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Health, Beauty & Fashion

$4.7 million: The world's most expensive bag is in Singapore

The heart-shaped bag, produced earlier this year by the Lebanese jeweller, has taken a spot in the Guinness Book Of World Records as the world's most expensive bag.
The Straits Times - June 10, 2011
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$4.7 million: The world's most expensive bag is in Singapore

Attention, bagaholics: You have till tonight to gawk at the world's most expensive purse.

On display at Mouawad's boutique at The Fullerton Hotel, the 1001 Nights Diamond purse will be moved tomorrow.

Where to? No one will say on record because, at US$3.8 million (S$4.7 million), such information would be a security risk.

The heart-shaped bag, produced earlier this year by the Lebanese jeweller, has taken a spot in the Guinness Book Of World Records as the world's most expensive bag.

Says Mouawad's managing director Jean Nasr: 'It's certainly not for everybody. It's for the woman who wants something exclusive and special. Something that no one else can and will have. It is a symbol of status.'

The exhibition here was held in partnership with The Fullerton Heritage, the group which owns Fullerton Hotel.

First unveiled in Dubai in February at the Jewellery & Watches Exhibition, the purse was handcrafted from 18-carat gold using 4,517 diamonds amounting to 381.92 carats.

So far, it has received more than 10 inquiries but no one has yet to take the pricey arm candy home.

'It was not created with the primary intention of being sold but for the world to admire,' says Mr Nasr.

If there are no takers, the purse will be displayed at the Robert Mouawad Private Museum in Beirut, Lebanon. MrRobert Mouawad, 60, the master jeweller and fourth-generation owner of the brand, took four months to create it.

'It was born out of his passion to create some of the world's finest jewels and works of art,' says Mr Nasr, 48, who is the nephew of the designer.

This is not the first creation by Mr Mouawad that has entered the Guinness Book Of World Records.

In 2003, the house of Mouawad created the Very Sexy Fantasy bra in collaboration with Victoria's Secret.

Valued at US$11 million, the bra, with a dangling Mouawad Excelsior 70-carat diamond, is still the most expensive in the world.

Founded in 1890, Mouawad has created pieces that have adorned many members of royalty as well as Hollywood A-listers such as Angelina Jolie and Nicole Kidman.

'Buying something from Mouawad is an investment but that does not always mean you have to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars,' MrNasr says.

'We work closely with our clients to give them what they want, according to their budgets.'

For instance, he has had requests to make diamond rings with a single big rock for about $2,000.

To achieve this, the brand creates a ring using multiple diamonds which are arranged in such a way that none of the binding metal show. This, therefore, creates the look of one big piece of square-cut diamond.

'From afar, it looks like one big piece of rock. So you're paying the minimum for something that looks like it could cost $50,000,' he says.

rohai@sph.com.sg

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