Play in Style: The Most Expensive Chess Sets in Existence

A natural shift in attention to the quality and style of a chess set often happens once people finally grasp the intricacies of the game. The effort to learn the basics, develop strategies, and continuously better your skills shows a determination beyond a basic interest. Many players who reach a skilled level look to upgrade their own starter boards.

However, an upgrade does not begin to describe the opulence of the following chess sets. The following collections are works of art and not something that everyone can afford. However, their existence is a testament to the love that many people feel for the game.

The Reigning Champ

Experts believe the Jewel Royale Set, worth about $9.8 million, tops the list as the most valuable board in the world. The British jewelry company Boodles made the set in 2005. The collection includes pieces made of solid gold and platinum that come inset with many precious gems.

While most people would want to simply admire these stunning chess pieces, they do come with an equally elaborate playing surface. The exquisitely designed masterpieces move about on a diamond-encrusted gold and platinum board. Certainly, even non-players would likely consider chess lessons if it meant they would have access to this set.

An Asian Inspiration

Though not made in Asia, the Art of War chess set has Asian-influenced pieces and a board that includes Chinese lettering around the border. The board sits on solid gold carved feet with ruby-studded toenails and is made from ebony, rhodium, and gold. Rubies and diamonds add even more sparkle to the already lustrous board.

Each piece has an Asian theme with pagodas and robed figures made from gold and dotted with glittering gems. A mere $1 million is what it would take to own this set.

A Golden Option

The House of Solid Gold Royal Chess Set is the perfect choice for those who love the precious metal. Nearly 5,000 black and yellow diamonds with a total weight of 125.5 carats decorate the 18-karat board. A handcrafted Louis Vuitton case holds the $370,000 treasure when it is not in use.

A Sparkling Design

The Royal Diamond Chess Set, made in 2005, was a masterpiece designed by artist Bernard Maquin. The handcrafted set includes white and black diamonds and 14-karat white gold. Thirty craftsmen built the shimmering set. The workers dedicated 4500 hours to hand-set each of the 9,900 diamonds. The price tag for this artwork is $500,000.

A Specific Request

Jewelry designer J.Grahl made the first chess set in this collection for Christopher Cole in August 1973. The pieces include intricately carved 14th-century themed characters in various European clothing styles. Each piece is gold, and the playing surface is ebony and sterling silver. Only 12 sets were made and the first now has a value of about $450,000.

A Dream Collectible

A value is unknown for the set many chess players would find the most exciting. The 1950 Dubrovnik chess set, made in Yugoslavia, is one of the most appreciated sets in the world. Bobby Fischer played on this board to become Grandmaster in 1958. Reissues of the board abound, but few of the 50 handmade originals exist, and none are known to be for sale.

Very few people can afford the prices of these opulent designs, but you still can have a desirable, well-crafted set for a few hundred dollars. However, before beginning your own collection, you should learn how to play. Online lessons allow you to learn from experts at a pace that works for you. To find out more about Chess Teacher, get in touch today.