Guitars which are vintage, rare, owned and played by rock stars and guitar gods are sold for prices that earn them the status of being the most expensive in the world. Our focus here remains the price and the novelty values in the guitar that makes them unique and a collector’s edition. Some guitars comes encrusted with gems, festooned with solid gold, crystal-studded, artfully painted by hand, some comes with a history and some are bejeweled with sparkling Swarovski crystals. Here is our list of the world’s most expensive guitars that gives an idea to guitar lovers, that how much it costs to own these bling guitars.
1). Reach Out To Asia Fender Stratocaster Guitar
Price: $2.8 million
A unique Fender Stratocaster Guitar came out as the most notable thing auctioned to raise money for the Reach Out to Asia charity. Auctioned off in Doha, Qatar at the Ritz-Carlton hotel, this guitar is autographed by many music legends including Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood, Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Bryan Adams and many more. All these rock legends autographed this guitar to support the charity, and the auctioning the guitar was the work of Bryan Adams, an internationally acclaimed music artist. This Fender Stratocaster Guitar is noted for its strong white build on its main body, and signed by rock stars along with series of silver accents that can be found around the top end of the guitar and its neck. Her Highness Sheihka Miyyassah Al Thani, heir to throne of Qatar was the winner of the auction, and the guitar was sold for whopping $2.8 million beating out the record originally held by Eric Clapton’s Fender ‘Blackie’ Stratocaster guitar. This valuable guitar helped in raising huge money, and the proceeds will be donated to support relief efforts in Asia, devastated with Tsunami.
2).Eric Clapton’s Fender ‘Blackie’ Stratocaster guitar
Once owned by Eric Clapton, the Fender Stratocaster guitar, affectionately known as Blackie is an iconic piece of rock ’n’ roll history, and is one of the world’s most coveted guitars. It’s a mid 1950s guitar pieced together by Eric Clapton himself from various individual guitars, and it remained his main guitar throughout the 70s and 80s. Clapton’s numerous hit albums including Slowhand, 461 Ocean Boulevard and No Reason To Cry among others were recorded with Blackie. Eric on 24 June 2004 sold his Blackie at Christie’s Auction House, New York to raise funds for his founded organization, Crossroads Centre Antigua, an international center for healing and treatment facility for addiction disorders. America’s leading professional audio and musical instrument retailer, Guitar Center purchased the Blackie at auction for $959,500, garnering the record of world’s most expensive guitar now beaten by the sale of Fender Stratocaster guitar sold at auction for $2.8 million. In addition, with the permission of Eric, limited edition of Blackie replicas were made, and all got sold in just over 7 hours with a price tag of $20,000.
3). Ritter’s Flora Aurum guitar
Music seems to be smitten by the bling bug too and there’s no doubt about it. In recent times we featured a collection of crystal-studded guitars that, I’m sure, dazzled most of the music aficionados. But those seeking pure bling can rave-up as gold and diamond encrusted Ritter bass is up for grabs for$250,000. Dubbed as Flora Aurum, it features a pure gold bejeweled floral inlay with each leaf decorated with black diamonds set in platinum. Two flawless 3,3ct diamonds sit atop the two knobs while tiny green diamonds serve as knob position markers. Even the bridge, the tuner buttons and the knobs are hand-casted in gold. Exclusively handcrafted, the body is one-piece highest-figured quilted maple while the nut is crafted out of 10,000 year-old mammoth ivory. However with this entire bling factor, it still doesn’t manage to get crowned as the most expensive bass. German luthier, Jens Ritter, crafted such an ornamented Flora Aurum because he believes that "More and more people do not just want a tool for their job or hobby, they want a piece of culture.
4). 1959 left-handed Les Paul Standard Sunburst guitar
Just one of four left-handed Les Paul guitars from the 1,600 produced between 1958 and 1960 has gold sold for $194,500 at the Heritage Auction’s Vintage Guitars & Musical Instruments Signature Auction on Oct. 27th. This particular 1959 left-handed Les Paul Standard Sunburst guitar, which actually the part of a consignment of instruments and equipment from the United States Marshals Service to benefit the victims defrauded of funds from the Aspen Energy Oil and Gas Investment Scheme.
5). Rock Royalty Custom Gibson Les Paul Guitar
One-of-a-kind Gibson Les Paul guitar had been customized by Rock Royalty with factory painted black body and white trim. The guitar is featured with four handmade Rock Royalty custom guitar volume knobs along with 24.56 carats total black and white diamonds set in superior silver finished with 22kt yellow gold rims and black ruthenium. Further, a handmade Rock Royalty custom guitar selector switch studded with 2.01 carats black and white diamonds set in the exemplary silver finished with black ruthenium and yellow gold rim of 22kt. The handmade tuning keys of the guitar are decorated with 17.52 carats black and white diamonds again set in sterling silver finished with black ruthenium. The Rock Royalty handmade pick-guard looks great in sterling silver with black hand-painted enamel and 22kt gold border which features a Rock Royalty skeletonized 1/1 logo in yellow gold of 22kt set with white diamonds of 2.08 carats.
6). Martin's 'History of Flight' custom inlaid guitar
Investing in art is a trend that has crossed the monarchy of paintings long back. People love to spend on sculptures, historical abodes, and even musical instruments. If you are looking for some finest quality music instrument, C.F. Martin & Co. has produced a unique guitar dubbed "History of Flight" honoring the legacy of air and space travel. Designed by Master Luthiers and celebrated artist Larry Robinson, the History of Flight acoustic is a tribute to the technology that defined the 20th century. Made from the finest materials, the unique guitar has Brazilian Rosewood back and sides, and a solid Adirondack Spruce top. The package comes complete with a Martin carbon fiber case and a "Making Of" DVD featuring footage of Larry Robinson and the Martin factory. The masterpiece could be yours for US $150,000.
7). Custom Fender Guitar by Damien Hirst
Damien Hirst, who is also known as the richest artist in Britain and is known for his outstanding artworks, is yet again in news. An exceptional Fender Stratocaster guitar has been hand painted by Damien Hirst that was used by the late ’70s band Squeeze. This legendry guitar is being auctioned at Christie’s Post-War & Contemporary Art sale in London on September 14. The Fender Stratocaster guitar is artfully painted by hand and is dated back to 1954. It has been used in many performances by famous musicians like Buddy Holly who played it in his show in 1958. The auction house is expecting to fetch $25,000 for this iconic guitar. The proceeds of this sale would go to the cancer charity organization Love Hope Strength Foundation and Teenage Cancer Trust. This is not the only Damien Hirst’s guitar that is being auctioned; last year also a guitar painted by Hirst was sold for $146,730. Other artworks of Damien Hirst that we have covered earlier are Louis Vuitton’s Travel case, Artistic Skateboards and the most renowned was his controversial blinged baby skull.
8). Midnight Opulence Fender Stratocaster
One of the most expensive Fender electric guitar named ‘Midnight opulence’ is notable for being encrusted with different type of jewels including citrine, diamonds, peridot, emeralds and blue topaz. Handmade from scratch, guitar is exclusively made by a celebrity master builder Yuriy Shishkov from Russia. The wires of the guitar are hand-hammered of fine silver and rose gold design. Swee Lee Music Company brought the guitar to Singapore after winning the bid at the National Association of Music Merchants in Los Angeles. Now the guitar is available for sale in Singapore at the price of $90,000. As per the reports, around 15 people are interested in buying the guitar including celebrities and buyers from Malaysian and Brunei Royalties.
9). Rock Royalty's $85,000 custom alligator guitar
This custom alligator skin, diamond and sterling silver Fender Telecaster guitar from Nashville-based luxury design house Rock Royalty is sure to lure the guitar lovers with its drop-dead gorgeous looks and high-end specs. The one-of-a-kind KAGED alligator guitar with Fender Telecaster body is covered in fine natural black alligator skin from Louisiana. The guitar has Rock Royalty's patent-pending steel cage with chrome finish and red aluminum screws. The custom diamond & alligator guitar flaunts black diamond and sterling silver volume knobs, a selector switch adorned with rubies and six handmade diamond tuning keys set in sterling silver finished with black ruthenium. The Rock Royalty KAGED Alligator Custom Guitar costs a whopping $85,000. If you are willing to spend even more, you can also check out the $125,000 Rock Royalty’s custom Gibson Les Paul guitar.
10). Precious Rebels Art Guitars
Price: $15,000 to $75,000
Since the time "bling" has crept into our dictionary, nothing in this world has been untouched by its glitter. And if you have been stunned by Shakira's Swarovski guitar, then you need to open your eyes and watch out for more stunning bejeweled guitars we have bought to you today. And as it has always been difficult to separate the two words, glamour and music, Amanda Dunbar’s Precious Rebels Art Guitars also prove the same. Swapping a canvas for guitar, this artist has plastered them with loads of colorful, shiny crystals that enhance its oomphness. Aptly dubbed as "Precious Rebels," the blinged-out works of playable art run from $15,000 to $75,000. Designed to be more than beautiful sculptures or just basic musical tools, these titivated guitars are an innovative integration of technology, art, music to be played, displayed and enjoyed. Don’t they epitomize the meaning of blinged art in the world of music, regardless of who's trying to play them? So far, the artist has created more than 30 guitars, such as the "Capri Tiger," which features a metallic blue-and-black tiger crystal design. Another, "The Parisian," is an intricate black-and-white swirled number. Also the Grammy Awards had requested a special guitar created by the artist that will be used to commemorate their 50-year anniversary. And Dunbar came up with a Gibson Black Beauty Les Paul with predominantly jet-black and black-diamond Swarovski crystals. Ah, if your fingers are itching to play a few notes on this pimped guitar, you need to keep them in your pockets as the yet, the guitars are not for sale to the general public. However it is believed that a major retailer is looking into carrying the line, and musicians and others in the music industry have also shown interest.
11). Gibson Zakk Wylde Bulls Eye
Known for its mammoth tone and over-the-top rock attitude, the Gibson Zakk Wylde Bulls Eye has been stripped down to become the definitive bling instrument. Commissioned by an anonymous Monaco-based British celebrity, this limited edition Gibson guitar is encrusted with 4,000 individual Swarovski crystals - each measuring exactly 4mm in diameter and covered in 24-carat gold. This rock work of art is done by Kim Webber Guitars and gold-plating specialist from Gold2U, who imported the instruments 24-carat gold strings from Germany. Also featuring the maple neck plated with 24 carat gold frets, the stunningly unique final product is estimated to cost around $24,200.
12). Dunbar Studios Swarovski studded Lions Rouge
For each one of us the idea of the "taste of music" is different. For some music is food and for some music is life, but there’s also the kind whose acoustic needs are satiated through ocular temptation. This is why acclaimed artist Amanda Dunbar transforms an American classic into a playable work of magical art. Transforming a Paul Reed Smith electric guitar into a unique art dubbed "Lions Rouge," Amanda adorned this limited edition art guitar with sparking Swarovski crystals for Dunbar Studios. Limited to just five units, "Lions Rouge" priced at $22,750, features mahogany neck and rosewood fingerboard, each signed by the artist and has a radio frequency identification tag for security.
13). Vintage Gibson Les Paul Deluxe
Looks like it does not end at owning a guitar made by Gibson will do the trick; there needs to be a special makeover to please the discerning guitarist. After the 25/50 special edition and Firebird X, it’s the Gibson Les Paul deluxe guitar which gets a 24 carat gold and pearl makeover. Created by expert luthier Mr. Kim Webber, each strand of the guitar string has been individually coated with gold, apart from applying the precious yellow metal on the body. This was followed by the installing of the Mother of Pearl stones and shells, apart from recreating the mini-pickups in bronze as well. This has now been turned into a one-off piece of art, with a price tag of £10,000 ($15,875).
When the guitar came to Mr. Webber a while back, it was bought to him in a not so good condition. Hence, it meant that he had to taken apart, and then rebuilt individually with most of the construction redone according to the demands of the customer. It involved using white mother of pearl, as well as its golden variety on the inner layering of the guitar. After that came the reconstruction of the mini pick-ups of the guitar, which was done by a local metal worker especially for the customer? It was also then plated with 24-karat gold, something which was done on the strings as well, and eventually installed on the musical instrument.
Mr. Webber isn’t doing this job for the first time, or isn’t really a newbie. He has made numerous such one-off instruments for collectors, who have asked for some really whacky designs such as one with 4,000 Swarovski crystals. Hopefully this special edition will fall into a particular category of a custom made piece, which he estimates to be worth around £10,000 ($15,875). It’s just that we didn’t catch hold of the buyer’s name for this guitar.