Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Top Ten Most Expensive Board Games in the World

We're not talking paying retail for games at your local hobby store.

The following pretty bling board games will set you back a little more than you may be used to paying for a simple game.

Of course, when talking about board games and prices, we have to do a little selecting.
  • An ancient Chinese chess board from a thousand years ago dug up and placed into a museum will be more expensive than anything on the market today, simply because of its antiquity. So I am ignoring antiques.
  • If you know of a game I missed, please email or comment and I'll add it. Thanks!

10. Jaques 4.4 inch 1850 Chess set

Jaques is a family game business with an illustrious past.

A copy of a design produced between 1850 and 1851. The chess pieces are crafted from fine boxwood and jet black ebony. Also made from leather and brass. Limited edition of 250.
Cost: $5,549 (available at $4,000 in some stores)

9. Made in Firenze Chess Table

Rather ornate Onyx table, stools, and chess pieces.
Cost: 4980 EUR

8. Outrage Deluxe

A game about stealing the crown jewels. The board represents the tower of London.

A solid mahogany cabinet. The Crown Jewels are set in 18ct solid gold studded with rubies, sapphires, diamonds and emeralds. Includes two packs of cards edged with gold leaf. Holder of the Guinness World Record as "The Most Expensive Board Game in the World".
Cost: £7,995.00

7. Antiquarian Traders

Has game tables, including this chess table with hand sculpted solid Bronze chess pieces.
Cost: $20,000

6. Baltic Amber Chess set

Each figurine is carved from a massive clear amber gemstone. Also gold and "expensive wood". The pieces represent Christians versus Moslems.
Cost: $25,000

5. Go Sets

Go is the ancient game of Japan, China, and Korea, and considered one of the four arts of the Chinese gentleman.

Boards, bowls, and stones range in prices from a few bucks for mass produced stuff to thousands of dollars for hand-carved items. Of course, if an antique board from an ancient dynasty, the price is probably millions of dollars ... or priceless.

Kiseido offers a Go board - just the board - for $19,000. Stones are upwards of $4,500, and bowls upwards of $1,000. Their worth is in the grain orientation, which can't really be conveyed in pictures.

The most beautiful board I know is from Yellow Mountain Imports, which has an exquisite board that costs a paltry $1,170.00, and which can be bought on eBay or Amazon for half that.

4. Zontik Games: Silver and Leather Chess Set

Zontik makes luxury board games out of classic and modern games. Zontik licenses the games from an outfit called Geoffrey Parker, which also has its own line of luxury games.

Cost: Up to $62,450

They also have Backgammon, Dominoes, Monopoly, Scrabble, Clue, Trivial Pursuit at prices up to $7,570, and game tables, compendiums, and cubes in the $30,000 range.

3. The Charles Hollander Royal Diamond Chess set.

14k white gold and 9900 black and white diamonds. It took more than 4,500 hours to make by 30 artisans.
Cost: $500,000

2. The Charles Hollander Backgammon set.

61,082 black, white, and yellow diamonds. 6.77 kg of gold. 150 grams of silver. The playing pieces are also ringed with diamonds. It took more than 10,000 hours to make.
Cost: somewhere between $1.5 and $2 million. (source)

1. The Jewel Royale Chess Set

Currently being made by Boodles from gold and platinum, and set with diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires and pearls. Details are still forthcoming.
Cost: over £5 million (it's still being created). More production pictures here.

Yehuda Berlinger
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