This Is The Most Expensive Water In The World

Back when bottled water was first starting to be a thing, most of us were like, "Why should we pay for something we can get free out of any sink tap?" But then we found out just what nasty stuff was lurking in the water (thanks a bunch, Michael Moore!), and suddenly spending a dollar or two on some supposedly non-polluted water didn't seem like such a bad deal. Of course, once people get used to paying for something, suddenly more luxurious, exclusive versions keep popping up, each with a higher price tag and a fancier pedigree. But just how much are people willing to pay for water, a commodity that, after all, makes up about 70 percent of the planet's surface? Believe it or not, the highest price ever paid for a single bottle of water was an astounding five figures — yes, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the most expensive bottle of water ever, a refreshing little beverage called Acqua di Cristallo Tributo a Modigliani, sold for $60,000.

So why is this water so crazy expensive?

One reason the Acqua di Cristallo Tributo a Modigliani was able to sell for such a high price was its rarity — in fact, there was only ever one special 24 karat gold-covered bottle available, and it sold at auction in Mexico City in 2010 to raise funds marked for combating global warming. Good thing, too, since the cost of importing and combining the blend of waters from France, Fiji, and an Icelandic glacier probably left a carbon footprint of some size (via Money Inc.). Oh, and let's not forget the sprinkling of 23 karat gold dust in the water itself, sourced from who knows where.

The design of the bottle itself, apart from the bling factor, is pretty sweet — the "Tributo a Modigliani" part of the name refers to Italian expressionist painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani, and its design resembles one of the faces in the numerous portraits of women he painted. Its creator, Fernando Altamirano, is also responsible for the world's most expensive cognac bottle. If you're a fan of his design but you missed getting in your bid at that long-ago auction (or your budget can't quite stretch to $60K), here's some good news: you can still score a slightly-less-exclusive Tributo a Modigliani bottle (complete with Acqua di Cristallo) in different materials at price points ranging from a reasonable $3,600 all the way down to a bargain-basement price of $285. 

​ But wait, there's even more expensive water in the works

If, on the other hand, you're richer than God and Donald Trump combined and you won't even brush your teeth with water that costs a mere $60,000, never fear, the Paolo di Verachi studio (Altamirano's design firm) has something really, really over the top for you: that same Modigliani-inspired bottle, but this time in platinum studded with 6,000 high-quality diamonds and filled with the same 23 karat water. The price? A mere 4,000,000 euros, which is about $4.5 million. But just so you don't feel too overindulgent, a half mil of this sum, should anyone ever offer it, will be donated to "social causes." So should you be the lucky bidder, your conscience, like your water, can remain sparkling clear and dusted with gold.