An iPad Air 2 model that costs approximately $1,173 can be purchased from Karalux, a luxury gift and gold-plating company based in Vietnam. According to their official pricing announcement, the company also plans to offer gilding services for the iPad mini 3 model as well. It’s probably an understatement to say that it would be prudent to enable iCloud’s mobile tracking feature for these gold-plated iPad models.
You can get this re-imagined iPad Air 2 in all three capacity configurations: 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB. However, the pricing increments for these capacity jumps are nothing like the $100 increments Apple charges for the iPad Air 2. You’ll have to pay Karalux approximately $328 to make the jump from 64GB to 128GB. The luxury gift company is offering additional incentives for early adopters. Those who purchase a gilded iPad Air 2 during November “will be awarded a 24K gold-plated tie-pin Sor a 24K gold-plated Zippo,” according to their announcement. All iPad mini models come at a set cost of 10 million VND, which converts to about $468.50 U.S. dollars.
This isn’t Karalux’s first foray into mobile device gilding. If you browse through their official Facebook page, you’ll discover BlackBerry Passports, iPhone 6s, and HTC One M8 models all covered in gold. Their YouTube channel includes teardown videos for many of these devices, including the iPad Air 2, demonstrating how the company prepares the tablets and smartphones for the gold-plating process.
However, if you’re in the market for a less-expensive iPad Air 2 that isn’t worth its weight in gold, then the gold-finished stock model of the iPad Air 2 can be purchased from Apple starting at $499.
This isn’t the first time Apple products have been covered in gold or even made out of gold. Sotheby’s, an international fine art auctioneering company, sold a pair of Apple earpods made out of solid 18K rose gold for $461,000 at a 2013 (RED) charity event. The extravagant earphones were designed by Apple designers Marc Newson and Jony Ive. According to Sotheby’s description of the benefit sale, the attendees “helped raise more than $26 million for The Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa.”
Other jewelers have stepped up to the plate to create increasingly pricey versions of Apple products. In 2013, a craftsman in the United Kingdom coated an iPhone 5 in gold, a project commissioned by a client in Hong Kong to showcase a family heirloom. According to CNN, the client requested a solid gold iPhone that would feature a “black diamond that had been in his family for generations.” The diamond was set into the phone as the home button, resulting in a device with an estimated value of $14.5 million.
Image credit: Karalux