Thousands of precious gems? Check! Made of iron from space? Check!
Poker is a game of high stakes. Hundreds of thousands and even millions can be lost and won in any of the world’s major poker tournaments, while millions more are at stake in the most expensive and exclusive poker games ever played. Of course, poker’s allure can largely be traced to its high-stakes nature. As such, some designers have made it their mission to build some of the most expensive poker sets ever manufactured.
So far, the most expensive poker set ever made is London-based designer Geoffrey Parker’s bespoke poker set, which according to WPTmag.com is valued at £4.4 million ($7.5 million). It’s definitely not something for the typical home game. As the designer himself states, it was built specifically for the “super rich” who want to dazzle their guests.
One of the major reasons for the exorbitant price of this bespoke set is the number of precious stones embedded in the chips and the case. The set features an estimated 22,364 stones totaling about 1,012 carats. The chips each have color-coded stones set on their edges – sapphires for the blue, ruby for the red, emeralds for the green, and black and white diamonds for the black and white chips, respectively. The dealer button features two rows of diamonds on the edges. As for the case itself, it has an 18k gold and diamond frame.
Let’s try and put all of this into perspective. A deck of cards is usually priced at $10 or so. Even the custom designed ones that can be found on Kickstarter can be bought for around $30 and below. Online gaming giant bwin’s PartyPoker-branded poker set – as in the complete set for up to eight players with a total of 500 chips inside an aluminum case – can be yours for £50 or $84. You can sell one of the 384 18k white gold chips included in the Geoffrey Parker set, buy a bwin poker set, and still have plenty of change left over.
Coming in at a far second is bespoke jewelry maker Stahl’s Meteorite Set, a one-off poker set featuring inlays made from an iron meteorite that crashed into Northen Sweden millennia ago. Along with 120 calibrated slices of the iron meteorite found mostly in the chips and the dealer button, the set also features diamonds, rubies, sapphires and gold. The set comes in a hand stitched Swedish calf skin case with Swedish reindeer suede lining and 18K white gold hinges and locks. Oh, and the accompanying dice are apparently made from Swedish woolly mammoth bones. The Meteorite Set is far and away less expensive compared to the one by Geoffrey Parker, but its $150,000 price tag still makes it one of the most expensive poker sets ever made.