Tag Archives: gold

Montblanc’s High Artistry Heritage Metamorphosis Pen Is A Déjà vu From Nearly A Decade Ago

Montblanc High Artistry Heritage Metamorphosis Pen – Limited Edition 1 White Gold

The spider is an ancient symbol that has been a recurring metaphor in the works of acclaimed authors and poets since the late 18th century. Paul Valéry and Francis Ponge are prominent figures amongst creators who frequently feature spiders in the form of literature and art. So, too, has it been rendered as inspiration for pen-makers to work the widely-celebrated spider web motif into their works. Montblanc debuted its first spider-inspired pen in 1920. Now, nearly a century later, the brand revisits the theme once again in their latest edition of Montblanc High Artistry Heritage Metamorphosis Pen.

Montblanc High Artistry Heritage Spider Metamorphosis Limited Edition 1 White Gold

Montblanc’s High Artistry Heritage Metamorphosis Pen Is A Déjà vu From Nearly A Decade Ago

This exquisite pen is exemplary of Montblanc’s expertise in pairing high artistry with the precision of pen-making to craft a truly functional yet wholly sculptural writing instrument. With advanced stone-cutting techniques and Montblanc’s know-how in nip crafting, this unique collection features hand-engraved and polished three-dimensional spider’s web motif, adorned with 13 carats of diamonds. To top off the gorgeous design, the pen set comes with a bangle and a clip, possibly in endearment of Ovid’s “The transformation of Arachne” in Metamorphoses, as the cap bears a transformative feature with a detachable spider that can be converted into a piece of jewellery: a bangle bracelet, tiepin or brooch.

The new collection is a unique vision in gold, diamonds and precious stones available in white, champagne and red. The white and champagne gold cap and barrel are paved with brilliant-cut stones. The detachable objet d’art that accompanies the pen is made from a pearl-cut diamond, 1.07-carat oval-cut Myanmar ruby and 12.36-carat Burmese star sapphire for the respective colours, and its legs set with 16 diamonds. And if that isn’t enough dazzle, the pen’s clip is set with a baguette diamond. The 18-karat gold nib is engraved with the likeness of the eight-legged captivating creature and is set with two brilliant-cut diamonds. This is the first time the luxury Maison introduces a transformable ornament on the writing masterpiece. The adoption of literacy metaphors sees the beginning of the brand weaving its way to greater creative excellence.


Reduce Plastic Waste with Tiffany’s Rose Gold Straw

Plastic waste has been greatly scrutinised by the public since photos and videos depicting plastic waste floating in the ocean have started circulating. With countless animals and fish are harmed by plastic waste, and several recent studies that have found plastic within much of the seafood we eat, the level of public awareness and attention has certainly raised to new levels.

One particular form of waste – plastic straws – has been hot in the news lately, with many advocating the use of reusable metal straws.

While authorities in countries like Taiwan have pushed for a total ban on plastic straws because of the danger they pose to the environment, most other countries have still yet to implement such laws or. To join in the mass movement against plastic waste, why not also add a bit of bling to your smoothies, iced coffee or simply your water drinking experience!

Tiffany & Co’s Crazy Straws from its Everyday Objects collection features a classic, bendable straw, features the signature Tiffany blue accent in enamel. The sterling silver straws come in three colors: silver ($335), and gold or rose gold vermeil ($470).

There are a range of other designs offered by Tiffany as well, with intricate details such as tiny silver creatures like ladybugs, and dragonflies, and even one with a beautiful monkey straw with a silver vine wrapped around it (SGD $570).

While we are at it, Tiffany and Co’s everyday collection also feature more reusable items to encourage you to make more eco-friendly choices. Consider these Tiffany cups that are inspired by the paper cups used at the stores, available in the signature Tiffany hue for the bone china cups, and also sterling silver if you’re up for some colour coordination with your Tiffany straw.

However, do refrain from pouring your hot cup of joe into the latter – as it doesn’t take heat well. Another worthy piece might be the coffee can, made of sterling silver, that will add an absolute luxe factor to your morning routines.

Take your pick for a fancy new addition to your daily life.

In related news, Tiffany is also top for mining ethicacy.

Tiffany scores top marks for ethical mining

Sustainable and ethical are hot keywords in the luxury industry. In the most recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) study, Tiffany and Co. emerges at the top for their significant efforts and contributions to address human rights risks in the gold and diamond supply chain.

The single supply mine where Tiffany sources gold from has also regulations in place to conduct regular human rights assessments. The Board of Directors also adopts a Conflict Minerals Policy, which articulates principles for responsible gold mining to its vendors. 

Tiffany is one of the five companies to establish a code of conduct in their contracts that aligns with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, along with other brands such as Bvlgari, Signet Jewelers, Pandora and Chopard. The contract details expectations regarding human rights, labor practices, environmental protection, and ethical business conduct, all of which comply with the Kimberley Process and World Diamond Council System of Warranties.

To realise the code of conduct, suppliers are required to conduct periodic self-assessments of human rights risks. Regular audits are conducted and systems have been created in place to respond to risks in their supply chain to ensure standards are met. Diamonds are only sourced from countries that are full participants in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.

Tiffany and Co. has helped launch Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) and Development Diamond Initiative (DDI) that help formalize and promote responsible artisanal mining in both the diamond and gold sectors. In addition to showing financial support to develop responsible artisanal mines, Tiffany and Co. are also exploring the possibility of sourcing from certified mines that will be feasible.

Sustainability reports are published annually, including information on actions to achieve responsible mining, ethical sourcing, and approach to supplier audits. In 2014, Tiffany & Co. pledged that it sources 100 percent of its diamonds from known mines or suppliers with multiple known mines. Recently, Tiffany has also publicly revealed that its source of newly mined gold to from Bingham Canyon, a mine owned by Rio Tinto.

Raw precious metals in Tiffany’s trade can also be directly traced to a mine or recycler. 27 percent of its gold comes from this single mine and the remaining 73 percent comes from recycled sources sourced from a single supplier. Names of other suppliers have been shared with HRW on a confidential basis.

Apart from such efforts in the supply industry, Tiffany has also taken steps to reduce their environment footprints by using sustainably sourced paper and wood-fiber materials are used for their packaging. On the packaging front, Tiffany reports that the paper suppliers for its signature blue boxes and bags were Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified.

Other brands in the report include Cartier, Chopard and Signet. For the complete list and more details, view the full HRW report.

Puregold’s Chief Marketing Officer Shawn Tham on the First Payment Gateway to use Gold-Backed Tokens

Using blockchain technology for cryptocurrencies backed by gold has been gaining traction of late. However, it is the implementation of a payment gateway for such tokenised gold is the reason why Shawn Tham believes that going back to basics with the only precious metal that matters is the way of the future. He had this to say about the company’s plans and the benefits of using Puregold Gold (PGG) as a cryptocurrency backed by gold as well as Puregold Token (PGT) as its payment gateway infrastructure.

Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Puregold?

Our company has been selling gold in retail stores since 2010. We have a Gold ATM where customers can withdraw gold. Our PUREGOLD ICO has been launched on 15th January 2018 to 14th March 2018. Expansion plans in Asia have already been inked with tie-ups of many merchants coming every day. We aim to make PG tokens the Token of Choice in Asia by Merchants and Users.

What are the advantages of using gold as a currency as compared to traditional fiat currencies?

The advantages of using gold as a currency are numerous and impossible for fiat currencies to match. To illustrate: A transaction between persons residing in different countries can still take several days to go through. There will also be a significant cost to the parties as the average cross-border transaction fee is 7.45%. So transactions with fiat currencies are both more time consuming and come with extra costs.

A transaction can now be done in seconds using Puregold Gold (PGG) via the blockchain for practically zero cost and more securely than ever before.

Gold is still perceived as a stable and reliable investment instrument. The single most important step in forging forwards with this concept into the practical mainstream is to enable people to use gold in the same way they can with any other currency.This would mean the enablement of instant payments with gold currency as though it were cash or money. People will be able to store, spend and exchange gold cheaper and in a more secure environment than what is currently available in traditional banks or fiat currency. The Gold Commerce Platform will be the decentralized core that interlocks the restricted financial world we live in today, with a futuristic gold economy with limitless and borderless opportunities.

What are your plans for the next four months?

Our ICO and PG-PAY launched on 15th January with a private launch party the day before and will end on 14th March 2018. Follow the PureGold.io Journey live on our FB Group and Youtube channel throughout the ICO.

Are there any plans to expand beyond Singapore?

Beyond that, our payment gateway PG-PAY will be expanded to tie-up with China and Africa’s existing POS payment gateway, both with a total of 2 billion daily transactions. Our expansion plans throughout Asia Pacific and Australia are already in the works and we are optimistic and excited about future prospects. Our PG Token is currently listed on COSS.io with more exchanges to come.

More generally, how do you see the cryptocurrency landscape developing, and where do you place yourself in the industry?

A trap that a lot of ICOs fall into is failure to have a coherent business model and lacking experience, consequently leading to many of them failing. This creates distrust and confusion among users and the public. We believe that our years of experience and knowledge of the gold business and our physical assets put us in a strong and strategic position to inspire public confidence.

For further information, please visit https://puregold.io/en.

Gates of Gold: Puregold issues two cryptocurrencies that are worth their collective weight in gold

There are numerous gold-back cryptocurrencies in the market. But what separates PureGold is that the implementation of a payment gateway to go along with digitalized gold using two sperate ledgers.

This takes the form of Puregold Gold (PGG) as a cryptocurrency backed by gold and Puregold Token (PGT) as the backbone of its payment gateway. As a result, a virtual store of value can also now be used as a viable currency. It is reassuring that the token issuers are veteran gold traders with physical shops for customers and ATMs that dispense physical gold conveniently.

It goes without saying that gold is still perceived as a stable and reliable investment instrument.  And while the notion of digitalized gold renders it less cumbersome and portable, the idea of going back to basics and paying for goods and services with gold takes a leap of faith that even Tether (USDT) believers will take some time getting used to.

But it’s undeniable that by latching onto blockchain technology, the amalgamation of enhanced security, minimal transaction cost and hedging possibilities to go along with cash and contactless payment is intriguing if executed well.

“It is very likely that a holder of Puregold tokens will feel secure during a crypto-crash,” says Elias Tan, CEO, and founder at Bitcrypto.Asia and a key team member at Puregold. “Investors would re would revert back to gold as the traditional safe haven during such periods of uncertainty.”

As such, Puregold is building the Gold Commerce Platform that is supported by PG Stored Value Cards that will store both PGG and PGT. And if the adoption of PG Payment Terminals takes off, merchants will be able to accept payment using these cards because of this new payment gateway.

In addition, PG Gold Dispenser Machines (DM) that are easily accessible in various locations will ease the process of topping up PGG and PGT in addition to purchasing physical bullion. The ability to seamlessly trade gold with another token holder as well as with holders of other cryptocurrencies on exchanges is the worth its weight in, ahem, gold.

Puregold’s initial token sale is currently ongoing and it will be interesting. It is possible for a futuristic gold economy breaks forth from its doldrums in a world where there are more than 42 million contactless payment terminals in the world that are currently underutilized.

For further information, please visit https://puregold.io/en.

Hautebeast: Daniel Jacob’s Epic $6,500 Made-to-Order Nike Air Jordan 1s

It’s a good week to be a hautebeast. First, the Moncler x Kith x Asics sneaker collaboration dropped and now, we have Daniel Jacob’s epic $6,500 Made-to-Order Nike Air Jordan 1s . Daniel Jacob is Chicago native who specializes in using natural gemstones to create his one-of-a-kind bespoke sneakers, and Jacob is bringing his artisan sneaker skills to the evergreen, ever-hype Nike Air Jordan 1.

Hautebeast: Daniel Jacob’s Epic $6,500 Made-to-Order Nike Air Jordan 1s

Late November 2017, the  Jordan Brand released a mixed patent leather construction Air Jordan 1 High “Top 3 Gold” with colour block layout of gold, black and white tones, wings logo across the ankles but what Daniel Jacob has created is miles better than this by far.

Bound to turn a hypebeast into a hautebeast, Jacob’s crystal-covered made-to-order Nike Air Jordan 1 is a decorative sculpture. He calls it these limited-edition Air Jordan 1 “Golds”,  Jacob starts with premium Air Jordan 1 Pinnacle sneakers and then starts to embellish his dazzling made-to-order sneakers with over 15,000 gold Swarovski crystals.

Completely hand-set, Jacob’s bespoke Air Jordan Golds is similar to the decorative sculpture (with over 140,000 Swarovski crystals hand-set on hard resin no less) he made for the 2016 Market Art and Design show in the Hamptons but with one important distinction – you can actually wear his 2018 Air Jordan Golds.

Daniel Jacob with his sneaker sculpture at the 2016 Market Art and Design show

“My work for a long time was sculpture, and my large Air Jordan sculpture was mistaken by many as wearable, and I received hundreds of requests in the last year. So much demand but I finally decided to do a mini-launch in my favorite color of my favorite Jordans, the Pinnacle.” – Daniel Jacob to Footwear News

His latest work finally bridges the divide between epic decorative arts you are dying to wear to finally, a pair of full-on wearable Air Jordan Golds. There’s a singular pair for Daniel Jacob’s “Golds” Air Jordan 1 are available now via thedanlife.com – get these amazing $6500 bespoke sneakers before they’re gone.

Here are some other cool things Daniel Jacob has done with gemstones. Check out his instagram @thedanlife


Gold blends in luxury watchmaking: 5 Gold blends in timepieces from Omega, Hublot and Chanel

Sedna gold is used with steel, here in the Seamaster Planet Ocean 45.5mm Chronograph

Sedna gold is used with steel, here in the Seamaster Planet Ocean 45.5mm Chronograph

There isn’t any status symbol that’s quite as ubiquitous as gold, and its universal appeal is easy to understand. The metal’s rarity is reason for its value, while its physical properties explain its allure gold’s density gives it heft, which implies weight and importance, while its inert nature is often associated with ideals of being constant and unchanging. That final property also means humans won’t be allergic to it, unlike silver, for example.

Still, gold isn’t without its limitations, chief among which is its softness that precludes pure gold from use in both jewellery and timepieces. By mixing gold with other metals to create alloys, however, hardness and other desirable properties can be attained. Yet this isn’t without cost literally. Alloys have lower gold content and thus less value, making them less precious unless the other metals in the mix are even more precious, like platinum. The question, then, is the purity of gold to be used in the context of watchmaking.

The watchmaking industry has settled on 18-karat (where gold accounts for 75 per cent of an alloy’s mass) as the de facto fineness for gold alloys used in timepieces. This standard is a good balance between maintaining the value of the alloy (due to its gold content), and the hardness and colours that can be achieved. Three main shades of gold are used in watches. Yellow gold is the most traditional, and retains the colour of pure gold. White gold contains nickel, palladium, or another white metal, and is usually rhodium plated for a brilliant shine. Rose gold, on the other hand, skews towards red thanks to the inclusion of copper.

Several manufactures have, in the past decade, introduced proprietary blends of gold in order to attain properties that aren’t present in the three typical alloys described above, and/or to differentiate their products. Clearly, there is still much room for development advancements are still being made as recently as 2016, when a titanium-gold alloy with four times the hardness of titanium was developed.

 Rods of Everose gold, which will be shaped into plates, tubes, bars, and wires, then machined into case components

Rods of Everose gold, which will be shaped into plates, tubes, bars, and wires, then machined into case components

Everose Gold

A manufacture that produces timepieces on the scale that Rolex does has the freedom and capability of deviating from the norm, to put it mildly. Rolex does exactly that when it comes to metallurgy. For a start, it uses 904L steel that has higher nickel and chromium content, which makes it more corrosion resistant and capable of attaining a brighter polish, albeit at the cost of greater difficulty in machining. This drawback is hardly cause for concern though, since Rolex produces its own cases anyway, and has acquired the necessary expertise and equipment to work 904L steel. A parallel exists in the development and production of gold alloys. Rolex’s in-house R&D department and gold foundry has allowed it to create its own blend of pink gold: Everose gold.

Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40 with Everose Rolesor case and bracelet

Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40 with Everose Rolesor case and bracelet

According to Rolex, the drawback for regular formulations of pink/rose/red gold is reportedly a certain tendency to fade. To be fair, this is possible, but not necessarily probable a myriad of factors are at play here, from the age of the watch to the conditions it was subjected to. Peruse an auction catalogue featuring old timepieces, however, and it is apparent that some rose gold watches can and do lose their reddish touch to end up looking more like yellow gold. Rolex developed Everose gold to prevent such an eventuality. The alloy is produced in Rolex’s own foundry from pure 24K gold, based on the manufacture’s specific recipe. Everose gold’s exact composition is a closely guarded trade secret, but it is known to contain trace amounts of platinum, ostensibly to lock in its colour.

Rolex introduced Everose gold in 2005, and uses it exclusively in lieu of regular pink gold. In the Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller, for instance, this extends from the timepiece’s case to its crown, bezel, and even bracelet. Bimetallic references of Rolex watches that contain pink gold also use Everose gold, in a blend of gold and steel the manufacture dubs Rolesor.

 Magic Gold is produced in-house within Hublot’s laboratory, which has its own foundry for processing pure gold

Magic Gold is produced in-house within Hublot’s laboratory, which has its own foundry for processing pure gold

Magic Gold

There are actually two gold blends that are unique to Hublot. King Gold has a higher-than-normal percentage of copper to make it even redder than conventional red gold and, like Rolex’s Everose Gold, contains platinum that helps it to retain its hue. What’s arguably far more impressive is Magic Gold, which has an astonishing hardness of 1,000 Vickers that Hublot claims makes it the world’s first scratchproof gold alloy.

Calling Magic Gold an “alloy” is a slight misnomer. Although it stands at 18-carat purity like all the other gold alloys discussed here, Magic Gold isn’t actually a mixture of metals (and non-metals) that are melted and blended together in a foundry. Instead, the process of creating Magic Gold begins with boron carbide, a ceramic that is the third hardest substance currently known. Boron carbide powder is first compacted into a desired shape, before being sintered to form a porous solid. Pure molten gold is then forced into these pores under 200 bars of pressure, like saturating a sponge with water, before the combined chunk of material is cooled down. Voila! The resultant mass is Magic Gold: an incredibly hard ceramic matrix that’s literally filled with gold.

Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold

Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold

Magic Gold was only introduced in 2012, and despite being successfully commercialised, remains a very challenging material for Hublot to work with. To machine Magic Gold, CNC machines equipped with ultrasonic cutters and diamond tipped tools had to be specially ordered from Germany. Milling and shaping Magic Gold components remains difficult even with such equipment just 28 bezels in this material requires around three weeks to machine. As such, production of Magic Gold parts remains limited for now, with an estimated 30 to 40 complete cases produced every month. As Hublot continues to refine its industrial processes and production efficiency with this material, however, its output is expected to scale up accordingly.

Globemaster in Sedna gold

Globemaster in Sedna gold

Sedna Gold

Omega has been making waves with its anti-magnetic movements and its involvement in developing the METAS certification, and rightly deserves attention for these efforts. The brand’s work in advancing material engineering, however, also warrants a closer look. It has, for instance, developed a process to inlay LiquidMetal, a zirconium-based amorphous alloy, into ceramic bezels using a combination of high pressure and heat. The result is the seamless melding of two contrasting materials that yield a perfectly smooth surface. Omega has also made inroads into its mastery over gold. Case in point: Ceragold, which was first introduced in 2012. Instead of LiquidMetal, 18-carat gold is combined with ceramic to form Ceragold, using a slightly different process to yield an equally high contrast bezel that is also smooth to the touch. To create Ceragold, the bare ceramic bezel is first engraved with markings, before being completely PVD-coated with a conductive metallic substrate. This interim product is then electroplated with 18-carat gold, before being polished to reveal the original ceramic surface and markings that remain filled in with gold.

Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Master Chronometer in Sedna gold, with Ceragold bezel

Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Master Chronometer in Sedna gold, with Ceragold bezel

A year after Ceragold’s release, Omega introduced Sedna gold. Named after the red-coloured minor planet, which is currently the furthest observed object in the solar system, this 18-carat alloy is a proprietary blend of gold, copper, and palladium. Like other rose gold alloys, Sedna gold owes its unique colour to its copper content. Palladium, on the other hand, functions here like platinum in other gold blends it prevents the copper content in the alloy from oxidising, thus maintaining Sedna gold’s colour. This alloy has been used in various collections, including the De Ville Trésor, Constellation, and Seamaster, and appears to have superseded the orange gold blend that Omega previously used.

Lange 1 Time Zone in honey gold

Lange 1 Time Zone in honey gold

Honey Gold

A. Lange & Söhne debuted honey gold in 2010 when it presented the “Homage to F.A. Lange” collection, which consisted of three limited edition timepieces cased in the precious material. The manufacture has been extremely selective with its usage of the alloy; it took a full five years for honey gold to make its return, this time at Watches & Wonders 2015 where the 1815 “200th Anniversary F. A. Lange” was presented as a 200-piece limited edition. Only two other watches were issued in the material subsequently, and in even smaller runs: the Lange 1 and Lange 1 Time Zone in honey gold totalled just 20 and 100 pieces respectively.

Aesthetically, honey gold’s hue falls between its pink and yellow siblings, with a noticeably lower saturation it is paler, yet redder than yellow gold, and has a marked resemblance to honey. The alloy’s colour stems from its higher proportion of copper vis-à-vis regular yellow gold, and the addition of zinc, but it retains 18-carat purity. Honey gold wasn’t actually developed for A. Lange & Söhne with appearance as the primary objective though. Instead, the manufacture was concerned with creating a more scratch-resistant case. With a hardness of 320 Vickers, honey gold has around twice the hardness of regular 18-carat yellow gold, which measures between 150 to 160 Vickers. The result? A hardier watch case that’s less prone to dings and scratches.

1815 “200th Anniversary F. A. Lange”

1815 “200th Anniversary F. A. Lange”

Despite its greater hardness, honey gold isn’t necessarily more difficult to work. Any equipment that is primed to machine steel cases, which are even harder, is more than capable of handling honey gold. When used in movement components, however, the material does present challenges for the finisseurs at A. Lange & Söhne. The “Homage to F.A. Lange” collection’s timepieces, for instance, have movements with balance cocks rendered in honey gold instead of German silver. Hand-engraving them with the manufacture’s signature floral motif is thus more difficult and time consuming, while also requiring a special set of burins with harder blades.

Mademoiselle Privé Coromandel Le Séducteur with its case and dial elements in beige gold

Mademoiselle Privé Coromandel Le Séducteur with its case and dial elements in beige gold

Beige Gold

When it comes to colours, Coco Chanel’s closest association will always be with black. After all, she was the person responsible for adding the little black dress to fashion’s lexicon. Beige was also a staple in her palette though, and like how her love for Coromandel screens continues to inform the designs of some Chanel products today, the couturière’s penchant for beige remains an inspiration for the house she built.

For Chanel, the logical extension to having fabrics and leathers in beige is a gold blend in that very hue. The alloy is a nod to Coco, who professed to “go[ing] back to beige because it’s natural”. Indeed, beige gold does conjure up images of sand, or lightly sun-kissed skin. Unique to the maison, it is an 18-carat blend that falls between yellow and pink gold in colour, while appearing significantly more muted than either. Subtlety is the name of the game here the alloy harmonises with some skin tones instead of popping out in contrast against it, and matches with a wide range of colours and textures regardless of one’s sartorial choices.

Monsieur de Chanel in beige gold

Monsieur de Chanel in beige gold

Instead of introducing beige gold in its more established jewellery line, Chanel chose to feature it in its timepieces first. The material was unveiled at BaselWorld 2014 in the J12-365 collection, where it was placed front and centre in the form of beige gold bezels sitting atop polished ceramic cases. Other women’s collections followed the next year, with line extensions for the Première, Mademoiselle Privé, and Boy.Friend all sporting full beige gold cases.

Of course, the material was never meant to be exclusive to women’s watches. In 2016, beige gold crossed over to Chanel’s jewellery division in Coco Crush rings, and further proved its versatility by appearing in a men’s timepiece: the Monsieur de Chanel.

Tokyo Gets $2 million Christmas Tree

Tokyo Gets $2 million Christmas Tree

Want to impress the kids this Christmas? A Tokyo retailer has just the thing – if you’ve got about $2.0 million to spare.

Jeweler Ginza Tanaka is going all out this season with a two-meter (6.6-foot) Christmas tree made with pure gold wire that’s as fine as angel hair pasta. If this sounds familiar, that’s possibly because the same jeweler made a splash with something similar some years ago.

The shop in Tokyo’s glitzy Ginza district says the 19 kilogram (42 pound) tree is made up of more than 1,200 meters (3,950 feet) of gold wire.

“The wire is made of the finest gold which has a 99.999 percent purity level,” Ginza Tanaka store manager Takahiro Ito told AFP on Tuesday.

Ito said the tree was made by the jeweler’s in-house artisans. The price tag? A cool 200 million yen ($1.8 million).

While it may be a stretch finding a buyer, Ito said he hoped the opulent display would show off Japan’s world-famous craftmanship.

“We want them to see our great technique and craftsmanship, and the glittering beauty of gold,” he said.

Wine Trends: Alcohol-Free with Stevia, Gold Flakes

This year’s SIAL Paris international food fair saw the debut of innovative wines that exchanged alcohol for unusual ingredients such as stevia and 24k gold leaf flakes.

Regarded in some circles as the place to discover what ingredients will be shaping culinary trends, SIAL saw representatives from 104 countries gather in Paris-Nord Villepinte to showcase their latest gastronomical innovation. The idea of alcohol-free wine – something we feel very conflicted about – was presented at the event by Languedoc-Roussillon producer Domaines Pierre Chavin.

Domaines Pierre Chavin diminishes the alcohol content (and also the calories) to zero but preserved the taste through the use of stevia sweetener for their original wine ‘Silhouet’. Stevia is said to be 100 times more potent than sugar, but still natural and forgiving in terms of empty calories. There will be three versions of Silhouet: a white chardonnay, a red merlot, and a sparkling white. The range will retail at Domaines-pierre-chavin.com and selected wine shops.

But that’s not everything that Domaines Pierre Chavin offered at the event. The winemaker also revealed plans to launch a new sparkling wine called Gold Arabesque. This chardonnay will feature 24k gold flakes. The AFP reports that, when consumed, gold helps to combat stress, relieve depression, stimulate collagen production and even reduce wrinkles. Also, it’s aesthetically pleasing. We leave you to do your own research and make your own decisions on this one. There is regular full-alcohol version of this chardonnay, Folie de Pierre instead, which you could try instead.


Gold Toilet Opens for Business at Guggenheim

Gold Toilet Opens for Business at Guggenheim

The streets may be paved with gold in heaven but in New York, it is a gold toilet providing creature comfort – and an eyeful for visitors to the city’s Guggenheim museum.

The working toilet, cast in brightly gleaming gold, has been installed in a fourth-floor bathroom for the private use of the public, taking the notion of an intimate setting for art to a new level.

The installation, “America,” is the first piece that Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan has exhibited since his 2011 retrospective at the Guggenheim.


Starting Friday, it can be used as if an ordinary unisex toilet by the museum’s visitors, Katherine Brinson, curator of contemporary art at the museum, told AFP.

Visitors “will have a remarkably intimate and unusual encounter with this particular artwork,” she said.

A guard will be posted outside the bathroom door, said the museum, which has refused to put a dollar value on the piece.

Brinson said the work had “many layers, many possible interpretative lenses that one can bring to it.”

“One can see the title as a critique but also as idealistic. After all this is a work about creating access and opportunity for all for a very wide public, even though it is this lavish luxury item.”

Extreme Extravagance: 18k Solid Gold Chess Set

There are only so many times you can visit a faraway country, buy Hermes Birkins, or pamper yourself in one too many luxurious spas. What do you do when you have too much money? The House of Solid Gold offers the panacea to your need to pump up your status. Meet the Diamond Encrusted 18k Solid Gold Chess Set.

Touted as the perfect complement to your hand-crafted Louis Vuitton case, Burberry scarves and Rolex watches, this 18k yellow and white gold chess set is unapologetically lavish. The devil’s in the details, with the carefully set black and yellow-golden diamonds adorning the board. In fact, the entire piece is meticulously handcrafted, and is the work of thirty master craftsmen who clocked in 4,500 hours of dedicated craftsmanship. Obviously, this chess set isn’t just a battleground of wits anymore; it is art, home decor, and a conversation piece (for when you’re showing off this masterpiece, not when you’re playing).

The objet d’art in question totals 4,874 black and yellow-golden diamonds, weighing in at 125.50 carats, and is crafted out of more than 1.2 kilograms of 18k solid gold. For such extravagance, the chess set is yours for the small sum of $370,000. If you have some spare change, there are also solid gold toothpicks, mountain bikes and playing dice up for grabs – or even better, as gifts for the person who has it all (we’re thinking perhaps Joseph Lau might want to look into this, if the makers can be convinced to go with blue diamonds perhaps).

Visit The House of Solid Gold’s website here.

Jeweler Poh Heng Debuts Gold Clutch

To celebrate the timeless beauty, elegance and empowerment of women, Singapore jeweler Poh Heng unveils ‘The Lady’, a collection of 12 thoughtfully crafted 22K gold jewelry pieces, including the ‘Elizabeth’, the brand’s first ever gold clutch. It is this historic bag that drew us to the story, given that Poh Heng has been a gold specialist and jeweler since 1948 but it has never ventured into accessories proper.

Poh Heng_ The Lady_Elizabeth

Clearly, a lot of thought was put into crafting the intricate clutch. Carefully fashioned from 497 grams of 22K gold, the carrier is encased in yellow gold links that resemble lace detailing and with 27 facet-cut beads for maximum shine. This exclusive bag will be placed on display at Poh Heng’s Orchard Shopping Centre outlet from 19 May 2016.

Poh Heng_ The Lady_Her Glamour_01

The rest of the collection sees glittering gold bead link patterns inspired from the ‘Elizabeth’ clutch applied to necklaces, bracelets and earrings. The 11 designs are each created to highlight the unique traits of a modern woman, and comprises of both bold and subdued accents, so there’s something for everyone.

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‘The Lady’ will be available at all Poh Heng boutiques islandwide from end May 2016.


Myanmar Sule Pagoda Re-Clad in Gold

This is the Sule Pagoda, located in downtown Yangon, currently undergoing a restoration of sorts, just in time for Myanmar’s transition to full democracy. The scaffolding forms many sharp points aimed at the sky. This renovation, refurbishing the weather-damaged monument with gold plates, each costing around $1,100, seems an entreaty towards the sky, and possibly something greater. The costs, unsurprisingly, are significant for the impoverished Southeast Asian nation, but for pious Buddhists, it is apparently worth it.

But this site has more than divine significance. It was also a site for two uprisings – the 8888 Uprising and the Saffron Revolution. In the former, Aung San Suu Kyi emerged as a national icon and tried to stir up the democratic spirit, before being placed under house arrest. In the latter, monks took to the streets with their saffron-colored robes in protest, until the junta cracked down on them. In this way the pagoda became both a holy site, and a memorial for past brutalities.

“This is our spiritual belief that people worship at the pagoda, wishing for the best for their future, their family,” said Aye, a Sule trustee board member, who like many in Myanmar goes by one name. Also, perhaps unrelated but still good to know, the word for gold in Burmese, ‘Shwe’, is a hugely popular name. Gold itself has long had a crucial role within the country, with colonial era Burmese women mainly having jewelry made of gemstones and gold. After independence, gold became even more important as the junta’s socialistic policies tore apart the economy, leaving the population with a deep suspicion of government banks.

The regilding is set to be completed by the end of March. Perhaps, viewing the pagoda at night, a bit of this can be understood beyond the fervent desire to restore this small monument into its former glory. Light glinting off the surfaces, sends yellow reflections sprawling into the darkness. It feels like something the citizenry of the ragged state can rally around. It feels like some distant dream coming impossibly close to reality…

Golden Coach

Dutch royals’ golden coach set for refit

Golden Coach

Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima left for Parliament’s opening on Tuesday for the last time before their opulent and historic “Golden Coach” undergoes an extensive refit.

Made of teak wood and covered with gold leaf, the coach is used each year to transport the Dutch royals from the king’s offices at Noordeinde Palace to Parliament about a kilometre (0.6 miles) away.

Part of the pageantry of “Prinsjesdag” (Prince’s Day), which is traditionally held on the third Tuesday of September, the royal couple is cheered by thousands of well-wishers along the way.

Drawn by eight black steeds, the coach has a plush interior and has been in use by the Dutch royals since 1901, three years after it was delivered to then reigning Dutch Queen Wilhelmina.

But it has been showing signs of wear in recent years and will now undergo “maintainance over the next three or four years,” the Dutch government said in a statement.

The royals will in the meantime ride in the much older “Glass Coach” which, although not as glitzy on the outside, is as opulently upholstered with purple velvet and a roof upholstered with white silk.

After arriving at Parliament’s historical 13th-century “Knights’ Hall”, King Willem-Alexander delivered a speech written by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, outlining the government’s plans for the year.

The Golden Coach has in recent years courted controversy, with detractors saying the paintings on its doors, notably showing black slaves bowing to white masters, glorified Dutch colonial oppression.

Beyonce Apple Watch Edition

Beyonce Has a Gold Apple Watch You Can’t Buy

Beyonce Apple Watch Edition

Beyoncé has uploaded a photo to her blog showing off an unusual version of the Apple Watch Edition, Apple Insider reports.

In place of the standard leather or flouroelastimer strap, it has a link bracelet like the less expensive Apple Watch. Unlike the standard Apple Watch, however, this link bracelet looks like it’s made of gold.

Lagerfeld apple watch

While Apple is supplying Apple Watch to big names in entertainment and fashion, only Beyonce and Lagerfeld are known to have gold link bracelets.

This Apple Watch Edition probably goes for even more than the most expensive Watch, which costs around $17,000!

BeoLab 18

Bang & Olufsen go rose gold for anniversary collection

 is celebrating its 90th anniversary by releasing six of its products in a trendy rose gold finish.

BeoLab 18

The rose gold finish of the new Love Affair collection, says the company, was achieved through a dyeing process and accompanies touches of wood, a signature material for the brand.

BeoPlay H6

Peter Bang and Svend Olufsen began creating their audio technology in the 1920s and have maintained an Art Deco aesthetic that is front and center in the new collection, which also ties in colored fabrics recently developed with fashion designer Stine Goya.

BeoPlay A9 Gold

The Love Affair Collection comprises the recently launched BeoVision Avant 85 (starting at $25,695), the all-in one entertainment system BeoVision 11-46 ($7,655) and BeoRemote One, the BeoPlay A9 music system ($2,699) and H6 headphones ($419), and the classic BeoLab 18 ($6,920), with a new walnut lamella front and a rose gold cabinet.

BlackBerry Passport Limited Edition

BlackBerry Passport Black & Gold edition revealed

BlackBerry Passport Limited Edition

 has announced the Passport Black & Gold, a limited edition consisting of just 50 devices.

In addition to a gold back cover and gold sides, this luxury edition of the Passport comes with a cover in Valextra leather.

Each device is numbered. The limited edition is available for $899.

Previously available in white, black and red, the BlackBerry Passport has a 4.5-inch square HD touchscreen (1440×1440 pixels) that breaks with current industry trends.

Powered by the BlackBerry 10.3 OS and a 2.2GHz quad-core processor, the 4G-ready smartphone has a 13MP camera with optical image stabilization and 1080p video recording, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.

The device is marketed primarily to business professionals and has a price tag of $699.99 (unlocked).

Gold-plated bike

Goldgenie’s $390,000, 24 karat gold-plated bicycle

London-based Goldgenie is selling a men’s racing bicycle covered in 24-carat gold plating, making it one of the most luxurious in the world.

Adorned with diamonds, the bike is coated in a layer of 24 carat gold, from the tip of the drop handlebars to the wheel stays and every other part in between, including every ridge of the gear chain. The gold is offset by a limited edition black San Marco suede saddle and SR4 racing tires.

Gold-plated bike

There are plans in the pipeline to release more bespoke and customizable models of the bike in the future, with options including animal skin and leather finishes for the saddle and handlebars.

The “24k Men’s Racing Bike” is available from goldgenie.com. Prices start at £250,000 (about US$391,000).



Samsung to auction gold UHDTV for charity


A curved 78-inch ultra-high definition television set is already a rather rare and exclusive commodity. But this particular set has been gold-lacquer painted using the Ottchil technique, by celebrated artist Sung Yong Hong.

The one-of-a-kind TV will be on public display at Christie’s in Hong Kong before going under the hammer on November 20 as part of the Christie’s autumn action with all proceeds from the sale going to Orbis, a global NGO that is focused on improving access to high-quality eye health.


Ottchil is a traditional Korean lacquer technique that can be traced back to the Neolithic era. Historically, it was used to coat furniture, ornaments and other valuable objects because of its protective and decorative qualities.

In more recent times Korean artists have embraced and adapted the technique for use in their work.

Sung Yong Hong’s use of Ottchil on the TV was intended to give a modern twist on the ancient art, an attempt to preserve the moments and memories that television created.

The completed piece that covers the television’s rear is called “Memory of TV” and features iconic scenes and characters from television.


“The TV is the centerpiece of every home, and we are excited to share this work of art with the clients of Christie’s Hong Kong. TV is a part of all cultures and we hope that everyone can enjoy watching it.”

“We are also very proud to support Orbis, as they work towards the prevention and treatment of the causes of avoidable blindness,” said KK Park, Executive Vice President and head of Sales & Marketing, Visual Display Business, Samsung Electronics.


Samsung Galaxy Alpha by Goldgenie

A gold-plated Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Samsung Galaxy Alpha by Goldgenie

Goldgenie, a British company specializing in device customization, has added a 24-carat gold-plated Samsung Galaxy Alpha to its offering.

Over the Galaxy Alpha’s polycarbonate shell, Goldgenie has added a 24-carat gold veneer with a thickness of between five and ten microns.


Underneath, the technical specs of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha are unchanged, from its 4.7-inch Super AMOLED screen to its octa-core processor clocked at 1.8GHz. The device is 4G ready and has 32GB of storage, enough to let users take advantage of its 12MP camera.

Presented in an exclusive cherry oak finish box, the glitzy smartphone costs €1,997 (around $2,500). For the same price, Goldgenie also offers a gold-plated Samsung Galaxy S5. The company has also given the Midas touch to various iPhone, iPad and BlackBerry models.