Money can?t buy you happiness. But it can buy you a top actor, a classic painting or one of the worst-looking watches we?ve ever seen?

Making movies is a costly business, but it can make you a lot of money in return ? as long as the film doesn?t go bust. Fittingly, the most expensive movie title is tied between a big success and incredible flop. Both Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World?s End and John Carter cost around $300 million (R2.5 billion) to make, but while Pirates flourished, Carter bombed. At World?s End grossed a healthy $963 million (R8.1 billion) worldwide. John Carter only made $282 million (R2.3 billion).


Many say art is an investment, but you never know what a painting might be worth ? or whether someone mutilating it with black and red paint will actually raise the value. The great impressionist master Paul C?zanne certainly did not think a painting from his series about card players would rank as the world?s most expensive. Yet the final of the five paintings, which also once adorned a French postage stamp, fetched $250 million (R2.1 billion) at an auction in 2011. The buyer was the Arab country of Qatar, keen to establish its art and culture credentials.


The name of the Mouawad?s 1001 Nights Diamond Purse is a lie. Instead, you can expect to find over 4,500 diamonds on it. Crafted out of 18 karat gold, the heart-shaped purse took 8,800 hours ? roughly four months ? to be made. Its status as the most expensive handbag is even acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records. To own it, simply be willing to charge your card to the tune of $3.8 million (R31 million).

Animal Product

Musk has long been held as the most expensive animal product you can buy and in some ways it still is. A kilogram of musk, harvested from a type of deer and certain plants, can apparently fetch around $45,000 (R378,000). But natural musk is not in such demand anymore as synthetic versions are now much more common and cheaper to manufacture. Alas, the next-most expensive animal product is none other than rhino horn. Most horns are not sold as medicine, but instead as a symbol of wealth ? not hard to understand when you realise a kilogram of the stuff will cost between $20,000 (R168,000) and $65,000 (R546,000) a kilogram.


It is rather tricky to work out exactly how much U2?s 360 tour cost, but some estimates are at around the $150 million (R1.2 billion) mark. This is not hard to believe ? in fact, it might be higher. The famous ?Claw? rig built for the concert cost around $23 million (R193 million) ? and three were made. In addition, the running costs of the show was a staggering $750,000 (R6.3 million) per day, regardless of whether there was a concert that day or not. The 360 tour was such an expensive operation that despite breaking the all-time concert earnings record with $736 million (R6.1 billion) dollars, it still barely made a profit.


Expensive wine is a bit of a puzzle. First, once you open it, all that value goes down the drain. Second, if you already had a bottle beforehand, it probably will taste the same as the house wine. Or perhaps we are just a bunch of philistines. But spending $168,000 (R1.4 million) for a single bottle of wine ? even if it comes in a special bottle ? is madness. There are only twelve bottles of Penfolds 2004 Block 42, each served in a special ampoule ? a sealed vial. It?s such a big deal that the wine sellers will even hold a special opening ceremony if you buy a bottle. Forget that ? we?re keeping ours in a shoebox at the back of the closet, in case we need a heart transplant.


If you want the world?s most expensive cake, there are plenty to choose from and they all come studded with diamonds. But that is cheating and, besides, everyone knows cake is not real dessert. It needs to be something more elaborate. As such the runner-up to the most expensive dessert is actually the more expensive of the two: for $60,000 (R500,000) you are flown to Kilimanjaro, where Three Twins Ice Cream makes ice-cream from the very glacial ice of the mountain. But that price also includes airfare, 5-star accommodation and a t-shirt, plus a five-figure donation to a charity. If you simply want to slap down a lot of cash for a sweet treat, head to Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel in the U.K. and order the chocolate dessert, complete with gold leaves and a 2-carat diamond, for $34,000 (R286,000).


Women?s delicates are expensive, but that does not mean no attempt is being spared at making them even more costly. The frontrunner for lacey things that require a billionaire?s bank roll is Victoria?s Secret, which has routinely released bras studded with diamonds. The current record holder is its Heavenly Star Bra, which has a huge 90-carat emerald and over 1,200 pink sapphires. To own it, just spend $12.5 million (R105 million).


As you may have noted by now, plenty of these most-expensive records get their nod by adding some expensive bling to the mix. Ditto for the five pieces of nigiri sushi, made by Angelito Araneta Jr. in the Philippines. Each is garnished with diamonds, which must wreak havoc on your digestive system, and is folded with gold leaf. A plate will set you back just shy of $2,000 (R16,800). Hopefully that comes with a bowl to spit the diamonds into?


This is a tough question to answer. Technically the actor that will cost you the most is Tom Cruise, but he makes the vast majority of his money from taking a percentage of a movie?s earnings. Johnny Depp often has a similar deal, but he also still commands quite a healthy paycheque. To hire Depp, you can expect to pay anything from $7 million (R58 million) to $50 million (R420 million). It is rumored he will be paid over $90 million (R757 million) for the fifth Pirates Of The Caribbean, but his people have said this is a myth.


Throwing out everything but the sink might be a good move ? it could be your most valuable asset. That is, of course, if you invested in Luxury Edition & Gallery?s BLID?. It weighs 23 kilograms and is covered with 24-carat gold. Nine diamonds decorate the front, pushing the price up to $80,000 (R673,000). But you won?t find it in any shop ? it was a special order for a customer. If you do get one, though, be sure to match it with the Le Grand Queen, a $1.74 million (R14.5 million) bathtub honed out of gemstone rock.


On the short-lived TV series ?Bull?, a stocktrader explained to a peer why they wear expensive watches. It?s not because expensive watches tell better time, it?s because their clients expect to see you wearing an expensive watch. Still, you must really want to impress someone if you are going to pay $25 million (R210 million) for a timepiece. It?s not as if the Chopard 201-carat watch is a marvel of engineering, like the watches made by Patek. You can hardly even see the actual watch, because it is bombarded with hundreds of diamonds, including three pretty big ones?

Paper Bag

Yes, ?paper bag?. Adding this item might encourage accusations that this list is just making things up, but sadly somewhere out there plenty of people are paying nearly $300 (R2,500) for a Jil Sander designer paper bag. Apparently it?s made from nice, coated paper and stitched for that extra lunch-bearing potential. And, no, you can?t wash it. If the larger bag is a bit too expensive, you can pay $280 (R2,300) for the smaller version. They also have a designer plastic shopping bag?

Source : James Francis (MSN)


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