Geschenke zu Weihnachten

Luxury gifts for Christmas – for the big and the small purse

No ideas for Christmas 2018? The recipient already has everything? Don’t believe that. There is always something you can give to someone.

Parents, grandma, grandpa, friends, the loved one – there should be something special for everyone. But that’s not always easy.

We have put together a selection of luxurious gift ideas for all those who still need a gift. And this for each category. This is why has a lot of gift tips for Christmas.

But watch out: None of the gifts is off the peg, but sometimes needs a bit of lead time. After all, good things take time! Plan some time for the purchase, no matter whether you decide to buy on the Internet or in a local shop. In any case, you will find a luxury gift, which will give the recipient a surprise and perhaps even a leap of joy.
And if you belong to the last-minute shoppers: Also a voucher for a gift from the respective category brings joy!

Accessories: Jewellery is almost always possible. Important: It must please!

You know, diamonds are a girl’s best friend. That’s beyond your budget? Then perhaps a variation with zirconia or another semi-precious stone will do. What counts most when you give jewellery as a present is that the wearer likes it. The downward price is therefore of secondary importance, because even inexpensive pieces of jewellery are worth a look. In contrast, it makes sense to set a price limit upwards. And if the jewellery costs more than originally thought a voucher might help.

Art: The value lies in the eye of the beholder

Art exists in every price category. From a few euros for a drawing to the painting of a popular painter for a few thousand or the sculpture of a famous artist that costs several millions. If you’re unsure, it’s best to select an entire collective of artists – and give away a voucher for a visit to a museum or gallery, such as this one. The most effective way, of course, is to visit a cultural centre that the recipient has not visited yet. So come up with something unusual!

Gourmet: Do you want to score at the family Christmas celebration with an unusual food?

Then give away a black truffle! The mushroom is an eye-catcher in any case. With this gift you are guaranteed to be amazed. Tip: First let the recipient guess what he got. We guarantee that not everyone will immediately find out. Many have never seen a black truffle before, let alone held it in their own hands. Don’t you want to be the first to give someone this unique chance?

Living: The own roof over one’s head or a plea for more cosiness

Giving an entire apartment or even a house as a gift is certainly beyond the scope – even for luxurious gifts. One idea would be to fold money into a house and give it away as a down payment for one’s own apartment or house. Alternatively, there is a range of furniture and furnishings that make living much more pleasant. Even seemingly insignificant things like a new pillow, a cashmere blanket or a new mattress can make you feel more comfortable at home.

Mobile: A voucher for a great car is a first-class gift

No, you shouldn’t give away a Ferrari or a Lamborghini. A voucher for a ride in a luxury car also does the trick. If this already exceeds your planned budget, have a look at the fleet of Car2Go or Drive Now. The car sharing services sometimes hide the purest luxury cars, such as the AMG CLA from Daimler. In this case, the driver only has to register before! You transfer the costs to the presentee afterwards – depending on how long the journey takes.

Travel: How about a short trip to a 5-star hotel? This is pure luxury!

Too expensive? It doesn’t matter. An overnight stay in a 5-star hotel in your own city will also do. Of course, only in a double room and best of all as a couple. There is no 5-star palace in your town? Then be creative and choose a beautiful and elegant hotel in the nearest town. This will certainly make your loved one cheer for joy. And your parents will also be thrilled if you spoil them as thanks for the many hard years.

Now Christmas Eve can come! Much joy with the presents!

Merry Christmas!

Super-Diamond with flawless face: Flawless Perfection

This diamond even outshines the British crown jewels. The auction house Sotheby’s is currently presenting a new super-diamond: Flawless Perfection. In German the name is “Makellose Vollendendung” . According to the description, the Super Diamond is actually even more than “super”. In any case, Sotheby’s is not reserved in using superlatives in its presentation. Estimated price: approximately $30 million.

Beautiful, pure and without any blemishes

Flawless Perfection is considered to be the largest white round diamond in the world. The sparkling diamond convinces in all essential criteria such as colour, clarity, cut and carat. With its 104.34 carats, it is the largest of its kind. The value of a gemstone depends above all on its hardness, shine and purity.

A  birthday present

The diamond would be  fitting  as a birthday present. At least for those who can afford it. In any case, Sotheby’s takes the opportunity to celebrate the anniversary of its noble branch in London’s New Bond Street with the presentation of the showpiece. Congratulations! The unique diamond will be presented to the public in the branch on 8th and 9th February 2018. If you are interested in the super diamond as a buyer, you have a bit more time: Until February 16th, 2018, you can admire the immaculate gemstone in the rooms of Sotheby’s.

Chocolate: Cracking makes the difference

Think of chocolate! A fine cocoa smell, a sweet and tart taste and a delicate feeling that something melts on the tongue is the consequence. Thus it is that the mouth of most people already waters when they are only thinking of chocolate.
Would you like more? Then read on.

Chocolate is not just chocolate

But chocolate is not the same as chocolate. There are big differences in consistency, in the smell and of course in the taste. “Good chocolate is obvious at first bite” says Robert Rauschenberg. “It must crack”. Cheap chocolate would remain without sound while biting off. The 29-year-old must know it: As the fifth at the top of the 1918 founded family business Rausch he knows best about high-quality ingredients and quality of chocolate. In 2018 the company celebrates its 100th anniversary. Rausch decided to say goodbye to the supermarket shelves: The chocolate maker understands chocolate as a luxury good and not as a sweet. The distribution of Rausch chocolate takes place nowadays almost exclusively online.

A taste adventure

Thanks to numerous flavours of fine cocoa chocolate is a taste adventure – but only if fine cocoa is used for the products. Quality cocoa may have up to 400 different flavours. The countries of origin are mainly found in South America. Many varieties of cocoa come from Peru and Papua New Guinea, as well as Ecuador and Costa Rica.
The noble cocoa sorts determine the price: The costs of exclusive varieties are well above world market prices of conventional chocolates. This affects the prices of the chocolate products in stores: Therefore customers pay much more for noble chocolate bars than for the products that are offered in the traditional supermarket.

Elphilharmonie - eine exklusive Anschrift

The most expensive apartment sold in Hamburg

Living in Hamburg is becoming increasingly expensive. This is nothing new. An owner of a 400 square meter apartment in the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg has now paid an absolute top price: over 10 million Euros. This apartment is not only an exclusive jewel in one of the most prestigious addresses in Hamburg, but also the most expensive apartment in the Hansestadt.

For this price, there is plenty of living space and a panoramic view from the 18th floor of the so called Elphi. Earlier, top floors of houses were once left to the servants, but today the top floors are for the upper crust. The good piece was sold by the broker firm Engel & Völkers. Currently, a few apartments in the new landmark are still free – and available for purchase. So if you have a few Euros left in your pocket, would like to have a particular exclusive look in the future and always wanted to live in an exceptional object, you should no longer hesitate. According to Engel & Völkers the possibility to live in an architecturally unique place of interest, is the special appeal of the apartments.

One thing, of course, should not be missing: an exclusive interior design. This is not included in the top price paid.

Expensive food – Where to get this cheap

Food prices fluctuate constantly. This is not only due to the fact that supermarkets always have individual items on offer, which prices seem particularly low. Other foods cost significantly more. In addition to these two categories, there is another. These foods generally occupy a special position. They are always high-price and are not always available. These foods are delicacies – not to mention common products such as goose liver paste or goat’s cheese. The products meant are the kobe beef, truffle, eel or caviar.

Meat of the expensive ox

The meat of the Kobe beef comes from a breed from Japan, the breed of the so-called Wagyu. The name Kobe-Rind may, however, only bear pure-breed Tajima cattle from the prefecture of Hyogo with the capital Kobe. In Germany the Japanese luxury meat can only be bought since summer 2014.

What is special is that the cattle experiences first-class treatment when compared to the cattle on our pastures. The animals are cared for and tended. Deep relaxation is the key word here. Their meat is therefore traversed by the finest adipose tissue. This makes the beef so extremely delicate – and at the same time so extremely expensive. “Meat” from the Kobe beef is sold for example at Albersfoodshop for 34 Euros per 100 grams. The price for a 500 gram steak is 170 Euros. Subtle flavoured meat is available for 8.99 Euros – but only as a burger.

Truffle for you

Truffles are black, white, grey or brown. Its shape resembles a tuberous stone with uneven surface. Unlike conventional fungi, they do not grow out of the ground, but underground. Depending on the variety they smell sometimes more, sometimes less intensively.

Truffles belong to the group of fungi. They have little in common with classical foam plants like mushroom, chanterelle or chestnut. For this reason they are not consumed as an accompaniment to fish or meat, but for purely gustatory reasons. Truffles are often used in sauces, pasta or rice. But they present their flavour in combination with potatoes or scrambled eggs.

French truffles are considered particularly aromatic. They are intense in taste and smell. Just a small amount is enough for cooking to express their dominance. The intensity determines the price. French truffles are therefore usually very expensive. Asian truffles are cheaper. By comparison, one gram of French Perigord truffle currently costs between 12 and 30 Euros; one gram of Asian truffle is between 0.32 and 0.50 Euros. Truffles are charged according to daily rates. The season, the region and the yield play a decisive role for the price.

Preis egal: Balloon Dog von Jeff Koons ist teuerstes Kunstobjekt

Money doesn’t matter: Koons’ Balloon Dog

When I was four years old a magician at a flea market gave me two balloons. These balloons were not just two balloons: They were formed into a dog, knotted together, tail and snout clearly noticeable. This afternoon this dog in a delicate pink and with round shapes made me the happiest child ever. I was very proud of the pink animal and my newly gained companion. This joy remained until one of my friends brought the balloons to burst. Disappointed and traumatized I ran from this time on through the world – without my beloved pink quadruped.

Recently, some 30 years later, I met my former companion again. He looked the same as used to. His pink colour had indeed transformed into a shiny metallic orange and he had grown to a few meters, but its curves and shape corresponded to those of my favourite many years ago. Why had not I have the imaginative idea of Jeff Koons? The snout with balloon closure was well known to me and his particular form had fascinated, yes, downright captivated me already as a four-year-old.

Dog is Art
Balloon Dog by Jeff Koons, was auctioned in November 2013 in New York for $ 58.4 billion (43.46 million euros). The work, which corresponds to the form of two knotted balloons, has catapulted Koons to the peak of the most expensive living artists. Who was yet again Gerhard Richter? Koons has managed an absolute coup with Balloon Dog. As I said, the form and the animal itself have delighted a little girl‘s heart thirty years ago. But now other values are of interest: Koons masterpiece exudes pomp and swank simultaneously. Decadence does not seem to fit for a description of a dog in such a larger than life-format.

Where hides the orange dog?
Who has bought the massive piece is not known – at least not in public. A photo showed the oversized doggy in the meantime on the lawn of a house somewhere. But if the good animal is actually still residing there, is not known. Whoever finds it, just write an e-mail with a suitable photo. We are looking forward to receiving numerous letters!

Up Date January 22, 2017: In the meantime, the Balloon Dog was spotted in various places. The total of 5 different coloured dogs in orange, blue, magenta, yellow and red were seen in the following cities: The magenta version is found at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice, it looks over the Grand Canal. This Balloon Dog belongs to François Pinault.
Billionaire Eli Broad is the proud owner of the blue version of expressive art. This dog can be seen, for example, in The Broad, a museum of contemporary art in Los Angeles. The red dog is owned by a Greek industrialist: Dakis Joannou. The yellow one is the property of SAC Capital hedge fund magnate Steven A. Cohen, who not only possesses this art copy, but many more. Only one still remains missing: The orange male dog hasn’t appeared anywhere in the public yet. If someone meets him: Please report! We are looking forward to your news!

By the way: One of the four-legged unfortunately crashed at the end of 2016. Fortunately, it was not one of the mentioned above large-sized pieces, but a smaller replica of the great originals. This happened at the Art Basel in Miami. Huups! So fast can a four-legged companion fall to pieces!


The down of the eider

They are soft; they are cuddly and incredibly warm: We talk about the down of the eider. But in addition to these three features, there is another characteristic: the feathers are incredibly expensive. A quilt from the down of the European eider costs around 3,000 Euros depending on size and quality. Top prices for eiderdowns reach the 10,000 Euro mark. But what makes the down so special?

Unlike conventional feathers of ducks or geese the eider down do not protect the duck from cold or wetness, they exclusively protect the brood. The European eider uses its special feathers to cushion its nest and protect its eggs against the icy cold in the prevailing breeding grounds in the regions of Scandinavia (Denmark, Iceland). The down provides excellent protection against climatic weather conditions such as cold winds and low temperatures, protecting the breed as well as the offspring. Especially in Iceland the collection of the down is very popular – not only for commercial reasons.

Despite its proud price, both the European eider and its feathers are visually rather unspectacular. It has a brownish colour and differs in size and structure from conventional down: it is larger, finer and forms a bur-like fabric. Thanks to this structure it is possible to produce very light blankets, which keep very warm despite a small amount of filling material. In the nature, the bur structure prevents the feathers from being blown away by wind and weather: The down stick together and form a warming bundle that also fulfils its warming purpose in the eiderdowns.

Collecting downs: A hobby with profit?
In Germany the collection of down from the European eider is only permitted when the duck has left its nest. This is the only time when the “harvest” of the precious and warming feathers from the deserted nests is allowed. In Iceland, on the other hand, different manners prevail: Here the European eider is properly supported during breeding: With wooden houses and prepared breeding caves some collectors make it particularly comfortable for the ducks. Before the chicks hatch, the farmers exchange the feather dress of down found in the nests against warming straw. In Iceland the collection of the down is a lucrative source of income with which money can be earned very well: Prices usually fluctuate considerably during one year. Even hobby collectors, who do not live from this activity but have fun picking the feathers, will get their money’s worth while hunting for the down. Even if they have only collected a few grams, this may be enough to fill a very light but warming blanket. In order to enjoy the exclusive filling, the down are cleaned in a special wash cycle at over a hundred degrees. The cleaning process sometimes takes several days, as the valuable feathers are subsequently dried and hand-selected. Knots, straw, and other residues must be removed from the feathers otherwise it will become uncomfortable at night.

If you are embedded with a blanket of hand-picked down of the European eider, the effect of the special filling will quickly be felt: light and airy, but warming at the same time. Not for no reason do the down of the European eider belong to the noblest and most expensive feathers in the world.

Foto: ©sid221 –
Text: GW