Figure of the month: €1.3 million

News Arnulf Hinkel, financial journalist – 01.09.2020

When it comes to the topic of Covid-19, our foremost thoughts are of the threat the pandemic poses to our health as well as its severe impact on most economies around the world. But it also calls into mind a new phenomenon which has suddenly become part of our daily routine: the obligation to wear a face mask in public spaces. The emotionally charged issue has given rise to sharply differing opinions and intense discussions. Some are strictly opposed to wearing a mask, while others have made it not only a virtue but a status symbol.

How €4,000 turned into €1.3 million within only one month

On 4 July 2020, the Singaporean daily newspaper Straits Times published a news article that spread like wildfire across the world’s tabloids. An Indian businessman, who, according to his own statements, wears gold jewellery weighing more than one kilogram (the approximate equivalent of 2.2 lbs) every day, had added another accessory to his precious metal-bedecked outfit: a gold face mask worth around €3,300. He was the lucky owner of what was probably the most expensive face mask in the world, at least for a little more than a month. By 10 August, another news article claimed an Israeli luxury jeweller is currently working on a mask made of 18-carat white gold embellished with 3,600 jewels for a Chinese businessman. Value: around €1.3 million. The mask will be extremely valuable, but also very heavy, weighing roughly one hundred times as much as a standard protective mask. 

Face masks as a means of personal expression

If you want to invest a little less in your face mask, there is no need to ditch your sense of style. Luxury labels such as Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Gucci and Chanel all offer face masks from €200, real bargains compared to the examples above. Sports fans can also wear the masks of their favourite teams, and other interests in music, films and leisure activities can be expressed via protective masks – and usually for a budget-friendly amount.

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