513 carats of fine white diamonds, South Sea pearls, and sapphires. 18-carat solid white gold. We’re not talking about a glittering crown belonging to fictional royalty, or the contents of a ridiculously secure bank safe in a heist movie. These riches are part of a very real, playable chess set crafted by a world-class artist. With a value of $4 million, this is the world most expensive chess set. And we can’t stop staring at it.
Australian artist Colin Burn created the Pearl Royale Chess Set. Only three of this unbelievable set will ever see production. We could try to describe how much each piece, from the king and queen to the lowly pawns, glitter like stars in the night sky, but it’s hard to do the set justice with mere words. Luckily, we can show you the entire chessboard in motion, thanks to this quick video from the artist himself.
Stop by Burn’s website for a breakdown of the specifications for the chess pieces, including the dimensions and number of gemstones on each. The pieces rest on a crystal glass board also embellished with white gold and opulent gemstones.
Burn took inspiration from the classic 1849 Staunton chess set, which is the design most often used in competition. “I wanted to create the most beautiful chess set within this royal standard,” he says on his website, “and it had to be dressed in all its regalia with the world’s most beautiful diamonds and rich blue sapphires fit for a king and queen. My dream was to create the world’s finest chess set for the world’s greatest players to do battle.”
It’s only fitting that the Pearl Royale makes its debut on the biggest stage of them all, the 2021 FIDE World Chess Championship in Dubai. Visit Chess.com on December 3, 2021, to see the world’s #2 top player and commentator Fabiano Caruna with this, the most expensive, and impressive, chess set.
Kelly Knox is a freelance entertainment writer in Seattle, WA, who writes for Star Wars, DC Comics, and more. Her book Marvel Monsters is out now from DK Books. Follow her on Twitter for bad puns, pop culture coverage, and more.