply and high demand, but certain other things just have a charisma that makes them attractive regardless of their price.
The list below is of the 10 most expensive things in the world. Some items acquire their price from their scarcity (and their usefulness, because if they were not useful, there would be no awareness that they were scarce). And some items’ prices are agreed to. It’s not so much that people have to pay for them but that they choose to pay for them from passion, like Herod, so charmed by Salome’s dance of the seven veils, that he told her she could have Capernaum, Tiberias, his citadels, half of his kingdom. It was a big receipt and there many more coquettish virgins, but she had the tsa tsa tzu.
10. Most Expensive Painting
On May 11th, 2015, Pablo Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger broke the record for the most expensive painting ever sold at an auction. It was sold for 173.9 million dollars at an auction at Christie’s, the world’s top luxury auction house in New York City (it has 85 offices in 43 countries, and in 2013 it brought in roughly $6.18 billion.) The buyer is suspected to be Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, prime minister of Qatar between 2007 to 2013, but the name wasn’t revealed. Some people thought the purchase was ridiculous, not only because it was so expensive for the secretive buyer, but also because he won’t be able to display it lest his friends blab that he bought it, and it’s also one of Picasso’s weaker efforts according to art critics.
9. Most Expensive Private Jet
The most expensive private jet in the world is owned by the prince of Saudi Arabia, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. The Airbus A380 typically costs $300 million, but the Persian Gulf Prince souped it up to the tune of $200 million, making the total price of the private jet 500 million dollars. Remember back when Donald Trump’s $100 million jet sounded like it was too expensive? This plane is not only the most expensive, it is also the biggest. It extends over two floors of equipped rooms, salons, offices, and private spaces. It has any luxurious commodity that one of today’s five-star hotel would have. And despite that, the Prince has stated that he isn’t satisfied with it (he’s clearly never spent the night at a Travelodge.)
8. Most Expensive Sushi
The most expensive piece of sushi ever sold went for $1,978.15, back in 2010. The raw fish dish, consisting of five pieces prepared by Filipino chef Angelino Araneta Jr., was of the nigri variant, or sliced raw fish with a molded ball of rice underneath it. It was what was overtop it that gave it its staggering price: the food was garnished with diamonds and held together with a 24-karat gold leaf. But despite all the hardware overtop it, the sushi was completely edible (but, like, as if people are going to buy something where you literally throw the diamonds and gold to the side like parsley…).
7. Most Expensive Kiss at an Auction
In 2003, the most expensive kiss ever given was given. It was bought by Joni Rimm from American actress Sharon Stone at an auction in L.A. The proceeds of the extremely expensive lip-lock went towards Project Angel Foods, a charity dedicated to providing food and meals to people with HIV and AIDS. The kiss lasted almost a minute in front of the stunned audience in the auction house. We think that this was a message to everyone the called Sharon Stone a cheap skank after Basic Instinct came out. “I may be a skank, but I sure as hell ain’t cheap!”
6. Most Expensive Substance
Gold, platinum, and Crème de la Mer are all wildly expensive, but the world’s most expensive substance has nothing to do with ego. Antimatter, which costs $100 trillion per gram is the most expensive substance on earth. To give you an idea, the next most expensive substance, Californium 252, costs a pathetic $27 million per gram. Antimatter is extraordinarily rare, available only at the edges of the atmosphere and within particle accelerators. The reason it’s so expensive is because of the amount of energy it can produce. A kilogram of antimatter colliding with the same amount of matter would create as much energy as the largest thermonuclear bomb ever built.
5. Most Expensive Car
The most expensive car was sold in October 2013. Previously owned by Paul Pappalardo, a Connecticut collector, the 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO Racer was purchased for $52 million by an unidentified buyer. To give you an idea, the most expensive celebrity car ever is Jay Z, a billionaire’s Maybach Exelero, which he bought for $8 million, a paltry sum in comparison to what the shadowy collector paid for this Ferrari. Admittedly, this expensive vehicle is a masterpiece of automotive artistry, with its slick and succulent design, but spending half as much on a car as Donald Trump spent on a private jet seems excessive…
4. Most Expensive Piece of Jewelry
The Pink Star is the most expensive piece of jewelry in the world. In 2013, it was sold at a Sotheby auction for 52 million pounds, or almost $80 million, to an unidentified buyer. The Pink Star is a flawless diamond in an oval shape mounted onto a ring. It is 59.60 carats, meaning that it weighs 11.92 grams. Each gram of this diamond costs approximately $6.5 million dollars, or almost as much as Jay Z’s aforementioned Maybach Exelero. This was apparently too crushing a financial burden for the buyer, because he defaulted in paying and the stone was re-acquired by Sotheby.
3. Most Expensive Surgery
Did you know that having surgery more than doubles the cost of your hospital stay? And yet surgery is an essential part of health care: the reparation of hardware that gives the software something to animate. The most expensive procedure you can get in the United States is heart valve surgery. This surgery is performed when your heart valves are failing, for instance narrowing or leaking, and must be replaced to keep your heart pumping. This occasionally involves opening the rib cage and operating open heart. Getting this surgery will cost you around $53,400, a breathtakingly large price for an often essential-to-life procedure.
2. Most Expensive Horse
Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that there are big money industries out there in things we never thought there would be. For example, the Japanese company YKK, which makes zippers, is worth $1.5 billion dollars. Another big money industry (although admittedly less big) is horse racing. This is why it isn’t altogether surprising that the most expensive horse ever sold went for $16 million dollars in 2006. The Green Monkey, as he became known, ran an eighth of a mile in 9.8 seconds, an amazing speed for a colt. Rumors of the horse flew around the horse-racing community, and a thumping auction at the Calder Race Course in Florida saw his worth rise to $16 before one of the audience members chickened out.
1. Most Expensive Weapon System
Lockheed Martin’s F-35 is the most expensive weapon system ever built, with a estimated cost of $400 billion. But not only that: reports show that the price could turn out greater than the Defense Department had anticipated. The Pentagon has stated that the fleet’s life cycle, all total, could run it $1 trillion. And not only that, the plane was originally supposed to be released in 2010, and projections are now saying that it’ll take up to 2017, which is probably generous. But despite the extreme price of these stealth fighters and their lengthy delays, the new fleet is needed to replace aging ones, such as Lockheed’s F-16, Boeing’s F/A-18 and AV-8B, and Northrop Grumman’s EA-6B.