Top 10 Most Expensive Chess Sets In the World

Having operated in chess playing and selling chess supplies for over 50 years, we've seen many exotic chess sets. Yet, we can honestly say we’ve never seen anything quite like these extravagant, extremely rare, and highly prized world’s most expensive chess sets.


It's our distinct honor to present the most expensive chess sets in the world, beginning with the top two unchallenged victors.

#1 - Pearl Royale Chess Set – $4 Million USD

The Pearl Royale is the pinnacle of luxury chess sets, valued at an astonishing $4 million.


Made from solid 18k white gold and adorned with more than 500 carats of diamonds, royal blue sapphires, and South Sea Pearls, this set is the epitome of luxury.

The set was designed and crafted by Australian jewelry maker Colin Burn, who drew inspiration from his childhood love of chess and his passion for unmatched South Sea pearls.


Only three of these exquisite sets will ever be made, making it a true treasure for any chess lover.

The Story Behind the Pearl Royale


As a young child, Burns regularly played chess with his cousins, so his parents gave him a beautiful Staunton chess set which he really loved.


Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s he was exposed to Hollywood movies of epic battles and it was popular for kids to have collections of toy soldiers. This made chess a popular game, and for Burns, it embodied the same warlike spirit he saw in the epic movie battles.

Thinking back on those fun times, Burns found himself drawn to the idea of creating the most beautiful chess set in the world. He finally embarked on this project in 2008, with his first drawings.


He was already working creatively with the unparalleled South Sea pearls, so it was only natural that they became his inspiration.

It was also important to Burns for the design to be inspired by the Staunton 1849 set of championship origins.


Burns wanted the set to embody royal elegance and regal adornment. That’s why the world's finest diamonds and rich blue sapphires adorn both the king and queen pieces.


Colin Burn’s dream has been fulfilled – creating the world’s finest chess set seen below.

Crafted in solid 18k white gold and “pave” set with over 510 carats of GIA® certified diamonds. The heads are made of South Sea pearls and the King and Queen are accented with AAA Ceylon Blue sapphires, as shown in the image below.

So far, the Pearl Royale Set has been exhibited once at the ACCA Gallery in Beverly Hills, California. The exclusive 2019 exhibition allowed visitors to view the world's most expensive chess set by appointment, but the sets are so valuable that no other exhibition has been held at the time of writing.

Get Your Own Luxury Chess Set


If you’re looking for a family heirloom, get one of our exclusive Unique Chess Sets or handmade chess sets at much more reasonable prices.

Like the million-dollar sets on this list, the exquisite chess sets in our collection are crafted with attention to detail and quality. Each one combines artistic design with functional elegance, making it a cherished piece that can be passed down through generations.


Investing in a unique or handmade chess set not only enhances your playing experience but also creates a lasting legacy for your family.

#2 - Game of Kings Chess Set – Est. $3 Million USD

Coming in as the second most valuable chess set in the world, the Game of Kings Chess Set is estimated to be worth $3 million.


This magnificent set of obsidian, gold, and silver chess pieces took two years to complete and weighs more than a ton (2,400 pounds), featuring over 110 pounds of silver.

Game of Kings Chess Set Inspired by Ancient Aztecs


The set is inspired by ancient Aztec and Mayan civilizations, with intricate carvings and designs completed by renowned artists from around the world, including craftsmen from Teotihuacan, Mexico.


The silver finishing was completed by the renowned Carlos & Albert Studio in Mexico. In total, this breathtaking work of art took two years of manual labor by renowned artists from around the world. The artist and graphic designer for this magnificent chess set is from Russia.

The Kings are made of black and red obsidian, respectively, and finished with 925k silver, 22k gold vermeil, and turquoise ornamentation.


The dimensions of the king pieces are:

  • 450mm height (17.7”)
  • 150mm depth (5.9”)
  • 150mm width (5.9”)
  • 5 kg weight. (11 pounds)

Like the Kings, the Queens are made of black and red obsidian, 925k silver, and 22k gold vermeil. Their dimensions are:


  • 420mm height (16.5”)
  • 150mm depth (5.9”)
  • 150mm width (5.9”)
  • 5kg weight (11 pounds)

In keeping with Aztec culture, the Bishops are hunters, and also made of obsidian, 925 silver, and 22k gold vermeil. Their dimensions are:


  • 350mm height (13.7”)
  • 150mm depth (5.9”)
  • 150mm width (5.9”)
  • 5kg weight (11 pounds)

The Knights are jaguars made of red and black obsidian, finished with 925k silver, 22k gold vermeil, and 2 karat rubies for the eyes, two on each piece. They measure as follows:


  • 250 mm in height (9.8”)
  • 150mm in depth (5.9”)
  • 150mm in width (5.9”)
  • 4.5 kg weight (9.8 pounds)

The Rook was modeled after Tlaloc, the Aztec rain god. The piece is also made of red and black obsidian, 925 silver, and 22k gold vermeil. Its dimensions and weight are:


  • 380mm height (14.9”)
  • 150mm depth (5.9”)
  • 150mm width (5.9”)
  • 6.2 kg (13.6 pounds)

Aztecs were known for being very skilled with the bow and arrow. Thus, the Pawns are archers, made of red and black obsidian, 925 silver, and 22k gold vermeil. Their dimensions are:


  • 200mm height
  • 150mm depth
  • 150 mm width
  • 1.5 kg weight.

Chess Table With Jaguar Heads


The Game of Kings Chess table is just as impressive as its obsidian chess pieces. Also carved out of solid obsidian, the table is adorned with four silver jaguar heads because the gods of the Mayans were often depicted as having similar attributes to the jaguar.


Each corner of this beautiful chess table has a Jaguar head made of 925 Silver, and two 12 mm diameter HT emeralds with the following dimensions:

  • 160 mm height (6.3 inches)
  • 160 mm depth (6.3 inches)
  • 140 mm width (5.5 inches)
  • 4.2 kg weight (9.26 pounds)


The whole Game of Kings chess set, including the ornate obsidian cheese table, used more than 10 tons (22,000+ pounds) of obsidian.


Even more remarkably, it was necessary to comb through 100+ tons (220,000+ pounds) of obsidian to select enough stone that would meet their stringent standards for excellence.


Action: The Game of Kings has been on exhibition, particularly during the Moscow exhibition of Mexican art in 2019. If you would like more photos or are interested in acquiring the set, reach out to Chess House for a possible introduction to the seller.

8 More Wildly Expensive Chess Sets

The two most expensive chess sets in the world have quite a margin on the other 8 in the top 10 list.


#3. The Jewel Royale Chess Set - $9.8 Million

Despite its eye-watering price and being often cited as the most expensive chess set in the world, the Jewel Royale Chess Set is surrounded by controversy. Some artists have questioned its true value, and some think the Jewel Royale chess set has an actual value closer to $1.3 million.


Despite that, the official valuation remains at $9.8 million. This luxury chess set is crafted from gold and platinum, with pieces adorned with diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires. It represents the ultimate in opulence and craftsmanship.


So far, only the King piece has been crafted for the Jewel Royale Chess Set, which commissioned the work. If the rest of the set is completed, it’ll instantly become the most expensive chess set in the world.


#4. The Art of War Chess Set

Designed by Victor F. Scharstein, the Art of War Chess Set is priced at $1 million. Each piece is made of gold and platinum, and decorated with diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. This set showcases extreme wealth and the intricate craftsmanship that went into creating it.


#5. The J. Grahl Chess Set

Commissioned in 1972 by a private collector, the J. Grahl Chess Set is valued at $750,000. It features solid gold and silver pieces with intricate detailing and a beautifully designed board. This set stands as a testament to exquisite craftsmanship and artistic design.


#6. The Royal Diamond Chess Set

Created by Charles Hollander, the Royal Diamond Chess Set is valued at $600,000. It includes 1,168 grams of 14-carat white gold and 9,900 black and white diamonds. This luxurious set combines regal design with the allure of precious stones, making it a true collector's item.


#7. The Carolingian Chess Set

Priced at around $395,000, the Carolingian Chess Set features pieces inspired by the Carolingian Empire. Crafted from gold and silver and encrusted with precious stones, this set brings a historical and luxurious touch to the game of chess.


#8. The Baccarat Crystal Chess Set

The Baccarat Crystal Chess Set is a stunning example of elegance and luxury. Made entirely from crystal, this set is valued at approximately $287,000. The pieces are crafted with precision and clarity, making The Baccarat Crystal one of the top chess sets in the world.


#9. The Gold and Diamond Chess Set by Piero Benzoni

Valued at $250,000, this chess set by Piero Benzoni is made from solid gold and decorated with diamonds. Each piece is a miniature sculpture, making this set not only a game but also a work of art. It reflects the opulence and grandeur associated with luxury chess sets.


#10. The Pagoda Figurines Chess Set

The Pagoda Figurines Chess Set is valued at approximately $696,260. This elegant chess set dates back to between AD 1720 and AD 1730 and is known for its rich historical value and luxurious materials, including silver, silver-gilt, brass, copper, mother of pearl, and stained ivory inlaid boulle marquetry.


The figurines, crafted from mother-of-pearl and aventurine glass, represent a blend of European and Oriental influences, making it a highly sought-after collector's item among chess lovers.


These sets are the top 10 in our list, but there are several other notable mentions, including:

  • Von Münch Chess Set: The Christian I von Münch Chess Set is valued at approximately $552,570. Among other features, it varies ivory and tortoiseshell squares inlaid with silver stars and scrolls.
  • Issus Chess Set: The Battle of Issus Chess Set, worth an estimated $1.9 million, depicts the historic battle between Alexander the Great and the Persians with detailed mini sculptures and mechanized pieces made from 14-karat gold and adorned with semi-precious stones.
  • Pagoda Figurines Chess Set: This set is valued at $696,260 and dates back to 1720-1730. It features high-end materials like silver, ivory, and mother of pearl, with figurines crafted from aventurine glass and tortoiseshell bases.

Summary: Heirloom Quality Chess Sets

The world of luxury chess sets is a fascinating blend of art, history, and opulence. From the breathtaking Pearl or Jewel Royale sets to the intricate historical designs of the Pagoda Figurines and Battle of Issus chess set, these masterpieces transcend the traditional game of chess.


These expensive chess sets are fun to play with, in addition to being timeless works of art that celebrate the beauty and complexity of chess. As a chess lover and collector, why not get a high-quality chess set like these modern chess sets as an heirloom for your children?


Our friendly team here at Chess House is always ready to help you find the ideal chess set for your needs. Chat with our highly experienced and friendly team of chess experts for more information about getting handcrafted custom chess pieces today.