Tuesday, July 10, 2012

5 Most Expensive Wedding Presents Ever

Nowadays, Wedding presents can be used as a symbol of status - a way to impress your peers and ‘flash your cash’. These gifts can amaze and astound with their ostentatious extravagance and, if intended, overshadow even the wedding itself. And these gifts are often uninspiring and are the perfect example of the old saying - “It’s the thought that counts”. But remember, love need not cost your life savings and you can’t buy happiness, or love for that matter. Anyway here are the five most expensive wedding presents ever. Take a look...

5. The Star of the East - $144,000 ( £93,000 )

An American mining heiress and socialite, Evelyn Walsh Mclean, was the daughter of Thomas Walsh, an Irish immigrant who made his millions from mining and prospecting. In 1908, Evelyn married Edward Beale Mclean, the heir to a large publishing fortune. For their wedding the couple received $100,000 (£65,000) each from their respective fathers with which to get Evelyn a wedding gift.

The wedding gift Evelyn’s father had suggested was “The Star of the East”, a 95-carat, pear-shaped diamond, mounted on a chain below a hexagonal emerald of 34 carats and a pearl of 32 grains. Upon seeing the diamond, Evelyn was spellbound and is reported to have bought the gift immediately, using an additional $20,000 (£13,000) dollars of her new husband’s money, bringing the total cost of the gift up to $120,000 (£78,000). On top of that the couple was forced to pay an undisclosed amount of import tax, reckoned to be around $24,000 (£15,000).

4. Clive Christian Perfume Set - $450,000 ( £293,000 )

The Clive Christian No.1 Imperial Majesty Edition is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s most expensive perfume. This isn’t surprising as its ingredients cost $2,350 (£1,530) per ounce and include Italian cinnamon rose, which requires at least 170 blossoms for a single drop of oil.

The bottle includes a 24-carat gold collar with a 5-carat diamond inset; a one-of-a-kind seal commissioned by Queen Victoria over 135 years ago, and is made from a material so difficult to work with that one out of every three attempts to create a bottle fails.

For the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William, Clive Christian presented the pair with “his and hers” editions of his signature scent in a luxurious silk lined case adorned with an ornate, hand-embroidered, gold coat of arms. This one-of-a-kind gift is technically priceless, as it cannot be bought, but to commission such an item would cost close to half a million dollars.

3. Custom Gulfstream Jet - $20,000,000 ( £13,000,000 )

One of the most famous celebrity couples in the world, Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, married on November 18, 2006, in a $3.5m (£2.3m) ceremony at the fifteenth-century Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, Italy. For their engagement Cruise had given Holmes a $275,000 (£178,000) Fred Leighton oval-shaped diamond ring; however, for his wedding gift to her he decided to set the stakes a little higher.

Cruise is known to be a fan of personal jets, having owned a Gulfstream IV for a number of years. So, it is no surprise that he would want his bride-to-be to travel in similar style. Some people may consider giving their loved one a $20,000,000 customized Gulfstream Jet, to be a bit ”over-the-top”, but if you’ve ever seen an interview with Tom Cruise, you’ll know that’s exactly his style.

2. Wedding Stadium - $22,000,000 ( £14,000,000 )

In 1981, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, married Princess Salama. To celebrate the occasion, the Sheikh’s father, the Ruler of Dubai, provided the venue for the wedding, which is not an unusual gesture for a parent to make.

In this case, however, the venue happened to be a purpose-built 20,000-seat stadium, at an estimated cost of around 22 million dollars. Upon completion, the couple enjoyed a week-long celebration within the stadium of their marriage. Even though the wedding was over two decades ago, it is still in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most expensive wedding ever, costing an incredible $100,000,000 ( £65,000,000 ).

1. Two Towns - Priceless

In 1659 Portugal was abandoned by its ally France. Fearing for her country’s security, the then regent, Queen Luisa, opened up negotiations with England that were to end in an alliance that still lasts to this day. This alliance was secured by the marriage of the recently restored monarch, Charles II of England, to Catherine of Braganza.

As was the tradition of the age, a dowry was given to the husband as “payment” for taking over possession of the wife. Usually, a royal dowry would consist of precious jewels and metals, but the dowry Charles II received was rather more extravagant - he was given the towns of Tangiers and Bombay (modern day Mumbai). The price of this gift is incalculable as both towns are now world-class cities, creating billions of dollars of money every year. If a single person where in sole possession of these two cities, they would be the richest person in the world.

12 Most Expensive Cars In The World - 2012

The type of car tells people how rich you are and the lifestyle that you live in. It is hard to imagine that there are many auto enthusiasts who have craze on this luxury cars, would actually spend 8 million dollars on a car instead of using it for something more productive. However, if you have the money and the opportunity, you will definitely spend a small fraction of it to place a few of these super cars in your garage. However, Here are the 12 most expensive cars in the world as of 2012. Take a look...

1. Maybach Exelero: $8,000,000

Price: $8 million
Country of Origin: Germany
Engine: V12 twin turbo
0-60 mph: 4.4 seconds

The exelero, commissioned by the tyre company Fulda is a chopped-down two-seater coupe. Though it is much more than just a show car. During the tests at the Nardo high-speed oval, the model reached the top speed of 218.38 miles per hour even though it weighed around 2.6 tonnes. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 4.4 seconds. The design of the car is the result of the competition among the students at the Pforzheim Polytechnic Department of Transport Design which has designed the show vehicles for Fulda during the past. The designing of the 24 year old Fredrik Burchhard was selected and the entire work was coordinated with Mayback design centre in Sindelfingen. Basing on the Maybach 57 limousine the project required a certain amount of re-engineering: the A-pillar and the doors were to be shifted backwards and the steering column, the pedals and the gearshift had to be relocated altogether. The benchmark 550- bhp v12 engine was prepared for 5.9 litres and tuned for 700 bhp with over 738 lb ft of torque. The final dimensions which were 5890mm long, 2140mm wide and just 1390 mm high the car was packed with a full-spec interior that included leather, neoprene, aluminium and the carnbonfibre finishes. Rapper Bryan “Birdman” Williams, reportedly spent $8,000,000 on the one-off Maybach Exelero coupe. The rapper has a net worth of $125 million. Now, this New Exelero will be limited to just 10 pieces.

2. Bugatti Veyron Supersport: $2,600,000

Price: $2.6 million
Country of Origin: France
Engine: 16-cylindars, 1,200hp
0-60 mph: 2.4 seconds

The fastest and the second most expensive car is the Bugatti Veyron Supersport – what more is there to know? At a whopping $2.6 million the Bugatti Veyron Supersport is the ultimate Bugatti and a test case of how far the VW engineers can go. By getting 1,200 hp from a quad-turbo 8.0 liter w16 engine and the standard built aerodynamics help it reach to the top speed of 267.81 mph. Plus, unlike a lot of rough-around-the-edges hypercars, the Veyron will keep you in the luxury.

3. Ferrari 599XX: $2,000,000

Price: $2 million
Country of Origin: Italy
Engine: 700hp V12
0-60 mph: 2.9 seconds

Have a Ferrari 559 and then turn it into a race only supercar and you get the 599XX. It is being powered by a 700-hp model of the factory V12 engine as there are no turbos or the superchargers here. Moreover you can accelerate to 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds. As a follow up to the Ferrari FXX this model was built in a few numbers for the much pampered Ferrari owners who are welcomed to speed drive their cars at the exclusive track events. Here the debate is centered on whether the car has better looks or better sound. Although Ferrari is yet to announce the price but it is rumored to be more than $2 million.

4. Zenvo ST1: $1,800,000

Price: $1.8 million
Country of Origin: Denmark
Engine: 1,250hp V8
0-60 mph: 2.9 seconds

Then comes the Zenvo ST1 from Denmark. With the help of this the Danes can add super cars to the litany of things that they are known for which includes Carlsberg beer and the stories narrated by Hans Christian Andersen. It makes 1,250 horsepower with the help of a turbocharged and the supercharged 7.0 liter V8 engine. The cost of this car is 1.8 million and along with it a free $50,000 watch is there for the offing.

5. Koenigsegg Agera R: $1,711,000

Price: $1.7 million
Country of Origin: Sweden
Engine: 1,115hp, 5.0-liter V8
0-60 mph: 2.9 seconds

Packed with a twin-turbo 5.0 liter V8, the Agera R by Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg produces the horsepower of 1,115 while running on E85 ethanol. Priced around $1.5 million for the usual Agera and if you want to earn a R badge you may have to give an additional $211,000.

6. Lamborghini Reventon: $1,600,000

Price: $1.6 million
Country of Origin: Italy
Engine: 6.5 L (400 cu in) V12
0-60 mph: 2.9 seconds

The mid-engined sports car, Lamborghini Reventon, which debuted at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor show ranks as one of the most powerful and most expensive Lamborghini cars ever made.

7. Aston Martin One-77: $1,400,000

Price: $1.4 million
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Engine: 750hp, 7.3-liter V12
0-60 mph: 3.7 seconds

The Aston Martin One-77 which is one of world’s full carbon-chassis vehicle which is dramatically styled too. The new crown jewel machine from the well renowned sports car maker is powered by a mammoth 7.3 liter v12 engine generating a 750 Horse Power. It also comes with a not-so-common pushrod suspension mechanism which is very much like the ones used in the Formula 1 cars. The price is fixed at$1.4 million as only 77 have been made and that is why they have earned the name.

8. Maybach Landaulet: $1,400,000

Price: $1.4 million
Country of Origin: Germany
Engine: 620hp 12-cylindar
0-60 mph: 5.2 seconds

The Maybach Landaulet could be a bargain as it is priced at $1.4 million. Because of the fact that it is quite rare and the decision taken by the Mercedeze-Benz, recently, to cut the penultimate luxurious brand it is destined to become a classical and a future Pebble Beach rarity. Designed on the 625 model the Landaulet is energized by a twin-turbo v12 engine generating 543 horse power. Its convertible rear, color-coded cabin and the divided driver and passenger areas make it really original.

9. Pagani Huayra: $1,300,000

Price: $1.3 million
Country of Origin: Italy
Engine: 700hp Mercedes-Benz-made V12
0-60 mph: 3.5 seconds

The most well known and yet unpronounceable and giving the appearance of a catfish, the Huayra is the second supercar made by Pagani. Being next in line to the Zonda, which is considered to be the best looking car ever, the Huayra is powered by a 700-hp twin-turbo Mercedes v12 engine and can reach to a top speed of over 230 miles per hour.

10. Hennessey Venom GT: $1,000,000

Price: $1 million (1,200hp edition)
Country of Origin: United States
Engine: 6.2-liter supercharged V8
0-60 mph: 2.5 seconds

Best known for making twin-turbo dodge vipers and other high tech machines, the Venom GT is the first car built by Hennessey Performance. However it would not be fair enough to call it as an original one as the chassis is being donated and then stretched by Lotus Elise Platform. Giving the car the power is a supercharged 6.2 liter GM sourced V8 engine making 1,200 horse power and is priced at $ 1 million.

11. SSC Tuatara: $970,000

Price: $970,000 (estimated)
Country of Origin: United States
Engine: 1,350hp 6.8-liter V8
0-60 mph: 2.5 seconds

The SSC Tuatara, which is being priced at $970,000 is a successor to the super sports car Aero. The new model is set to go on sale during 2012. Making about 1350 horse power, its engine is powered by a 7.0 liter twin-turbo V8. It weighs around 2,654 pounds, the SSC proudly says that it is just ahead of the present speed record holder the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.

12. Porsche 918 Spyder: $845,000

Price: $845,000
Country of Origin: Germany
Engine: 500hp 3.4-liter V8 with three electric motors delivering 218hp
0-60 mph: 3.1 seconds

Porsche’s upcoming crown leader, the 918 spyder, priced around $845,000 is at the 10th place as it is expected to arrive later this year. It is packed with a powerful v8 engine which generates more than the 500 horse power conjoined with a built in hybrid system which adds up to 218 horse power. Its maker, Porsche, claims a 0-60 miles in just 3.1 seconds at a whopping 78 mpg rating.

Top 20 Richest Women in the World - 2012

Forbes is an American publishing and media company. The magazine is well known for its lists, including its lists of the richest Americans and its list of billionaires. The motto of Forbes magazine is "The Capitalist Tool." Forbes has recently released the 2012 list of billionaires, there are 21 women billionaires in the world. They have a combined total net worth of $248.6 billion. Last year had 20 women billionaires in the world with combined fortune of $232 billion. Now, take a look at those top 20 richest women in the world.

1. Christy Walton, 57, & family

Net worth: $25.3 billion As of March 2012

Source of Wealth: Wal-Mart, United States

The widow of John Walton, she inherited his fortune of $15.7 billion after he died in an airplane accident in 2005. Regaining her 2010,2011 title as worlds richest woman, she got an extra bump in her fortune because of her late husbands early investment in First Solar; shares up nearly 500% since 2006 initial public offering.

2. Liliane Bettencourt, 89

Net worth: $24 billion -As of March 2012

Source of Wealth: L'Oreal, France

Frances richest woman and the only child of Eugene Schueller, her late father founded L'Oreal one of the worlds largest cosmetics and beauty companies.

3. Alice Walton, 62

Net worth: $23.3 billion-As of March 2012

Source of Wealth: Wal-Mart, United States

The daughter of Wal-Mart co-founder, her father, Sam Walton (died in 1922), a former clerk, founded original Bentonville store with his brother James. Today Wal-Mart has sales of $405 billion, employs more than 2.1 million people.

4. Georgina Gina Rinehart, 58

Net worth: $18 billion-As of March 2012

Source of Wealth: Mining, Australia

The heiress of Hancock Prospecting and the daughter of the late mining magnate Lang Hancock. She is the richest person in Australia and the richest woman in Asia.

5. Iris Fontbona, 69, & family

Net worth: $17.8 billion As of March 2012

Source of Wealth: Mining, Chile

The second wife, and now widow, of billionaire Andronico Luksic, who died of cancer in 2005. The family controls Antofagasta, one of the worlds largest copper miners. As of 2012, Iris Fontbona and her family have a net worth of $17.8 billion.

6. Birgit Rausing, 88, & family

Net worth: $14 billion- As of March 2012

Source of Wealth: Packaging, Sweden

The widow of Gad Rausing, after death of her husband in 2000, she inherited the packaging giant Tetra Laval along with her three children. In 1944 her father-in-law founded the company, which revolutionized the packaging of liquids such as juices and milk.

7. Jacqueline Mars, 72

Net worth: $13.8 billion -As of March 2012

Source of Wealth: Candy, Pet food, United States

The granddaughter of Frank C. Mars, founders of the American candy company Mars, Incorporated. The company's products are chocolate (Snickers, M&Ms) and pet food (Pedigree). The family has since created the worlds largest confectionery company by acquiring gum maker Wrigley in 2008 for $23 billion.

8. Susanne Klatten, 49

Net worth: $13 billion -As of March 2012

Source of Wealth: BMW, pharmaceuticals, Germany

Susanne Klatten is the daughter of Herbert Quandt, she inherited stake in automaker BMW from late father Herbert Quandt, who rescued it from bankruptcy in the early 1960s. Additionally, she is a trained economist with an M.B.A., Klatten also inherited a 50% stake in chemical manufacturer Altana and has since increased her control of the company to 100% and delisted the company.

9. Anne Cox Chambers, 92

Net worth: $12.5 billion -As of March 2012

Source of Wealth: Cox Enterprises, United States

The daughter of Cox Enterprises founder James M. Cox (Died in 1957), who finished high school at 17 and worked as a school teacher and newspaper reporter before shelling out $26,000 for the Dayton Evening News in 1898.

10. Savitri Jindal, 62

Net worth: $10.9 billion As of March 2012

Source of Wealth: Steel, India

She became the chairperson of O.P. Jindal Group (a steel and power conglomerate) after her husband, Om Prakash Jindal, died in a helicopter crash in 2005. Om Prakash Jindal founded the company in 1952.Savitri Jindal and her four sons Prithviraj, Sajjan, Ratan and Naveen runs the businesses.

11. Abigail Johnson, 50

Net worth: $10.3 billion As of March 2012

Source of Wealth: Fidelity, United States

Daughter of American businessman and investor Edward Johnson, III , Abigail Johnson and her father controls Fidelity Investments, Americas largest mutual fund company. She now owns up to 24% of the shares in Fidelity.

12. Johanna Quandt, 85

Net worth: $10 billion As of March 2012

Source of Wealth: BMW, Germany

The widow of German industrialist Herbert Quandt and mother of Susanne Klatten who is worth $13 billion. A former secretary and third wife of the late Herbert Quandt, her husband rescued auto maker BMW from bankruptcy in the early 1960s. She retired from BMWs supervisory board in 1997 but still owns 17% of the auto maker. Her children, Susanne Klatten and Stefan Quandt, have large stakes as well and are also billionaires. She now lives quietly in spa town of Bad Homburg near Frankfurt.

13. Laurene Powell Jobs & family

Net worth: $9 billion As of March 2012

Source of Wealth: Apple, Disney

The widow of co-founder and former CEO of Apple Inc., Steve Jobs, she inherited his wealth after he died in October 2011. A fortune that was largely placed into living trusts near the end of her husbands life. She is co-founder and President of the Board of College Track.

14. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, 57

Net worth: $7.7 billion As of March 2012

Source of Wealth: Heineken, Netherlands

She is the daughter of Freddy Heineken, the Dutch industrialist. She inherited 25% stake in Dutch brewer Heineken upon the death of her father in 2002. The company has more than 170 premium brands in more than 65 countries.

15. Miuccia Prada, 62

Net worth: $6.8 billion As of March 2012

Source of Wealth: Prada

The youngest granddaughter of Mario Prada, founder of fashion label Prada. Miuccia Prada runs the company with her husband Patrizio Bertelli. She also has a Ph.D. in political science.

16. Antonia Johnson, 68

Net worth: $6.5 billion- As of March 2012

Source of Wealth: Diversified, Sweden

In 1982 she succeeded her father as chairman of the board for Axel Johnson AB, Sweden, and Axel Johnson Inc., a diversified trading company founded by her great-grandfather in 1873.

17. Blair Parry-Okeden, 61

Net worth: $6.3 billion As of March 2012

Source of Wealth: Cox Enterprises, U.S.

The granddaughter of Cox Enterprises founder James M. Cox ( Died in 1957 ), Parry-Okeden inherited 25% stake in the business after her mother, Barbara Cox Anthony, passed away in 2007.

18. Wu Yajun, 48, & family

Net worth: $5.7 billion As of March 2012

Source of Wealth: Real Estate, China (Self made)

The richest self-made woman in the world is former journalist, Wu Yajun graduated from the Department of Navigation Engineering of the Northwestern Polytechnical University in 1984 with a degree in engineering, and from 1988 to 1993 worked as a journalist and editor with the China Shirong News Agency. She is owner of Hong Kong-listed real estate developer Longfor Properties. Wu shares her fortune with her husband, who also holds a stake in the company.

19. Yang Huiyan, 30

Net worth: $4.7 billion

Source of Wealth: Real Estate

Daughter of Chinese entrepreneur and the founder of Country Garden Group, Yeung Kwok Keung, transferred his holding of the family's main fortune, shares in family-controlled real estate developer Country Garden Holdings. Yang is the majority shareholder of Country Garden Holdings.

20. Rosalia Mera, 68

Net worth: $4.5 billion As of March 2012

Source of Wealth: Zara

Ex-wife of fashion executive Amancio Ortega Gaona, and co - founder of Inditex (parent company of Zara retail stores). Rosalia Mera is Spains richest woman. Mera and Ortega are long-divorced, but she still holds a 5.8% stake in Inditex, plus a pile of cash from its 2001 IPO.