As you rub on the magical lamp, a genie appears. If the genie were to grant you three wishes, what would they be? Will you ask for the most expensive COVID-19 mask in the world? That was the request that Jewelry Designer Isaac Levy fulfilled – with or without a magical lamp. He works in the Israeli jewelry house called Yvel.
He was commissioned to grant three requests: that the mask will comply with the FDA/European safety standards, will be ready by the end of 2020, and will be the most expensive COVID-19 mask in the world. The last requirement was the easiest to fulfill, according to Mr. Levy.
Mr. Levy said that the item was requested by a Chinese billionaire living in the United States of America. Thus, it comes with a price tag of US$1.5 million or S$2 million. Saving face plays an essential part in the Chinese Culture, and a bejeweled mask by Yvel takes this to another level!
This expensive mask may be glamorous, but some may question its practicality. You see, it is expected to weigh about 270 grams or over half a pound. The mask consists of 250 grams of 18-carat white gold, which is embellished with more than 3,600 natural black and white diamonds. This equates to a total weight of 210 carats.
Its physical appearance aside, the mask is set to meet the strict health standards with the current pandemic in mind. Mr. Levy made sure that the mask included an N99 filter. The mask features a hole in one of its gold plates for the filter to sit. In other words, the mask will filter out at least 99% of airborne particles.
The labor-intensive process for this luxurious piece as well as its other requirements entails that this project will not only benefit one man. The Jewelry House Yvel takes pride in hiring predominantly immigrant employees and projects such as this will help them thrive during these tough times.
Mr. Levy went on and said:
“It is the most expensive mask in the world. If there will be another company that will create such a mask and will challenge us, I am sure that we’re going to find another customer to buy a more expensive mask.”
This extravagant mask comes at a time when luxury brands and designers such as Off-White and Emilia Wickstead are offering fashionable face coverings. Moreover, luxury group LVMH (which oversees Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, and Christian Dior) assisted in the production of hand sanitizers amidst the global shortages. They converted three fragrance factories for this purpose.
Whatever happens in the years to come, this mask will serve as a hefty memento of the life-changing pandemic.