The Most Expensive Tattoo In The World Valued $924,000

Minki van der Westhuizen with Shimansky's most expensive tattoo

There was a time when a tattoo bearers are stereotyped as a sailor, biker, rock star or anyone with a rebel image.  In recent times, tattoos have become more acceptable, with even clean-cut celebrities and highly respected politicians sporting the ink.

Tattoos are usually priced based on their size, color, location on the body and complexity of design. A tattoo artist who charges you $500 for a good ink design has to be pretty good to charge that much.

But what about the one that charges $924,000? Yes, that’s right, there’s a tattoo that is valued at almost one million dollars and most expensive so far.

The diamond tattoo was actually a marketing gimmick by a jewellery retail store in South Africa known as Shimansky. The luxury store has four international branches and eight branches locally in South Africa. The company has its own diamond cutting and polishing business based in Johannesburg. Their diamonds are known to be of the highest quality, and his marketing ideas are one of a kind.

In 2010, during the football World Cup held in his country, Shimansky took the opportunity to market its brand and came out with a ball fully encrusted with diamonds. It consisted of 2,640 black and 6,620 white diamond stones. In total, the ball weighed 3,500 carats or 2.2kgs. The price tag for it 1.7 million US dollars is one that can only be afforded by a select few.

This was followed by the idea of creating a tattoo out of diamond stones.

Shimansky serves some of the most famous clients in the world including Bill Clinton, Lee Ryan, Charlize Theron and Christina Aguilera.

What makes this body art so expensive

While almost all tattoos are drawn using ink, this one is made using actual diamond stones hence the high price tag. It consists of 612 diamond stones each weighing in at half a carat.

Finding the right model

Finding the right person to carry the tattoo was as important as the tattoo itself. After a careful search, one of the most acclaimed models in South Africa and in the world, Minki van der Westhuizen, was chosen. In the modeling industry since she was just 16, she has appeared in popular magazines such as GQ, Elle, Glamour, Sports Illustrated, Cosmopolitan and Bravo. At the time she was chosen, she was already the store’s brand model.

Putting diamonds on someone’s skin is definitely not an easy job, it took the best of the best. Minki, the model, had to endure through 8 grueling hours of tattooing as artists carefully adhered each stone onto the skin on her back using a water adhesive. This type of adhesive was chosen to ensure that the diamonds could come off at a later time and not get attached permanently which would have brought about comfort issues when she lay on her back.

Each of the 612 Shimansky 0.5 cut carat diamonds had to be attached onto her skin one by one. The final design was an amazing floral pattern. Combining the skill required, the design, the labor and the diamonds themselves it is easy to see how the value came to almost one million US dollars.

The idea was to market Shimansky jewels as a really high-end audience store through the use of the rising popularity of body tattoo. 

The tattoo costs $924,000 and the company assures to get one of these tattoos at any of their stores. No matter whether you use real or fake diamonds, in the end it is your attitude behind your expensive passion that matters.