The Pearl Royale, the Most Expensive Chess Set in the World

Pearl Royale the world's most expensive chess set

Chess is not generally associated with the word luxurious. However, we’ve come across a set that above any other is deserving of the moniker. The chess set in question is called the Pearl Royale. It involved countless hours of meticulous craftsmanship, is covered in diamonds and made of solid 18k white gold.

If you’re multi-talented, what do you do to occupy your time? Why not create the most expensive chess set in the world, call it the Pearl Royale and put it up for sale for $4 million? That is precisely what Australian artist and jeweller Colin Burn has done.

Colin Burn with a Pearl Royale Chess piece

Taking inspiration from the original 1849 Staunton chess set, he set about recreating this icon by handcrafting each piece in white gold with black and white South Sea pearls and dressing the pieces in the finest diamonds.

The basis for the Pearl Royale
In 1849, Nathaniel Cooke registered the very first Boxwood and Ebony Staunton Pattern Chessmen. These are the chess pieces we’re all familiar with today and the ones painstakingly replicated in the Pearl Royale. Exactly who originally designed the chess pieces in the first sets is still a mystery even today.

The first sets carried the name of the most prominent player of the time, the English chess master Howard Staunton. Staunton was the man who broke the French dominance of the game and helped to make the game what it is today by organising the first international tournament and founding and editing the “The Chess Player’s Chronicle”.

Pearl Royale chess set in white gold

About the Pearl Royale
Aside from being the most expensive chess available to buy in the world, the Pearl Royale is almost certainly the most opulent version of the game ever created. Burn’s masterpiece is made from solid 18k white gold and is inset with more than 500 carats of diamonds, royal blue sapphires and South Sea Pearls.

Diamonds in the Pearl Royale chess pieces

With something so precious, exhibiting it cannot be the easiest thing to do which probably explains why its only been out on display on one previous occasion. This took place in 2019 at an art gallery in Beverly Hills California.

The good news is that it is due to be showcased once more. Colin is planning to assemble the world’s greatest chess players to compete in a tournament playing on his incredible creation. My advice would be to count the pieces up at the start of the game and make sure the number of pieces is the same at the end of the game!

Pearl Royale gold and diamond chess piece

The outbreak of the virus has put plans for this back somewhat, but a considerable amount of ongoing effort is set to make the competition a reality next year in Paris.

The Pearl Royale chess set comes with diamond and gem certification and is listed as a limited edition artwork.

Is the Pearl Royale chess set worth the money? That’s for you to decide. The fact each set has 500+ carats of diamonds and is made of solid 18k gold could be a genuine reason to invest in one particularly as some are predicting that gold prices could reach $5000 or even $10,000 per ounce in the coming years.

Material value aside, the Pearl Royale could be considered a piece of history as it is highly likely no one will attempt to create a more expensive version of the game. And owning a piece of history could be worth the price tag alone.

If you’d like the honour of owning the most expensive chess set in the world, bear in mind it will cost you $4 million. You can organise a private, secure viewing through the ACCA Gallery in Beverly Hills.

For more information on the Pearl Royale chess set, visit

Read more collectables and art-focused articles in our dedicated section here.

The Pearl Royale, the Most Expensive Chess Set in the World 2


Paul Godbold

Founder, Editor-in-Chief

Paul is the owner and editor-in-chief of Luxurious Magazine. He previously worked as a fashion model, was in the British Army and created companies in the technology, venture capital and financial services sectors. In addition to writing, he also proofs, edits, designs, lays out and publishes all the articles in the online magazine. Paul is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists.

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