An Israeli jewelry company is working on what it says will be the world’s most expensive coronavirus mask: a gold, diamond-encrusted face covering with a price tag of $1.5 million.
The 18-karat white gold mask will be decorated with 3,600 white and black diamonds and fitted with an N99 filter at the request of the buyer, said Isaac Levy, designer and owner of Yvel company.
Levy said the buyer had two other demands: that it be completed by the end of the year, and that it would be the priciest in the world. That last condition, he said, ‘was the easiest to fulfill.’
Levy declined to identify the buyer, but said he was a Chinese businessman living in the United States.
The glitzed-up face mask may lend some pizzazz to the protective gear now mandatory in public spaces in many countries. But at 270 grams (over half a pound) — nearly 100 times that of a typical surgical mask — it is not likely to be a practical accessory to wear.
In an interview at his factory in Motza, near Jerusalem, Levy showed off several pieces of the mask, covered in diamonds. One gold plate had a hole for the filter.
‘Money maybe doesn’t buy everything, but if it can buy a very expensive COVID-19 mask and the guy wants to wear it and walk around and get the attention, he should be happy with that,’ Levy said.
Such an ostentatious mask might also rub some the wrong way at a time when millions of people around the world are out of work or suffering economically.
Levy said that while he would not wear it himself, he was thankful for the opportunity.
‘Personally, I would not walk with a mask like this,’ he said, according to Eyewitness News. ‘I think that we all should wear the same regular N95 mask.
But, he added: ‘I am happy that this mask gave us enough work for our employees to be able to provide them jobs in very challenging times like these times right now.’
Bezalel Cooper, another designer at the company, said that he’s never seen anything like this mask.
‘Setting this many diamonds is a little bit stressful, but we’ll get by,’ he said.
While the diamond-covered mask will be, by far, the most expensive one in the world, there are several fashion designers selling masks at price points well above what the average person is willing to pay.
Isaac Sellam Experience is selling several colorful iterations of its ‘Hanibal face mask’ for $410 each. The masks have cotton lining and are leather on the outside.
Title of Work as a $240 nylon face mask — which, incredibly, can’t be cleaned in a washing machine. Instructions direct customers to ‘spot clean’ and ‘disinfect with UV light of disinfectant spray.’
The brand GRLFRND has several silk masks with different patterns that cost $128. These can only be hand-washed.
Virgil Abloh’s Off White has several different masks for $118 each.