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What are the world’s most expensive glasses?

Whether made from gold or platinum, studded with precious stones or made famous on the faces of celebrities, there are some glasses that are worth a very pretty penny. Let’s take a look at some of them.

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© Cartier

Golden glasses

There are some materials that can really raise the price of a pair of glasses. One of the most precious of all, gold, is a costly but durable investment. In 2013, Ray-Ban released an 18-carat solid gold version of their classic « Aviator » model. With G-15 polarised crystal lenses, this limited edition of just 1200 pieces sold at the time for 2800 euros a pair, an impressive sum for a brand whose average price is around 100 euros. Even more expensive, Cartier’s 18-carat rose gold and diamond design went for more than 20,000 euros at auction.

Platinum can also raise the price of a pair like Bentley’s ‘Platinum’ which sold online for around 50,000 euros. But the Chopard De Rigo Vision, containing 60g of pure gold and several stones, and costing 400,000 dollars, remains the most expensive design on the market.

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© Cartier

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© Bulgari

Jewelled glasses

Frames decorated with diamonds are often among the most expensive. Vintage Cartier designs with diamond and sapphire panthers on the arms can go for up to 150,000 euros, while at Bulgari, Chopard and Gold & Wood, diamond-encrusted frames can cost anywhere between 50,000 and 400,000 euros. At these prices, glasses become more like jewelry.

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© John Lennon

Glasses worn by celebrities

Inextricably linked with the late Beatles singer, John Lennon’s iconic round sunglasses sold at auction for £137,500 (€165,000) last December at Sotheby’s in London. The pair were broken and abandoned in the back of a car in 1968 before being found by the band’s driver.

In 2018, the glasses that James Joyce wore while writing his masterpiece Ulysses, were purchased for 17,000 euros while in 2017, Churchill’s glasses were sold for 8300 euros at auction and in the same year Claude Monet’s went for 50,000.

Finally, a year earlier, a few lucky people got their hands on glasses owned by Audrey Hepburn, Michel Polnareff and Elton John, each selling for amounts estimated between 200 and 3000 euros at l’Hôtel Drouot in Paris. Elton John himself is a keen collector of glasses (from Cazal to Gucci) and never travels without a large selection of his favorite accessories, so big a selection in fact that it apparently has its own bedroom in his hotel.