10 Best Most Expensive Chess Set In The World

Published on Dec 15, 2023 by

Most Expensive Chess Set In The World

Chess, a game steeped in history and intellect, has long been more than a mere pastime. It’s a symbol of strategy, nobility, and for some, a showcase of opulent craftsmanship. Throughout history, chess sets have been crafted not only for play but also as works of art, embodying the fusion of aesthetic beauty and functional elegance. In this realm, the most expensive chess sets in the world stand as testaments to human creativity and luxury.

These sets are not just game pieces; they are treasures, combining exquisite materials like gold, diamonds, and rare woods with unrivaled craftsmanship. This article delves into the exclusive world of the most luxurious chess sets ever created, each with its own story and grandeur, reflecting the pinnacle of luxury in the classic game of chess. Finding the most expensive chess set in the world can be tricky. You might think all chess sets are similar, but some are super special and cost a lot! I found the most expensive one for you.

10 Top Most Expensive Chess Set In The World

I recently explored the ratings and reviews of various chess sets and stumbled upon a truly remarkable one. This isn’t just any chess set; it’s a dazzling display of luxury and artistry. Made with rare materials and incredible skill, it’s more than a game – it’s a collector’s dream. Each piece is a work of art, and the attention to detail is astounding. This set isn’t something you’d find in a regular store; it’s a treasure for the most exclusive collectors.

1. Jewel Royale Chess Set

Jewel Royale Chess Set

The Jewel Royale Chess Set stands as a testament to luxurious craftsmanship, valued at over $9.8 million. It’s a blend of precious materials, including gold and platinum, and is adorned with an array of precious gems like diamonds, emeralds, rubies, pearls, and sapphires. The king piece alone is a highlight, weighing 165.2 grams of 18-carat yellow gold and embellished with 73 rubies and 146 diamonds, making it worth more than £100,000. The set’s playing surface is crafted from yellow and white gold set with diamonds, and the corners are supported by a crystal ball with a gold center post, each inlaid with a 16-carat yellow gold spiral of diamonds​​​​​​.

Unfortunately, specific details like the year of creation, creator/designer, dimensions, theme/inspiration, availability, notable owners, and any awards or accolades related to the Jewel Royale Chess Set are not readily available or specified in the sources.

Specification Detail
Name of Chess Set Jewel Royale Chess Set
Estimated Value $9.8 million
Materials Used Gold, platinum, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, pearls, sapphires
Craftsmanship Exquisite craftsmanship, with intricate designs and precious materials
Special Features The king piece alone is worth more than £100,000, weighing 165.2 grams of 18-carat yellow gold and adorned with 73 rubies and 146 diamonds

2. Pearl Royale Chess Set

Pearl Royale Chess Set

Colin Burn created this chess set, valued at $4 million, in 2008. It is an opulent work of art crafted with 18-carat white gold, decorated with diamonds, sapphires, and black and white South Sea pearls. The design inspiration comes from the original 1849 Staunton chess set. This set has been recognized as one of the world’s most luxurious and valuable chess sets, limited to only three editions. Each piece is intricately designed and polished, making it a masterpiece of craftsmanship and a symbol of luxury​​​​​​​​.

Based on the information available, here are the detailed specifications for the Pearl Royale Chess Set:

Specification Detail
Name of Chess Set Pearl Royale Chess Set
Estimated Value $4 million
Year Created 2008
Creator/Designer Colin Burn
Materials Used 18-carat white gold, diamonds, sapphires, and South Sea pearls
Craftsmanship Meticulous handcrafting, inspired by the Staunton design, luxurious and opulent
Special Features King and queen crowned in Ceylon blue sapphires, all pieces topped with black and white pearls
Availability Limited to three editions, available through ACCA Gallery in Beverly Hills, California

3. Game of Kings Chess Set

Game of Kings Chess Set

The set is not only a tribute to the rich history of the Aztec and Mayan civilizations but also a masterpiece of modern craftsmanship. The pieces are made from black and red obsidian, finished with 925 silver, 22k gold vermeil, and other precious materials. The kings, for instance, are adorned with gold and turquoise, reflecting the opulence of the set. The set’s sheer magnitude, requiring over 10 tons of obsidian for carving and crafting, highlights its exceptional nature. The Game of Kings Chess Set has been exhibited at various museums and galleries, making it not just a playable chess set but also a significant piece of art​​​​.

The Game of Kings Chess Set, estimated at $3 million, is a remarkable work of art that has been meticulously crafted over two years. This chess set stands out for its unique theme, inspired by ancient Aztec and Mayan civilizations, and its substantial size and weight. Here are the detailed specifications:

Specification Detail
Name of Chess Set Game of Kings Chess Set
Estimated Value $3 million
Materials Used Over 110 pounds of silver, obsidian, gold vermeil, turquoise, rubies, emeralds
Craftsmanship Meticulous craftsmanship, involving artists from around the world, especially Russia and Mexico
Special Features Lifelike figures of Aztec and Mayan warriors, obsidian carving done by craftsmen from Teotihuacan, Mexico
Dimensions Kings: 450mm height, Queens: 420mm height, Bishops: 350mm height, Knights: 250mm height, Rooks: 380mm height, Pawns: 200mm height
Weight Over 2400 pounds (Total chess set)
Availability Exhibited at museums and galleries

4. Art of War Chess Set

Art of War Chess Set

This chess set is not just a game but a work of art, reflecting the strategic depth and complexity of chess, much like the military strategies discussed in Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War.” The attention to detail in the craftsmanship and the use of luxurious materials make it a unique and valuable collector’s item​​​​.

The Art of War Chess Set, designed by Victor F. Scharstein, is an exquisite and opulent creation, embodying the essence of the ancient Chinese military treatise by Sun Tzu. This luxurious chess set stands out for its use of precious materials and intricate craftsmanship.

Specification Detail
Name of Chess Set The Art of War Chess Set
Estimated Value [Price on request; previous estimate around $50,000]
Creator/Designer Victor F. Scharstein
Materials Used Rhodium, gold, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires
Craftsmanship Each chess piece is meticulously crafted, featuring a blend of rhodium and gold, and decorated with an array of precious stones like diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires
Special Features The board stands on yellow and white gold feet, encrusted with diamonds and rubies. The case for the set is adorned with gold samurai characters and stands on solid gold balls

5. Royal Diamond Chess Set

Royal Diamond Chess Set

This chess set is not just a game but an extraordinary work of fine art jewelry, blending functionality with aesthetic beauty. The luxurious combination of white gold and thousands of diamonds makes it a rare and precious collectible item. The Royal Diamond Chess Set was created by thirty artisans who dedicated over 4500 hours to its creation, showcasing a harmonious blend of artisanship and luxury​​​​​​.

The Royal Diamond Chess Set, designed by Bernard Maquin and part of the Charles Hollander Collection, is a stunning display of luxurious artistry and craftsmanship. This chess set is characterized by its use of precious materials and intricate design.

Specification Detail
Name of Chess Set Royal Diamond Chess Set
Estimated Value Approximately $500,000
Year Created 2005
Creator/Designer Bernard Maquin
Materials Used 14-carat white gold, approximately 9900 black and white diamonds totaling 186 carats, and silver
Craftsmanship Handmade by thirty artisans, involving over 4500 hours of meticulous work
Special Features A total weight of 186.57 grams of silver, with the set including 1168.75 grams of 14-carat white gold

6. Grahl Chess Set

Grahl Chess Set - Most Expensive Chess Set

The J. Grahl Chess Set stands out for its detailed craftsmanship and luxurious materials. It reflects a 14th-century aesthetic, complete with period dress and fine details on each piece, showcasing a harmonious blend of artistry and historical significance. The chessboard itself, made of ebony wood with sterling silver embellishments, adds to the set’s overall elegance and value​​​​​​.

The J. Grahl Chess Set, designed by Jim Grahl in 1972, is a remarkable example of luxury and artistic craftsmanship. This set was specifically made for the Cole family and is known for its high value and exquisite design.

Specification Detail
Name of Chess Set J. Grahl Chess Set
Estimated Value $450,000
Year Created 1972
Creator/Designer Jim Grahl
Materials Used Solid 14-carat gold and silver
Craftsmanship Handcrafted with detailed precision, each chess piece reflects the iconography of 14th-century Europe
Special Features The chessboard is made of ebony wood and embellished with sterling silver

7. Queen’s Silver Jubilee Limited Edition Chess Set

Queen’s Silver Jubilee Limited Edition Chess Set

This set is notable for its Crown marking, a tradition in the Staunton design, and the use of purple tarnprufe felt which attracts tarnish to protect the silver pieces. The set is extremely rare and is seen as an investment that could appreciate over time due to its exclusivity and connection to a significant historical event​​​​​​.

The Queen’s Silver Jubilee Limited Edition Chess Set is a rare and luxurious chess set created to commemorate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee. Here are the detailed specifications:

Specification Detail
Name of Chess Set Queen’s Silver Jubilee Limited Edition Chess Set
Estimated Value USD $195,000
Year Created 1977 (Original lot manufactured in the year of Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee)
Creator/Designer Geoffrey Parker
Materials Used Solid sterling silver with gold leaf, leather-bound chessboard with leather trim
Craftsmanship Exquisite attention to detail, the pieces reflect the Staunton design tradition dating back to 1849
Special Features Crown marking on the Knights and Rooks, the use of tarnprufe felt to protect the silver pieces
Availability Extremely rare, with potential to increase in value over time

8. Charlemagne, King of Carolingians vs. the Moors of Spain Giant Chess Set

Grahl Chess Set - Most Expensive Chess Set

This set is not only a luxurious chess collection but also a symbol of historical significance, portraying the epic confrontation between the Carolingians and the Moors. Each piece is a testament to fine craftsmanship, and the set’s artistic value is enhanced by the use of precious materials like gold, silver, and bronze. The chess table itself is a remarkable piece, crafted from onyx and marble, adding to the set’s overall elegance and sophistication​​​​​​.

The “Charlemagne, King of Carolingians vs. the Moors of Spain Giant Chess Set” is a luxurious and historically themed chess set that stands as a work of art and craftsmanship. Here are its detailed specifications:

Specification Detail
Name of Chess Set Charlemagne, King of Carolingians vs. the Moors of Spain (778) Giant Chess Set
Estimated Value $146,490
Materials Used Solid bronze finished with pure 24kt gold and silver
Craftsmanship Handmade using the lost wax technique, each piece hand-finished by master artists
Special Features Historical and artistic themed, reflecting the confrontation between Christians in Europe and the Moors
Chess Table The set includes a table made from Onyx and marble with a bronze structure
Historical Significance Inspired by Charlemagne, the legendary European figure, King of the Franks, and Holy Roman Emperor

9. The Cybis Chessmen

The Cybis Chessmen

The Cybis Chessmen stand out not only for their rarity but also for their connection to a historical event, being presented as a gift of state by President Nixon in 1972. Each set in this limited edition series is a work of art, reflecting the intricate craftsmanship of the Cybis Porcelain Studios​​​​​​.

The Cybis Chessmen are a limited edition porcelain chess set, highly valued for its rarity and artistic craftsmanship. Here are the detailed specifications:

Specification Detail
Name of Chess Set The Cybis Chessmen
Estimated Value $49,900
Year Created Circa 1970
Creator/Designer Harry Burger Jr.
Materials Used High quality porcelain with jewel-like enameling, gilt accents, and painted colors
Craftsmanship The pieces are inspired by the Nine Heroes Tapestries and feature medieval court figures
Special Features Each set is signed © Cybis. The King measures 7 inches tall
Historical Significance One of the sets was presented as a gift of state by President Richard Nixon to the USSR in 1972
Availability Only ten sets were made in a numbered limited edition, making it a rare collector’s item
Presentation The set is presented in a custom velvet-lined, footed wooden box measuring 14.25 x 29 x 18.25 inches

10. 250th Anniversary Baccarat Harcourt Chess Set

250th Anniversary Baccarat Harcourt Chess Set

This chess set is not only a playable game but also a striking piece of decorative art. The clear and midnight blue crystal pieces, meticulously hand-cut, showcase Baccarat’s glass-making skills and Nendo’s design masterclass. The set’s limited edition nature and the intricate craftsmanship involved in its creation make it a rare and valuable collector’s item​​​​​​.

The 250th Anniversary Baccarat Harcourt Chess Set is a testament to the prestigious craftsmanship of the renowned French luxury crystal house, Baccarat. This set was created in collaboration with Japanese design studio Nendo to celebrate Baccarat’s 250th anniversary. Here are the detailed specifications:

Specification Detail
Name of Chess Set 250th Anniversary Baccarat Harcourt Chess Set
Materials Used Hand-cut pieces made in clear and midnight blue crystal
Craftsmanship Each set requires over 200 hours of labor for cutting alone
Special Features Chess pieces are shaped in forms of the king’s crown, the hem of the queen’s robes, and the bishop’s mitre
Design Inspiration Based on the celebrated Harcourt glass design, known for its elegance
Limited Edition Limited to 50 units
Tribute Element A ruby square on the base of the chessboard pays tribute to the emblematic Baccarat color

Related Articles

In the world of luxury and extravagance, where even a chess set can command a jaw-dropping price tag, it’s fascinating to explore other opulent experiences. From lavish dining at top-notch establishments in Chicago and New York City to indulgent stays at high-end hotels in London, to finding the most exclusive places to reside in the USA or even seeking out the finest golf clubs across the globe, the possibilities for indulgence are endless. While the world’s most expensive chess set may be a collector’s dream, it’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to experiencing the pinnacle of luxury.

FAQs

What makes this chess set so expensive?

It's made with rare and luxurious materials and crafted with exceptional skill.

Can this chess set be used for regular play?

Yes, but it's also a collector's item, so it's often kept for display.

How can I view or purchase this chess set?

It's available through select luxury dealers and auctions.

Is this chess set a good investment?

Yes, due to its rarity and craftsmanship, it's likely to appreciate in value.

Are there any famous owners of this chess set?

It's owned by collectors and chess enthusiasts who value rare and unique items.

Conclusion

The world’s most expensive chess set is a fusion of art and luxury, representing the pinnacle of craftsmanship. It’s a testament to the enduring appeal of chess as both a game and a form of art. For more information about this chess set and other luxury items, check out Luxurylaunches, Designboom, and Homecrux for detailed articles and insights

About the Author: Meghan O'Gieblyn

Meghan O'Gieblyn is a dynamic and insightful author, celebrated for her unique blend of narrative storytelling and thoughtful analysis. Her writings often explore the intersections of culture, technology, and philosophy, reflecting a deep curiosity about the modern world. Meghan's essays and articles have graced the pages of various prestigious magazines and literary journals, earning her a reputation for eloquent prose and compelling perspectives.

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