Golden Monopoly Set, The world’s most expensive incarnation of the Monopoly board game is headed to Wall Street. Here's another Golden Stuff that would be the world's most expensive set of monopoly game.
An 18-karat gold version of the famous Parker Brothers board game will be on display beginning Friday at the Museum of American Finance. The gold and jewel-encrusted Monopoly is estimated to be worth roughly $2 million.
The set of dice alone is valued at $10,000, with 42 full-cut diamonds for the number dots. All of the properties that make up the game board are also set in gems, with some 165 gemstones in total. The “Chance” and “Community Chest” cards are photo-etched.
The notion of creating a blinged-out version of the board game came about in 1988, when San Francisco jeweler Sidney Mobell heard about a Monopoly tournament taking place in London. He called Parker Brothers (now part of Hasbro Inc.) for permission and then set to work creating the golden game, working every day for a year straight.
An ounce of gold cost between $360 and $460 when Mobell started working on the game set. Now the price of gold has topped $1,300 an ounce.
When Mobell brought the finished board to London, he was closely followed by guards, he says. “I felt like the king of England.” That was the only time the prized set was played on: a showdown between him and Britain’s former Prime Minster Edward Heath, he says.
Mobell, 84, has staked out a career as an unconventional crafter of decadence. He’s made diamond-encrusted yo-yos and mousetraps, as well as solid gold sardine cans, cellphones and eyeballs. Not to mention a gold toilet seat and garbage cans, long before John Thain’s $35,000 commode made headlines. And Monopoly is not his only contribution to the rarefied world of lavish board games: Mobell has also made bejeweled backgammon, dominos and chess sets.
The Monopoly board will be on display at the Museum of American Finance for two years, on loan from the Smithsonian. It is one of 19 works donated by Mobell in January 2003 in honor of his late wife .
Monopoly’s rich history continues to draw avid followers, competitors and discussion, even a century after it was introduced. A tournament for younger players will take place at the museum this Friday as well.
Mobell relishes the notion that such a decadent symbol of capitalism as a game is heading to the heart of the financial crisis. “The timing is fantastic,” he says. But if any financiers are thinking of blowing their bonuses on the Monopoly board, they should be warned: “The set is not for sale.