Wouldn’t it be nice to have so much money that you could choose to buy anything you wanted without checking your bank balance first? Maybe you’d want to buy the most expensive thing in the world. But what would that be?
The most expensive thing in the world is the History Supreme Yacht, with an astonishing value of $4.5 billion. Keep reading to learn more about the 15 most expensive things in the world for 2023.
What Is the Most Expensive Thing in the World?
From artwork to domain names to a preserved dead shark, here’s a look at the 15 most expensive things in the world.
15. Dead Shark — $8 Million
While many expensive things have useful, revenue-generating purposes, some of the world’s most expensive objects seem to make less sense. Artist Damien Hirst created The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, aka The Shark in 1991. It’s a tiger shark preserved in formaldehyde in a vitrine and was commissioned by Charles Saatchi.
It sold for $8 million to hedge fund billionaire Steven Cohen, according to multiple reports.
14. Mariah Carey’s Engagement Ring — $10 Million
As befitting a quintessential pop diva worth over $300 million, Mariah Carey’s engagement ring from former finance James Packer cost an estimated $10 million, according to Brides — the highest purchase price ever for a celebrity engagement ring.
Carey wore the ring for a year after her engagement ended, then sold it to an L.A. jeweler for a paltry $2.1 million.
13. Perfect Pink Diamond — $23 Million
Christie’s Hong Kong sold a 14.23-carat, fancy intense pink diamond to an anonymous buyer for just over $23 million in 2012.
12. Chopard 201-carat Gemstone Watch — $25 Million
This timepiece features 874 individual gemstones, including three heart shaped diamonds ranging from 11 to 15 carats each, all with flawless clarity. These diamonds form a pattern and open like flower petals to reveal the watch’s face. Just. Wow.
11. Giant Clock — $42 Million
Amongst billionaire Jeff Bezos’ more extravagant purchases is a $42 million giant clock designed to run for 10,000 years. Perhaps it could be considered a business expense if he uses it to ensure everyone receives their Prime Day purchases in two days or less?
10. 1962 Ferrari GTO — $48.4 Million
It’s not surprising to find a few cars on this list of the world’s most expensive things. In 2018, a 1962 red Ferrari GTO sold to an anonymous buyer at Sotheby’s auction in Monterey for $48.4 million.
9. CarInsurance.com Domain Name — $49.7 Million
Car insurance is a big business, and finding the right domain name can be a pricey proposition. CarInsurance.com cost $49.7 million, according to GoDaddy — the highest publicly reported price ever for a domain name. The purchase was made by Quinstreet.
Apparently not willing to skimp on domain purchases, the tech giant previously had purchased Insure.com and Insurance.com.
8. The Graff Hallucination Watch — $55 Million
Laurence Graff, chairman of Graff Diamonds, introduced this gemstone watch masterpiece to the world in 2014, and it is an undisputed one-of-a-kind show of craftsmanship featuring more than 110 carats total of diamonds in various shapes and colors.
7. ‘Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I’ Painting — $135 Million
Your portfolio would look pretty sweet if you had this pricey painting in it.
The Gustav Klimt painting last sold in 2006 for $135 million, purchased by art collector Ronald Lauder for display in Neue Galarie New York.
6. Jeff Bezos’ Beverly Hills House — $165 Million
Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos owns a lot of real estate, including a $119 million mansion, a $23 million New York City condo and a $23 million house in Washington, D.C. But his priciest property to date seems to be his $165 million estate in Beverly Hills, previously owned by music mogul David Geffen.
5. ‘The Card Players’ Painting — $250 Million
With stocks and investments tumbling in a bear market, it’s not just individual investors who are opting to invest in art and other tangible items.
“The Card Players” by French artist Paul Cezzane was purchased for $250 million by the nation of Qatar.
4. ‘Salvator Mundi’ Painting — $450.3 Million
Christie’s auctioned Leonardo DaVinci’s “Salvator Mundi” for $450.3 million in 2017. The seller was Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, who had purchased the masterpiece from Yves Bouvier.
Rybolovlev later accused Bouvier of fraud, alleging the Swiss art broker had overcharged him over $1 billion for a number of works, including ‘Salvator Mundi.’
3. Villa Leopolda — $506 Million
A mansion on the French Riveria named Villa Leopolda holds the title of second-most expensive private residence. The building served as a a hospital during World War II and has changed hands several times since its construction in 1902 for Belgian King Leopold II — hence, the name.
In 2008, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov purchased the Villa.
2. Antilia — $2 Billion
If you’ve ever wanted to live in the world’s most expensive house, you’ll find it in Mumbai, India. The 27-story building towers over others in the skyline and boasts three helipads, 9 elevators, a 50-seat home theater and other luxuries. It is owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in India, who has a net worth of $84.2 billion, according to the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List.
1. History Supreme Yacht — $4.5 Billion
The History Supreme yacht is not the largest in the world. That honor goes to Jeff Bezo’s superyacht Koru at 417 feet — but Koru cost a mere $500 million. However, the History Supreme took three years to design and is outfitted with some of the world’s priciest materials and amenities.
First, the yacht features gold and platinum structural fittings, plus gold alloys in the base, deck, railings, dining area and anchor, according to Lifestyle Asia. It is believed that Malaysian businessman Robert Kuok, who owns the Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, purchased the boat.
Honorable Mention: International Space Station
At $150 billion, the International Space Station would be the most expensive thing in the world — but since it’s technically not in the world, it and other space-based things were left off this list.
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Daria Uhlig contributed to the reporting for this article.
Information is accurate as of May 31, 2023.
The article above was refined via automated technology and then fine-tuned and verified for accuracy by a member of our editorial team.
Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.
- WorldAtlas. "The 15 Richest Countries In The World."
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- Wealthy Gorilla. 2023. "Mariah Carey Net Worth."
- Brides. 2023. "20 of the Most Expensive Celebrity Engagement Rings."
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