Much like James Bond villain Auric Goldfinger, Beverly Hills designer Hugh Power is the man with the Midas touch, literally. Power possesses a peculiar passion for turning everyday items into gold. Power has successful performed gilded transformations of mountain bikes, reading glasses, drinking straws, ear buds, shoelaces, guitar picks and much more.
Power, who is the proprietor of the House of Solid Gold, earned a double dose of national exposure yesterday when the Huffington Post ran a feature story about his company under the category of “Weird News,” and then CNBC's “Secret Lives of the Super Rich” ran a segment on the designer and highlighted the fact that he crafted a gold toothpick for rapper Snoop Dogg.
Most of Power’s items are designed in solid 18-karat gold. In some cases, 24-karat gold leaf, overlay or electroplate is used where practicality crosses everyday needs, according to the designer’s web site. Prices generally range from $800 to $495,000.
Power considers his gilded products as objets d’art. Each signed piece is meticulously finished on the inside and out. Power claims to use only the finest quality gemstones and materials.
Power’s half-million-dollar extreme mountain bike, which took more than 750 hours to complete, is handcrafted and overlaid with pure 24-karat gold. The frame, chain, spokes and pedals are all covered in gold. The bike’s custom emblem bearing The House of Solid Gold logo ("THSG") is embellished with more than 600 black diamonds weighing 6 carats and 500 golden sapphires weighing 4.5 carats. The customized seat is covered in brown alligator skin and the water bottle is covered in gold and accented with chocolate brown stingray.
Merging elements of the luxury optical and fine jewelry industries, Power worked with inventor and patent holder Ron Lando to introduce a gilded version of CliC’s front magnetic connection eyewear. The frame, side stems and back piece are all fabricated in 18-karat solid gold. Power reported that it generally takes a master jeweler 50 hours to complete a pair of these limited-edition reading glasses. The price tag is $75,000.
Priced at a relatively affordable $850, Power offers stainless steel drinking straws that are overlaid, inside and out, with pure 24-karat gold. The straws are not only for show, but can be used to sip one’s favorite beverage.
Another common item transformed into fine jewelry is a pair of earbuds crafted in 18-karat solid gold. Every pair is produced by hand in Stockholm, Sweden, by Happy Plugs CEO and founder Andreas Vural and his master jeweler. Each earbud weighs 25 grams, or 50 grams for the pair. The price is $14,995.
For the sporty consumer looking for a little extra bling, Power presents 24-karat gold shoelaces for $14,995. The laces are woven from 24-karat gold thread. Using ancient artisan techniques, "the world's most expensive shoelaces" are manufactured in the Cauca gold belt less than 10 miles from where the gold was mined in Columbia. Each pair takes 120 hours to create.
Power’s simplest offering is an 18-karat solid gold guitar pick. The item has a standard size and thickness and is hand polished to a high luster. The maker claims that the sound produced with a solid gold guitar pick has a mellow brightness. The pick also may be used as a makeshift slide. The price is $1,498.
Images via houseofsolidgold.com.