15 Most Expensive Gifts in the World and How Much They Cost

One proven way of expressing our affection for loved ones is through gifts. It could be something as simple as a card or a love note. It could also take the shape of a box of chocolates or a flower bouquet. When we want to go really big, we may splurge on a cruise or even designer shoes in a bid to bring joy to our loved ones.

The definition of big, however, takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to the rich and famous amongst us. They have been known to splash out tens of millions of dollars on private jets and superyachts for their significant other. Some have also gifted their loved ones prized works of art and entire islands.

Even before this present generation, a 17th-century Indian ruler named Shan Jahan spent over 22 years and nearly a billion dollars of today’s money constructing a mausoleum in memory of his late wife. That edifice stands tall to date and is now one of the major tourist attractions in the world, the Taj Mahal.

15 Most Expensive Gifts in the World and How Much They Cost

15. A George Condo-Designed Hermès Bag – $40,000

The Giver – Kanye West
• The Receiver – Kim Kardashian

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The legendary relationship between Kanye West and Kim Kardashian may now be in the doldrums but they did serve us major couple’s goals while they were together. Apart from the fact that they gave birth to adorable kids, the pair also ruled the red carpet with their jaw-dropping outfits. They were also known to go over the top when it came to gift-giving.

For Christmas day 2013, West gave his wife an exquisite Hermes bag. This was no ordinary purse as it featured a customized nude painting by a famous artist known as George Condo. The bag itself was ordinarily worth $40,000. It is not known how much that George was paid for his work though but it is believed to have been quite steep given his fame.

14. A Burj Khalifa Apartment – $1 million (est.)

• The Giver – Raj Kundra
• The Receiver – Shilpa Shetty

Burj Khalifa
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The Burj Khalifa is not just one of the tallest buildings in the world but also one of the most luxurious. For a price starting at $1 million, you can get an apartment for your loved ones and this was exactly what British businessman Raj Kundra did in 2010. He purchased an apartment for his newly-wedded wife, Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty.

The couple would occupy the pad for about five years before selling it for a bigger place as their family expanded. It must be noted that this is not the only expensive gift that Raj Kundra has bestowed upon his beloved wife. Others include a 7-bedroom villa in the United Kingdom, a 20-carat diamond ring, and a blue Lamborghini.

13. King Abdullah’s Jewellery Gifts to the Obamas – $1.3 million

• The Giver – King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud
• The Receiver – The Obamas

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Back in 2014, then-American president Barack Obama and his family embarked on a state visit to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They were met with much fanfare and the then-ruler, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud (now late), proceeded to shower them with several gifts. To the president, he gave a gold and silver watch as well as a white gold watch.

To the first lady, the late king bequeathed a diamond and emerald jewelry set worth $560,000 and a pearl jewelry set worth $570,000. The Obama children were also not left out as they got a diamond and emerald jewelry set as well as a diamond and ruby jewelry set to divvy amongst themselves. Sadly, the Obamas couldn’t retain these gifts as the law provides that such must be turned over to the National Archives and Records Administration for keeps.

12. A Waterfall and the Surrounding Land in California – $1.6 million

• The Giver – Angelina Jolie
• The Receiver – Brad Pitt

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Brangelina may be no more but it is one coupling that would never be forgotten in a hurry. Asides from their huge brood, the superstar couple reigned supreme in Hollywood and also made a name for themselves with their philanthropic work. In the course of their 12-year relationship, they also gave lavish and expensive gifts to each other.

For instance, in January 2013, Jolie purchased a waterfall as well as the surrounding land for Pitt. It was meant to double as both his Christmas gift as well as his 48th birthday gift. Sources close to the couple later revealed that the Oscar-winning actress purchased the gift for her man in the hopes that he would get to realize his dream of having a home located atop a waterfall.

11. Solid Gold Bathtub – $2-$2.3 million

• The Giver – Mike Tyson
• The Receiver – Robin Givens

Most Expensive Gifts
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Back in the day, Mike Tyson gifted his first wife Robin Givens a golden bathtub for her birthday. The couple later split up and Tyson hung onto his expensive gift for several years before off-loading it in 2013. The buyer was eccentric billionaire Derwood Hodgegrass and he snapped it up for about $1.2 million. He stated that he was going to install it in his master bedroom and that he purchased it because gold was always valuable. Some of Hodgegrass’s staff later expressed doubt that the bathtub their employer purchased was actually Tyson’s. They, however, confirmed that the bathtub was indisputably solid gold.

10. The Statute of Liberty – $5.4 million (adjusted for inflation)

• The Giver – The French People
• The Receiver – The United States of America

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The Statue of Liberty has long been a major symbol of the U.S. and it has a rich history. It was gifted by the French people to the Americans as a sign of friendship as well as to celebrate the successful American fight for independence. This gift took joint efforts on the part of both parties involved.

French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi created the statue out of sheets of hammered copper, while Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel (the man behind the famed Eiffel Tower) designed the statue’s steel framework. It was then shipped to America where it was erected atop a pedestal that the Americans had built in Upper New York Bay (presently known as Liberty Island) in 1886. The statue remains a major landmark in America and attracts numerous visitors each day.

9. The Most Expensive Diamond Ever Sold – $6.6 million (adjusted for inflation)

• The Giver – Richard Burton
• The Receiver – Elizabeth Taylor

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The 9th most expensive gift ever was the diamond that late actor Richard Burton bought for his then-wife, actress Elizabeth Taylor in 1969. As the story goes, the actress had previously seen the diamond and immediately fell in love with it. Her husband noticed this and immediately dispatched his lawyer to bid for the diamond during the public auction held in New York. The lawyer failed in his task, as he was only given about $1 million, and the diamond ended up in the hands of a bidder who paid $1.05 million. Undeterred, Burton got in touch with the successful bidder and was able to negotiate to buy the diamond for $1.1 million. He subsequently presented it to his cherished wife.

8. Alberto Giacometti’s Femme de Venise I Sculpture – $14 million

• The Giver – Roman Abramovich
• The Receiver – Dasha Zhukova

Most Expensive Gifts
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If you are the wife of a billionaire Russian oligarch, then you can pretty much expect that anything that you desire will be yours. This was the life that Dasha Zhukova previously lived. The businesswoman and art collector was married to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich from 2008 to 2017, a time during which he indulged her love for the arts. Abramovich gifted Dasha a group of 40 paintings by Russian artist Ilya Kabakov (priced at $30-60 million each).

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There was also the gift of works by Francis Bacon ($86 million) and Lucian Freud ($33 million). One purchase that stole the headlines was in 2008 when Dasha and Abramovich attended the Basel Art Fair. While strolling around, Dasha became enamored with the work of a Swiss sculptor named Alberto Giacometti titled Femme de Venise I. Her husband returned the next day and bought it for her for $14 million.

7. Cartier Pearl Necklace – $20 million (adjusted for inflation)

• The Giver – Morton Plant
• The Receiver – Maisie Plant

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This particular gift is not just expensive in terms of its price but also because of what it eventually cost the giver. As the story goes, the late American banker Morton Plant owned a home on Fifth Avenue, New York. At one point, the founder of Cartier, Pierre Cartier, was looking for a place to serve as his flagship store when he stumbled onto the house. He then proposed to trade some of his exquisite natural pearls for the house as they were both respectively worth $1 million.

Plant readily agreed to the deal and gifted the pearls to his young wife, Maisie. In hindsight, it was a bad decision for him. The price of natural pearls would fall over time and so when the pearl necklace was sold, it only fetched about $150,000. Meanwhile, that same Fifth Avenue home now goes for hundreds of millions of dollars.

6. A Bombardier Challenger 85 Jet – $40 million

• The Giver – Beyoncé
• The Receiver – Jay Z

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Jay-Z and Beyoncé are worth a collective $1.35 billion and as such, can afford to give each other ridiculously-expensive gifts. Back in 2010, Queen Bey bestowed a $2 million Bugatti Veyron on her husband to commemorate the occasion of his 41st birthday. Two years later, she outdid herself by getting a Bombardier Challenger 85 Jet worth $40 million for him. This was simply just to wish him a happy father’s day, following the birth of their first child Blue Ivy, and she also got him a sapphire ring worth $500,000. Beyoncé’s generosity is not limited to her husband. She gifted her first child, Blue Ivy, an $80,000 diamond-encrusted doll for her first birthday. The birthday party itself cost $100,000.

5. An Airbus A319 Corporate Jet – $60 million

• The Giver – Mukesh Ambani
• The Receiver – Nita Ambani

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In 2007, India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, purchased an Airbus A319 corporate jet to commemorate his wife Nita’s birthday. Even though his company refused to confirm it, the sale was confirmed by the company that produced the jet. The jet reportedly contains entertainment cabins, a sky bar, and fancy showers. Other exquisite features include an office, a cabin with game consoles, satellite television, and wireless communication, a master bedroom, a bathroom with a range of showers, and a bar with mood lighting.

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4. A Private Luxury Superyacht – $84 million

• The Giver – Anil Ambani
• The Receiver – Tina Ambani

Most Expensive Gifts
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Just a year after Mukesh purchased a corporate jet for his wife, his younger brother Anil decided to toe a similar path and get his wife Tina a lavish gift of her own. The gift was a superyacht that was constructed in Genoa, Italy, and reportedly cost as much as €34 million to build. Other factors such as refurbishing and payment of excise duties later made the price reach $84 million. According to people in the know, Anil purchased the superyacht for his wife because it is one of her long-cherished dreams. Another motivating factor was to one-up his elder brother. It is a well-known fact that the Ambani brothers have been in a prolonged rivalry ever since their dad passed away.

3. The Taj Mahal – $827 million (adjusted for inflation)

• The Giver – Shan Jahan
• The Receiver – Mumtaz Mahal

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The 3rd most expensive gift in the world’s history is the Taj Mahal. A UNESCO heritage site, it was commissioned by the 17th-century Mughal emperor, Shan Jahan, to house the remains of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth. Jahan started planning for the mausoleum in 1631 and actual construction started a year later. The project would last for the next two decades during which 20,000 workers and 1,000 elephants were brought in to help out. It gulped $827 million in today’s dollars before it eventually became reality. The Taj Mahal is now a major landmark in India and the government takes steps to protect it.

2. The 2016 Lavish Russian Wedding – $1 billion

• The Giver – Mikhail Gutseriev
• The Receiver – Said Gutseriev

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Most parents often pitch in to help their kids with the costs for their wedding but Russian billionaire oligarch, Mikhail Gutseriev, took it to a whole new level when he splashed out a whopping $1 billion to organize his son, Said’s wedding in 2016. The ceremony took place in a Moscow restaurant and the venue was dripping with flowers and fairy lights. The 600+ guests were ferried to the restaurant with Bentleys and Ferraris. The bride herself wore a bejeweled Elie Saab dress that cost about $1 million and completed her look with a matching handbag, diamond tiara, and huge diamond neck pendant. She equally changed into other gorgeous gowns in the course of the ceremony.

For the music, Said’s father hired superstars such as Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias, and Sting to thrill the crowd. The wedding cake was a lavish nine-tier creation while the guests dined on sushi and European cuisine.

1. Cubist Art Collection – $1.1 billion

• The Giver – Leonard Lauder
• The Receiver – The New York Metropolitan Museum of Art

Most Expensive Gifts
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Even though it may not be as ostentatious as other items on this list, the most expensive gift remains a collection of cubist artworks worth a whopping $1.1 billion. The donor was Leonard Lauder, heir to the massive Estee Lauder cosmetics fortune. Leonard had a taste, as well as the resources, for acquiring art, and in 2013, he decided to share some of it with the rest of the world. He, therefore, gave a large cache of artworks to the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. The gift was unrestricted and helped improve the museum’s sorely deficient collection of cubist art. The haul included 13 Picassos, 17 Braques, 14 Grises, and 14 Legers.

Recap of the 15 Most Expensive Gifts in the World and How Much They Cost

1. Cubist Art Collection – $1.1 billion

2. The Lavish Russian Wedding – $1 billion

3. The Taj Mahal – $827 million (adjusted for inflation)

4. A Private Luxury Superyacht – $84 million

5. Airbus A319 Corporate Jet – $60 million

6. Bombardier Challenger 85 Jet – $40 million

7. Cartier Pearl Necklace – $20 million (adjusted for inflation)

8. Alberto Giacometti’s Femme de Venise I Sculpture – $14 million

9. The Most Expensive Diamond Ever Sold – $6.6 million (adjusted for inflation)

10. The Statute of Liberty – $5.4 million (adjusted for inflation)

11. Solid Gold Bathtub – $2 – $2.3 million

12. Waterfall and Surrounding Land in California – $1.6 million

13. King Abdullah’s Jewellery Gifts to the Obamas – $1.3 million

14. A Burj Khalifa Apartment – $1 million est.

15. A George Condo-Designed Hermès Bag – $40,000

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Ngozika Agu
Ngozika can turn any personal finance or entertainment information into an exciting, delightful and compelling article that informs and educates, she can quickly turn random letters into epic stories that not only entertain but also inspires or motivates

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