Professional Jeweller reported last week that a website had appeared online advertising the world’s first billion pound piece of jewellery.
The simple silver ring is not made from unusually expensive materials or designed by a famous jeweller.
Instead, the justification for its price tag is the price tag itself, according to the website – it gives the buyer the chance to be a part of jewellery history, owning the first billion pound piece of jewellery.
Here, Professional Jeweller finds out more from the man behind the project, Alfie Caffrey.
Can you tell me about your history in the jewellery industry?
I have been a goldsmith for the past six years, designing pieces and creating them myself.
I have been working under someone for that time period and this is my first step out into the world on my own.
“if you want to make a big splash you need to throw a big rock”
I hope you can understand that with a piece such as this I would like to keep information on my location and previous places of employment to a minimum as there is a lot of money on the line so safety needs to be a main priority.
Where did you get the idea for the project from?
The idea for the piece came from a culmination of a few ideas. One of the first was a book called Contagious: Why Things Catch On written by Jonah Berger.
In the book he talks about the $100 Philly cheese steak and how a cheese steak having such a high price tag had scores and scores of people talking about it, mainly because of the price of it.
This got me thinking on how it could be done in the jewellery world, where things already go for such big prices. I figured I would have to go incredibly high to make it noteworthy – after all, if you want to make a big splash you need to throw a big rock.
“I would like to keep information on my location and previous places of employment to a minimum – there is a lot of money on the line so safety needs to be a main priority”
This made me wonder how I could make a piece with such a large price tag and had me thinking about art, more importantly modern art, and when you can see these blank canvases or pieces with little to no work on them going for hundreds of thousands if not millions [of pounds].
Both of these things got me thinking about value and what really can dictate value or who can dictate it.
I’ve had customers tell me that they don’t think diamonds are worth the price that they are being sold at and who am I to disagree with them?
Value and worth are in the heads of someone buying something and also the person selling something.
“I believe someone or a group of people will want to own the most expensive piece of jewellery in the world”
All of this got me to the idea that this is possible. With a price tag of £1 billion, it being the first piece of jewellery to be put up at this price, it makes it a part of jewellery history, and one that will take a great effort to be outpriced.
I believe this is only something that can be done once as no one wants the second billion pound ring.
Who designed the ring and has there been any interest yet?
The ring has been designed and created by myself.
At the moment I have had little to no interest but I am still in the stages of getting the ring out into the public eye.
I am not disappointed that nothing has come so far as I can’t expect it to sell when no one knows about it.
Do you really believe someone will be willing to spend £1 billion on a simple silver ring?
Quite simply, yes. Because although on the surface it may just seem like a silver ring, it is much more than that.
“I believe this is only something that can be done once as no one wants the second billion pound ring”
It’s a piece of jewellery history, as I said, and it’s a piece of art history, as jewellery is just another form of art and it is something that has never been done before or seen before on a scale like this.
I believe someone or a group of people will want to own the most expensive piece of jewellery in the world.
Read more about the ring below: