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November 4, 2009

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World’s Most Expensive Baseball Cards

October 27, 2009

Forget commercial paper–take a look at this investment-grade cardboard.

1903-04 Breisch-Williams E107 Honus Wagner

Value: $60,000-$80,000
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The card didn’t look like much when Bernice Gallego plucked it from a bin of unsorted merchandise in her Fresno, Calif., antique shop. She examined the simple sepia-toned portrait of an unknown team from a bygone era and put it up on eBay for $9.99.
Within hours, the mushrooming volume of inquiries convinced Gallego that this wasn’t just any old card. She quickly pulled the item from eBay and took it to an expert, where she learned it was the first card ever printed of the first professional baseball team ever assembled, the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings. Through sports memorabilia specialist Memory Lane, Gallegos sold the card to Houston dealer Jeffrey Rosenberg for $75,000 in February.

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1914 Texas Tommy E224 Honus Wagner (tie)

Value: $50,000-$100,000
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“This is my fantasy baseball–getting to own a card like this,” says Rosenberg, who purchased the card for his memorabilia company, Tristar Productions. “It’s the type of thing you could put in the Smithsonian or the Baseball Hall of Fame. I think we bought it for a fantastic price.”
The scarcest items can command even higher prices: The top 15 vintage cards routinely fetch six figures at auctions by Memory Lane in Tustin, Calif., and similar outfits like Goodwin & Co. in St. Louis, Huggins & Scott in Silver Spring, Md., and Hunt Auctions in Exton, Pa.

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1914 Texas Tommy E224 Ty Cobb (tie)

Value: $50,000-$100,000
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The 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth card is the most valuable, worth $500,000 in good condition, according to Brian Fleischer of memorabilia evaluator Beckett Media. The second-most expensive card is the 1909 Honus Wagner rookie, worth $300,000 in comparable condition.

 

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1893 Just So Cy Young (tie)

Value: $50,000-$100,000

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One Wagner rookie card miraculously survived the last century in near-mint condition. Dubbed the “Gretzky Wagner” after it was purchased by the hockey star for $451,000 in 1991, the card sold for $500,000 in 1995, then for $640,000 in 1996, $1.265 million in 2000, $2.35 million in March of 2007 and $2.8 million in September of 2008. Fleischer estimates it would bring $3 million today–and that a comparable Ruth rookie would go for $3 million to $5 million

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1887 Four Base Hits N-Unc. (tie)

Value: Buck Ewing $50,000-$100,000

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Rounding out the top three is a card that bears the image of one of baseball’s most controversial figures, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson. Accused of participating in the notorious Black Sox Scandal, in which the heavily favored Chicago White Sox threw the 1919 World Series in exchange for cash from mobsters, Jackson was banned from baseball for life. Scholars point out that he posted a scalding 0.375 batting average in the Series and didn’t make any errors in the field, fueling a recent movement to have him posthumously elected to the Hall of Fame. Jackson’s 1910 Old Mill second-year card is worth $200,000 in good condition.

 

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1888 G and B Chewing Gum Co E223 Albert G. Spalding (tie)

Value: $60,000-$120,000

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“It’s just one of the all-time great baseball cards,” says Robert Lifson, president of Robert Edward Auctions in Watchung, N.J., a sports house similar to Memory Lane. “It’s Joe Jackson’s only tobacco card. You don’t have to be a baseball card collector to appreciate it.”

 

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1887 Four Base Hits N-Unc. Mike King Kelly (tie)

Value: $60,000-$120,000
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Play Your Cards Right
Vintage baseball cards have been something of a safe haven during the current recession. Last May, a 1909 Honus Wagner rookie in good condition fetched $317,000. Since then, the Wagner’s value has edged up to about $350,000. Other rare pre-war cards have held their value, and modern cards are down just 10-15% on average in the last year. That’s only a slight dip compared with the S&P 500, down 40% on the year.
“In past economic downturns, the hobby has done well,” says Beckett’s Fleischer. “We’re seeing really strong sales on high-grade pre-war vintage stuff. People are putting their money in cards instead of traditional investments.”

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1914 Boston Garter Color Joe Jackson

Value: $90,000-$120,000

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To be sure, the hidden costs of the hobby are often steeper than brokerage fees or fund expenses. Auctioneers typically charge sellers a 10% commission on small lots; for big-ticket items they often waive the seller fee and hit the winning bidder with a buyer premium of 15% or so. Of the $75,000 Rosenberg laid out for Gallego’s card, Memory Lane took $11,000. A policy on such a card from Collectibles Insurance Services in Hunt Valley, Md., runs about $460 per year. Still, it’s hard to put a price on the satisfaction of ownership.
“It’s more fun to buy a Babe Ruth card than some AT&T stock,” says Fleischer. “You can’t show shares to your friends.”

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1910 Old Mill T210 Joe Jackson

Value: $100,000-$200,000

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Bragging rights can be rewarding, but for some collectors, a solitary moment with a vintage card is the real treasure. If you take one of these items out of its case, trace the weathered edges with a careful finger and smell the ancient traces of tobacco ingrained in the tiny fibers, for a moment you might feel baseball’s mystical soul shuddering through your own.

 

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1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner

Value: $250,000-$350,000

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Regardless of your desire to commune with ball-playing ghosts, you don’t necessarily need to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars to land a prime piece of vintage cardboard. There will always be more unwitting archaeologists like Bernice Gallego. Last year, a collector in Florida found a Wagner rookie in a tobacco tin in his grandfather’s attic.

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1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth

Value: $250,000-$500,000

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“It’s extremely rare to hit the lottery like that,” says Fleischer. “But it still happens.”

The most expensive Advertising in the world!!!

October 26, 2009

The World’s Most Expensive Watches !!!

October 25, 2009

                           ((( 1.)))

Henry Graves Supercomplication (1932)

    Patek Philippe

    $11,002,500

    Sold at Sotheby’s in 1999

    Sotheby’s experts estimated that this watch would sell for between $3 million and $5 million, but due to intense competition, bids soared to more than $11 million. With two faces and 24 complications (or functions) this yellow-gold pocket watch took four years to build and still holds the record for the most expensive watch ever sold.

                              
                               
                                 ((( 2. )))

Caliber 89 (1989)

Patek Philippe
$5,002,500
Sold at Antiquorum in 2004

This 18-karat white-gold “clockwatch” is considered the most complicated watch in the world, with a total of 33 functions, including dials for a second time zone and time of sunrise and sunset.

                      ((( 3.)))

Platinum World Time (1939)

Patek Philippe
$4,026,524
Sold at Antiquorum in 2002

Experts believe this platinum Patek Philippe world time wristwatch was the only one of its kind ever made.

                             ((( 4.)))

Model 2523 Heures Universelles (1953)

Patek Philippe
$2,899,373
Sold at Antiquorum in 2006

This intricately designed 18-karat yellow-gold world time watch features a polychrome and enamel dial representing the map of North America.

                       ((( 5.)))

Model 2499 First Series (1957)

Patek Philippe, 1957
$2,280,000
Sold at Christie’s in 2007

Stamped with Patek Philippe’s signature, this is the most expensive watch ever sold at Christie’s. Only five other examples of this particular 18-karat rose-gold wristwatch are known to have appeared in public to date.

                                    ((( 6.)))

Model 1591 (1944)

Patek Philippe

$2,263,964

Sold at Christie’s in 2007

Although it was made in 1944, the public did not know that this Patek Philippe stainless steel wristwatch existed until 1996, when it was first offered at auction. According to lore, this watch belonged to a maharajah who wore it when playing polo. It was then given as a present to the man in charge of organizing the maharajah’s wedding. It’s believed to be the only stainless steel model 1591 ever made, and one of only two examples of this model known to exist to date. It holds the world record for any stainless steel wristwatch sold at auction.

                               ((( 7.)))

Model 2499 First Series (1951)

Patek Philippe
$2,129,000
Sold at Antiquorum in 2002
Made in 1951, this piece, stamped with the Patek Philippe signature, is an 18-karat rose-gold wristwatch with a perpetual calendar and moon-phase dial.

                             
                                            ((( 8.)))

Grande Complication (1926)

Patek Philippe

$1,980,200

Sold at Christie’s in 2005

This signed Patek Philippe watch was made for the watchmaker’s most influential and prominent patron, Henry Graves Jr., a New York financier. Graves was believed to own 30 Patek watches and wanted to own the most complicated watch in the world (which he eventually did when the company made him the Supercomplication in 1932). This watch had 12 so-called “complications,” including a twin-barrel bi-directional winding mechanism and a perpetual calendar.

                             ((( 9.)))

The Grogan (1925)

Patek Philippe
$1,945,040
Sold at Christie’s in 2006
This gold chronograph wristwatch with a cushion-shaped case is the only one of its kind ever made for a left-handed wearer.

  ((( 10.)))

Officier (1923)

Patek Philippe
$1,918,387
Sold at Antiquorum in 1999
This Patek Philippe one-of-a-kind 18-karat yellow-gold wristwatch features a chronograph and a 60-minute register.

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Most Expensive Video Game

October 2, 2009

Back in 1993, when the revolutionary first person shooter, Doom, was released, a game could be made by eleven people with a budget that was probably around $200,000. Today, the production of a video game can cost upwards of tens of millions of dollars and sometimes takes over 5 years to develop. Releasing an A-list title is a massive business undertaking, employing hundreds or thousands of people. An incredible amount of risk is involved in releasing a title. Big name publishers lean towards releasing sequels and safer titles that appeal to a broader audience.
Sometimes an ambitious game developer will completely overrun its budget and development time. Sometimes this results in an epic title that breaks all the rules set before it. More often than not, it results in poor reviews, poor sales and a disappointing game.
Arguably one of the latter, the most expensive video game, until recently, was a Sega Dreamcast game called Shenmue. Released in 1999, the project cost over $70 million and took over 7 years to complete. It was produced and directed by Yu Suzuki for the Sega-AM2 (Sega Amusement Machine Research and Development Department 2). Shenmue boasted unparalleled freedom and interactivity and even a real time weather system. But this wasn’t enough to impress many reviewers; the most expensive video game received mixed reviews and experienced mediocre sales. Nonetheless, the expensive game inspired a massive fan base that remains active to this day.
 

Rockstar North, known for their mature titles, has recently ousted Shenmue from its most expensive position and replaced it with their own offering, Grand Theft Auto IV. Taking place in the fictional Liberty City, a close likeness of New York City, GTA IV also allows players an unequaled level of freedom and interactivity. The in-game radio has over 150 songs which, through a deal with Amazon, players can download in real life. The game even includes two hours of television that a player can watch while ignoring pressing responsibilities such as assassinating suspiciously familiar anti-video game lawyers.
While the exact figure isn’t yet public knowledge, Rockstar North’s president has estimated that the world’s most expensive video game cost about $100 million to make. Luckily for us, the game only costs consumers around $60.

10 Most Expensive Cities to Own a Home

September 29, 2009
Provided you have the spare cash-flow and fancy a spot of sea change, then you might like to invest into a second home somewhere more exciting and away from home. But with investment usually comes cost and lifestyle change and we wonder, if it is really worth it?

Only those who have taken the plunge know this with certainty, for all others you can dream on by looking at the world’s most expensive cities to own a home. Compiled by the guys from Global Property Guide.
1. Monte Carlo

Who would have guessed that Monte Carlo ranks as the most expensive city in the world for the second year running… yes, right we did. With average prices of $47,578 per sq.m. it is no wonder.

Long known as the playground for party-friendly billionaires, starlets and everything in between, Monte Carlo does offer something for everyone. Let’s see, there is the casino, the stunning scenery, the Formula 1 Grand Prix and plenty of sunshine all year round.

If that is not reason enough to buy a home there what else would be. And we did mention that just around the corner is Monaco with one of the best yacht harbours in the world.

2. Moscow

Seeing Moscow rank so high is actually a surprise for us. Especially since it outranked London, known to be expensive. Moscow clocked in with $20,853 per sq.m

3. London

As already mentioned, London is only a fraction behind Moscow with $20,756 per sq.m. But given the choice we would buy in London any day before going to Russia (no offense intended). It’s just that we love London’s vibrancy and what the city can offer residents. There is never a dull moment and besides the weather – here we go again – we really love London to bits. It’s the city that never sleeps for sure.

4. Tokyo     
 
 

Ranked as the 4th most expensive city in the world, Tokyo real estate costs $17,998 per sq.m. Now if you are the type who loves eternal supplies of sushi, sashimi and Kirin beer, then you should seriously consider moving to this city of glitz and neon advertisements.

Plus, you’ve got to love crowds too. And did we mentioned the Shinkansen?

5. Hong Kong

 

 

Victoria peak, harbour junks, quick access to mainland China and a sophisticated mix of ethnic races share Hong Kong, a former British colony as their home. We admit, this city kicks butt and offers a ton of exciting experiences to visitors from all around the world.

If you decide to fork out your hard earned money for your own home, then you can take advantage from hidden markets, nearby islands and lovely local beaches. If you are keen you can always visit Disney too. All of this would come at a price of $16,125 per sq.m.

6. New York

 
 

The Big Apple as New York is lovingly known is the only city in the US included in the list. Costs of $14,898 per sq.m. offer you a home in one of the most vibrant cities in the world. From Central Park to Manhattan’s skyscraper jungle you can find just about anything you want in this city.

Good food, great shopping outlets and not to forget plenty of water are all draw-cards for potential buyers.

7. Paris
 

 

The city of romance and love or so they say. Quite frankly we are not that keen about Paris. We think it is dirty and sometimes even rude. Whoever said it was a place to go for loving?

But jokes aside, it has its niceties. Take the Eiffel Tower for example, great views from the top. Or a boat trip on the river Seine should not be looked over for a weekend trip. Buying a home there though requires some decent funding with $12,122 per sq.m. not cheap but certainly more affordable than Monte Carlo.

8. Singapore

 
 
 

If you like clean and order, then Singapore is your city. With strict laws about littering and plenty of green in and around the city, this cosmopolite in Asia is a favourite for many. It will set you back some $9,701 per sq.m. but think how close you would be to the rest of Asia.

 
 
9. Rome
 
 

All roads lead to Rome, right? They certainly do. And if you find yourself lost on an European road trip in search of a new home, then Rome will set you back some $9,166 per sq.m.

But as a reward you might get to see the pope or visit the Spanish steps. One thing the Italians certainly know is how to live life and yes we forgot, how to cook. Living in a city like Rome will most certainly pile on the extra kilos.

10. Mumbai
 
 

India, or Mumbai clocks in in 10th position. Quite astounding when we think back how not to long ago we saw India as a 3rd world country.These guys have certainly busted their behinds in the race of world domination and consequently built and grown some impressive cities.

If you want to buy real estate in Mumbai, you are looking at around $9,163 per sq.m.

All of these data has been based on the average price of a 120 sq.m. apartment within the city centre and in good condition. In total, more than 110 cities around the world were surveyed for this purpose and data was collected during 2008.

Given the fact that it is in Russia, maybe all that new wealth Russian money did affect the market, skyrocketing property prices like crazy.

Most Expensive Colleges for 2008-2009

September 29, 2009

As expected, college tuition seems to go up just about every year now. Sure, part of the reason may be inflation, but still the increases in tuition seem to always outpace the rate of inflation.

You would think the weak economy would have an effect on tuition prices, and maybe it does. Perhaps alumni donors are unable to give as much as they have in the past. States are cutting their funding for higher education, which is huge considering most colleges get the majority of their funds from two sources: the State and tuition. One thing is for certain though, regardless of the state of our economy, the demand for higher education will always be there.

We are reaching a point where the cost of one year of college education at some colleges is surpassing $50,000. Unless your parents are loaded, you can expect to have a HUGE amount of college debt after graduation. Even those that graduated five years ago will not feel the pain that today’s students will feel after they graduate and have to start paying back on their student loans. It is almost as if the current state and price of today’s education is forcing many students to go to a local community college for two years and then move on to complete their degree at a 4-year in-state school. One would think that those that do choose to go on to a more expensive prestigious college and graduate should have no problem obtaining a decent paying job to pay the bills (and student loans). But, as a student with little money, it can be hard just knowing how much debt you are about to get yourself into. Even debts over $50,000 sound overwhelming. One thing is for sure: make sure you know how you are going to pay for college before you actually go.

Just because these schools have high tuition, doesn’t mean you will actually be paying that amount. Many of these colleges provide excellent financial aid packages. A lot of these schools offer scholarships that often cover most of the financial burden of attending the college. For example, Princeton University has always been known to offer its students some of the best financial aid packages, keeping its graduates debts at a relatively low level. Schools like Cooper Union, with a tuition of $33,000 per year, give every student a full tuition scholarship ensuring no student is responsible for tuition-related costs.

Most of the colleges on this list of expensive colleges are private liberal arts schools located in the northeast that boast low student-to-teacher ratios.
Highest Tuition 2008-2009
College    Tuition
1. Bates College    $43,950
2. Middlebury College    $42,910
3. Colby College    $42,730
4. Union College (NY)    $40,953
5. Connecticut College    $40,900
6. George Washington University    $40,392
7. Vassar College    $39,635
8. Sarah Lawrence College    $39,450
9. Bucknell University    $39,434
10. Colgate University    $39,275
11. Carnegie Mellon    $39,150
12. Kenyon College    $39,080
13. Skidmore College    $38,888
14. St. Johns College    $38,854
15. University of Richmond    $38,850
16. Tulane University    $38,664
17. Wheaton College (MA)    $38,585
18. Franklin & Marshall College    $38,580
19. Wesleyan University    $38,364
20. Hamilton College    $38,220
21. Oberlin College    $38,012
22. Reed College    $37,960
23. Tufts University    $37,952
24. Dickinson College    $37,900
25. Bard College at Simon’s Rock    $37,860
More: See the Top 100

Of course tuition is just one of the many costs associated with going to college. The other big expense is room and board. Some colleges also charge outrageous prices for student housing. The following list shows the most expensive colleges based on the total cost of tuition plus room and board.

Highest Total Cost 2008-2009
College    Total Cost
1. Sarah Lawrence College    $53,166
2. George Washington University    $50,312
3. New York University    $50,182
4. Georgetown University    $49,689
5. Connecticut College    $49,385
6. Bates College    $49,350
7. Johns Hopkins University    $49,278
8. Skidmore College    $49,266
9. Scripps College    $49,236
10. Middlebury College    $49,210
11. Carnegie Mellon University    $49,200
12. Boston College    $49,020
13. Wesleyan University    $49,000
14. Colgate University    $48,900
15. Claremont McKenna College    $48,755
16. Vassar College    $48,675
17. Haverford College    $48,625
18. University of Chicago    $48,588
19. Union College (NY)    $48,552
20. Colby College    $48,520
21. Mount Holyoke College    $48,500
22. Tufts University    $48,470
23. Bard College at Simon’s Rock    $48,460
24. Franklin & Marshall College    $48,450
25. Bard College    $48,438

Malaysian designer to debut $30 million diamond dress for Stylo

September 27, 2009

Several dresses have been considered to be the most expensive in the world. We are now going to take a quick look at some of these very expensive dresses.

We’ll start with the Swarovski Dirndl Dress as those of us who are savvy of fashion will definitely appreciate this work of art. Made in Munich, this dress is studded with almost 150,000 gems. This expensive dress is definitely a collector’s item.

Marilyn Monroe’s Happy Birthday Mr. President dress is one of the most expensive dresses in the world. Marylin donned the dress on May 19th 1962 at a birthday tribute to John F. Kennedy. The dress she put on that evening was up for auction and sold for $ 1,150,000.

In 2004, Scott Henshall created a dress for Samantha Mumba. She attended the premiere of Spider-Man II wearing this spider web shaped dress that contains roughly 3,000 diamonds. The price of this dress is somewhere around £5 million.

What we know today as the most expensive dress in the world was created by Malaysian designer Faisol Abdullah. Valued at no less than $ 30 million, this dress is obviously for the super rich among us. This masterpiece is adorned with 751 sparkling diamonds all crafted by famous jeweler Robert Mouawad.

Royalty knows no recession. Faisol Abdullah, a Malaysian designer, is up to designing the hottest couture ever with a $30 million diamond dress dubbed the “Nightingale of Kuala Lumpur,” in time for the Stylo Fashion festival early next month in the Malaysian capital. “Stocks drop, gold is even falling, but a diamond is forever. This is a dress with diamonds. Why do backwards, why can’t we go forwards?” the designer of the dress, Faisol Abdullah, told Reuters as he showed off his sketches. The silk and taffeta evening gown will be decked with 751 diamonds with a 70 carat pear-shaped diamond at the centre of the bodice (featured here is a $20 million diamond dress from Chris Aire with the 70 carat diamond), and topped off with a train sparkling with diamonds. Asked if the dress would attract buyers, Nancy Yeoh, chief executive of Stylo, which commissioned the dress, said: “Its art and there are still enough rich people who would want to buy.”Actually, we have a plan to present the dress to the royal courts around the world starting with the Middle East,” she said, adding that if the dress was sold, 5 percent would go to the Gaza Humanitarian Fund.

This $30 million dress leaves Victoria’s Secret far behind in the race for the most expensive couture, with the second runner-up being the $20 million diamond dress designed by jeweler Chris Aire, but just in tune with the $30 million diamond studded bikini created by Susan Rosen with Steinmetz Diamonds.

The Most Of The Most Expensive Weddings!!

September 19, 2009

Hollywood celebs aren’t the only ones who have extravagant weddings. Professional altheletes, musicians, business men and women and Crown Princes also like to show off their dough with lavish nuptials. Here are 27 of some of the world’s most expensive weddings in history. Check out the price tags and you’re guaranteed to feel better about your own wedding expenses!

1.

Seemanto & Chandni AND Sushanto & Richa
(Father of the Grooms is Industrialist Subrata Roy of Sahara.)

Cost: $128 Million, for both weddings.
Wedding Date: February 14, 2004
Location: Lucknow, Sahara India
Number of Guests: 10,000
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum & Sheikha Hind Bint Maktoum
(Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum is the Ruler of Dubai.)

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Cost: $44.5 Million, today this wedding would cost $100 Million.

Wedding Date: 1981
Location: Dubai, UAE
Number of Guests: 20,000
Amit Bhatia & Vanisha Mittal
(Bhatia is the grandson of London socialites, Pasha and Kamal Saigal. Mittal is the daughter of London steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, the fourth wealthiest man in the world.)

3

Cost: $60 Million
Wedding Date: November 18, 2006
Location: Vaux le Vicomte, a 17th-century French chateau
Number of Guests: 1,000
Andrei Melnichenko & Aleksandra Kokotovic
(Melnichenko is best-known for his energy and banking businesses. He is the 17th wealthiest person in the world. Kokotovic is former Miss Yugoslavia.)

4.

Cost: Undisclosed, over $7 Million
Wedding Date: September 3, 2005
Location: Cote d’Azur, France

The most expensive meteor on ebay.com has a buy it now price of $3,500,000

September 19, 2009

There is a lot of confusion about how much meteorites cost or are worth. This article from astronomy.com gives a pretty good explaination of the costs. Like most things the cost is based on supply and demand.

The most common meteorites generally cost between $3-$6 per gram while exotic meteorites filled filled with space gems or carbon based diamonds that contain life’s building blocks may cost $30,000 per gram (these are super rare.) Meteorites that originated from Mars or the Moon are also very expensive. The most expensive meteor on ebay.com has a buy it now price of $3,500,000. Its over 2000 grams and comes in at $1500 per gram. It is billed as the ‘rarest’ meteor in the world. More than half of the 1900 metorites for sale on ebay right now are selling for less than $20. Most of them are under $5 and the more expensive ones are ones that have been made into jewlrey already. I found this pretty comprehensive chart of prices for meteorites that details prices for the different types of metiors.