The Most Expensive Tattoo in the World
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The Most Expensive Tattoo in the World

The Most Expensive Tattoo in the World

How much should a tattoo cost? $100? $500? $2,000? Tattoos are usually priced based on their size, color, location on the body and complexity of design. A tattoo artist who charges you $500 for a good ink design has to be pretty good to charge that much. But what about the one that charges $924,000? Yes, that’s right, there’s a tattoo right now that is valued at almost one million dollars.

What makes it so expensive?

While almost all tattoos are drawn using ink, this one is made using actual diamond stones hence the high price tag. It consists of 612 diamond stones each weighing in at half a carat.

The story behind the most expensive tattoo in the world

The diamond tattoo was actually a marketing gimmick by a jewelry retail store in South Africa. Known as Shimansky, the luxury store has 8 branches locally in South Africa and 4 international ones abroad. The store serves some of the most famous clients in the world. They include Bill Clinton, Lee Ryan, Charlize Theron and Christina Aguilera.
In 2010 during the FIFA World Cup held in South Africa, the retailer took the opportunity to market its brand. It created a ball fully encrusted with diamonds. It consisted of 2,640 black and 6,620 white diamond stones. In total, the ball weighed 3,500 carats or 2.2kgs.
As you can guess, the price tag for it (R20million or 1.7 million US dollars) is one that can only be afforded by a select few.

This was followed by the idea of creating a tattoo out of diamond stones.

The tattoo bearer

Finding the right person to carry the tattoo was as important as the tattoo itself. After a careful search, one of the most acclaimed models in South Africa and in the world, Minki van der Westhuizen, was chosen. In the modeling industry since she was just 16, she has appeared in popular magazines such as Sports Illustrated, GQ, Elle, Glamour,
Cosmopolitan and Bravo. At the time she was chosen, she was already the store’s brand model.

Putting diamonds on someone’s skin is definitely not an easy job, it took the best of the best. Minki, the model, had to endure through 8 grueling hours of tattooing as artists carefully adhered each stone onto the skin on her back using a water adhesive. This type of adhesive was chosen to ensure that the diamonds could come off at a later time and not get attached permanently which would have brought about comfort issues when she lay on her back.

Each of the 612 stones had to be attached onto her skin one by one. The final design was an amazing floral pattern. Combining the skill required, the design, the labor and the diamonds themselves it is easy to see how the value came to almost one million US dollars.

If an ink tattoo simply does not do it for you, then this is something to consider having. For those with $924,000 to spare, the store has plans to offer the design in its other local and abroad locations giving you a chance to spot a million dollar tattoo on your body.

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