What’s the Most Expensive Guitar in the World?

How does a Fender Stratocaster become one of the most expensive guitars in the world? Adding 550 diamonds to a model is a good attempt, but nothing adds truer value than that of a good cause.

When you buy a Ferrari or a pair of Nikes you buy the name, not just the craftsmanship. Yet, when the Reach Out to Asia Fender Stratocaster managed to raise $3.7m in its various auctions, it was the cause in which it was going to that gave sale, not just these impressive list of names that were signed onto it:

Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Brian May, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Pete Townsend, Mark Knopfler, Ray Davis, Liam Gallagher, Ronnie Wood, Tony Lommi, Angus and Malcom Young, Paul McCartney, Sting, Ritchie Blackmore, Def Leppard and Bryan Adams.

The guitar was initially auctioned to the royal family of Qatar for $1 million in 2005 to help raise funds for the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. It was then donated back to the charity program, making a further $2.7m.

What gives a guitar its value?

Despite the brand name and a dozen or so superstars signing it, the Reach out to Asia Fender Stratocaster itself is still valuable in its own right. But what is it about high end guitars that makes them so valuable?

The Name

Fender has a history for changing up the music scene. After WWII, Leo Fender’s introduction of a solid body guitar design which came to be known as the Telecaster, was a gift to Rock and Roll that would be its definitive instrument to match the sound of big bands and begin to build the genres popularity. Leo Fender kept his creative spur, which lead to the production of other models that could be mass produced, such as the Stratocaster; another instrument that came to shape the future the music. With musical legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Jeff Buckley becoming heavily associated with the brand it carried the Fender brand into new levels of stardom. Fender now has 6 of the most expensive guitars amongst the world’s top 10 most expensive guitars, most of which belonging to guitar heroes.

The Materials

Another element that adds not just monetary value, but value to the sound of the guitar itself is the tonewood from which it is made. Some woods are so sought after for their impact on the sound that the instrument produces that they have become endangered. Brazilian Rosewood one such tonewood and is now one of the most expensive guitar tonewoods due to the trees near extinction. This has resulted in the tonewood no longer being commercially available.

Fun Fact: Most electric Fender guitars incorporate a maple neck.

The Most Expensive Guitar Pick and the Most Expensive Guitar Amp

Gaining insights about the most expensive guitar in the world gets you wondering what plectrum could be financially worthy of gracing the strings of a guitar with the names of so many musical legends sprawled across it? Starpics, the precious metal plectrum company, has the made the pick that comes the closet. A pick from the stars, made from the Gibeon meteorite that’s believed to be over 4 billion years old; an age just shy half a billion years of the age of the Earth. The picks themselves cost $4674 and still retain the alien markings that the meteorites held when they were discovered in Africa in 1863.

So what amp would be most appropriate to sound out the most expensive guitar in the world’s melodies along with the priciest guitar pick available? That would have to be the vintage Dumble Overdrive Special. Noted to be the most valuable guitar amplifier to date, its price ranges from $28,000 to $35,000 apiece. There’s supposedly less than 300 Dumble amps in circulation.

What is the World’s Most Expensive Instrument?

The Reach out to Asia guitar may have raised $3.7m, but what’s the world’s most expensive instrument?

About the Author:

Adam is a freelance writer that focuses on luxury asset trends for Borro Private Finance.