10 Most Expensive Sunglasses in the World and What They Cost

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Chic and posh as they may now be, sunglasses don’t have a very stylish origin story. Their sole purpose, back when they were first created in 12th century China, was to shield one’s eyes from the harsh beating of the sun.

Read: If Your Credit Score is Under 740, Make These 4 Moves Now

Back then, they were made of smoked quartz — a primitive but effective material to obscure and block sunlight. There was no knowledge of SPF, UVA or UVB. All that was known, presumably, was, “Hey, the sun is really bright! Especially while marching through this blindingly white snow!”

Ah, how much has changed since then. Functionality is no longer the most important aspect of sunglasses — at least, not always.

Top 10 Most Expensive Sunglasses

Today, sunglasses are not only practical and healthy for your eyes — if they offer 100% UVA and UVB protection — they’re also a fashion statement and, in some cases, an incredible luxury.

Here’s a look at the most expensive sunglasses and what they cost. They range from $45,276 all the way up to over $400,000 for a single pair.

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10. Bentley Platinum — $45,276

When one hears the name Bentley, they likely think of the classic automobile maker, who introduced their race cars in the1920s to wide acclaim and later teamed up — and then parted ways — with Rolls Royce.

Do these pricey sunglasses have any relation to the English luxury car maker? Indeed they do. Bentley Motors partnered with Estede to produce high-end eyewear in 2010. These particular sunglasses, made of pure platinum, cost $45,276.

9. Gold & Wood 253 Diamond — $55,000

Gold & Wood, established close to 25 years ago, turns to a few high-quality materials when rendering its gorgeous, exclusive eyewear: rare wood, hand-painted natural silk, carbon fiber, water buffalo horn and, of course, solid gold and diamonds. Its 253 Diamond model is named for the amount of princess-cut diamonds its delicate frames boast. This pair will set you back $55,000.

8. Bulgari Flora — $59,000

Like Bentley, the name Bulgari conjures up images of wealth and exclusivity — though specifically in the area of jewelry. Fortunately for all the eyewear divas out there, Bulgari also produces extremely high-end sunglasses. Take its Flora model, for example. With a frame made of 18k pure white gold and decked out in diamonds and sapphires, these elegant specs will cost you $59,000.

7. Maybach The Diplomat I — $60,000

Maybach, now under the umbrella of Mercedes-Benz, is a luxury car brand that was founded in Germany in 1909 by a father and son duo of the same surname. The company sashayed into the optical scene in 2010 — the same year as fellow luxury car brand Bentley — and has been revving forward ever since.

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Its priciest pair of sunglasses are the Diplomat 1, which are constructed with 18k gold and feature 174 hand-designed diamonds. Only 50 of these diplomat’s dazzlers were made, which factors strongly into why they fetch $60,000 a pop.

6. Luxuriator Style 23 Canary Diamond — $65,000

With a name like Luxuriator, you know to expect a hefty price-tag. Indeed, Luxuriator Style 23 Canary Diamond sunglasses, created by optical wear and jewelry designer Franco, don’t come cheap. As usual, the decadence is all in the frames, which in this case are made of 18k gold and buffalo ivory and are inlaid with 132 diamonds. These babies go for a cool $65,000.

5. CliC Gold 18 Carat Gold Sport — $75,000

These ultra sleek sunglasses may block out the rays, but they don’t block out the golden hues — not by a stretch. The CliC Gold 18 Carat Gold Sport sunglasses are, as the name says, made of solid 18k gold. They’re a feat of engineering, and require over 40 hours to make — and each pair is made by an expert gold crafter. These are the facts that may or may not justify the $75,000 price-tag.

4. Cartier Panthere — $159,000

With the name Cartier, who can be surprised that with these specs, we officially leap over the $100,000 benchmark — and then some. These dazzling specs boast 561 diamonds and 645 sapphires and 18 carat white gold. The jewels gather into the form of a little panther that appears to crouch over either temple. These sleek sunglasses make a roaring statement and fetch $159,000.

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3. Shiels Jewellers Emerald — $200,000

Green symbolizes a few different things: envy, wealth, new beginnings… It also symbolizes, in the case of the Shiels Jewellers Emerald sunglasses, exquisite luxury. The frame on these sunglasses is pure gold with encrusted diamonds — but the real marvel is in the lenses, which are made of refined emeralds. For $200,000 you can see the world through these green-colored glasses.

2. Dolce & Gabbana DG2027B — $383,609

What would a list of the top 10 most expensive sunglasses in the world be without one of the most exclusive names in fashion: Dolce & Gabana? Indeed this Italian luxury brand might just steal the show — and the amount you paid for your house — with its DG2027B model. These superb specs are rimmed in gold and diamonds and go for $383,609.

1. Chopard De Rigo Vision — $408,000

The no. 1 most expensive sunglasses in the world are the Chopard de Rigo Vision. Made by Chopard, a Swiss watchmaker and jeweler, this eyewear boasts 60 grams of 24 carat gold in its frame, more gold along the temples and 51 full-cut River diamonds. They sell for an astonishing $408,000.

Are Sunglasses a Good Investment?

Unlike say, luxury handbags, which can be as hard to obtain as an invite to a front row seat at the Oscars — if not harder — sunglasses don’t necessarily become more valuable as time goes on.

“As for whether expensive sunglasses are a good investment, it depends,” said Imran Ali, co-founder at Glasses Hut. “If you take care of them and wear them often, then they can be worth the money. But if you’re only going to wear them occasionally or don’t take good care of them, then you might not get your money’s worth.”

Remember too, that your lifestyle matters — as does how you treat your most valuable possessions.

“If you tend to not leave your sunglasses in the back of the cab, high quality sunglasses can last for years and can be well worth the higher price-tag,” Chayes said.

Final Take

The good news is that if you are interested in buying a pair of expensive sunglasses, you needn’t travel far. Check out your local optical shop, or, if you know which brand you want, you can head straight to their website. Stores like Nordstrom, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue are also safe bets for ample collections of sunglasses fit for royalty.

Remember that though excellent craftsmanship and bedazzled bling go a long way in driving up the cost of the sunglasses, what’s most important when it comes to specs is how well your eyes are protected. If forced to choose between great lenses or sexy frames, prioritize the former — it will certainly help spare your bank account and quite possibly your entire life savings and then some. 

FAQ

  • Which sunglasses brand is the most expensive?
    • The most expensive sunglass brand in the world is technically Chopard, which has made the world's most expensive sunglasses the Chopard de Rigo Vision, which sells for $408,000. But plenty of other brands make the list for most expensive, including Dolce & Gabana, Sheils Jewellers, Cartier, CliC Gold, Franco, Maybach, Bulgari, Gold & Wood and Bentley.
  • Which are the best sunglasses in the world?
    • "Best is very subjective," said Holly Chayes, personal style coach and consultant. "But when you're shopping for sunglasses look for high quality, good UV protection, frames that compliment your face shape and fit your personal style."
  • Which are the most expensive glasses in the world?
    • The title of most expensive sunglasses in the world goes to the Chopard de Rigo Vision, which are priced at $408,000. These stunning specs are graced with 24 carat-gold and then some and feature 51 rare cut diamonds.
  • Why are some sunglasses so cheap and some so expensive?
    • "There are generally two elements that contribute to the cost of sunglasses, the first is branding and the second is quality," Chayes said. "High quality sunglasses are going to be more expensive than cheaply made sunglasses, but they'll also offer better eye protection and last a lot longer. Add to that designer branding and luxurious materials, sunglasses can become astonishingly expensive."
    • Chayes added that the most expensive sunglasses will be the pairs that "blur the line between sunglasses and jewelry, utilizing materials we generally associate with necklaces, earrings, watches, bracelets, etc. in sunglasses to really push the price up."

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She's a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.
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