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¥350m gold Christmas tree is no Mickey Mouse purchase

For those seeking a glow to their Christmas this year, a jewellery store in downtown Tokyo has just the answer: a pure gold revolving “tree” covered in Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Tinker Bell and Cinderella.

The tree-like ornament is made of 40kg of pure gold, standing about 2.4m high and 1.2m in diameter. It is decorated with pure gold plate silhouette cut-outs of 50 popular Disney characters and draped with ribbons made of gold leaf. The price tag? A mere ¥350 million (R38m).

But the ornament is actually a good deal, according to Tomoko Ishibashi, in the marketing department of Tanaka Kikinzoku Jewellery, which runs the Ginza Tanaka jewellery store.

“Right now gold is over ¥4 400 a gram. We used pure gold and had an expert craftsman form each Disney character by hand,” she said of the decoration, which took 10 craftsmen two months to complete.

The combination of gold and Disney characters had spectators mesmerised. “It is very vivid and the gold is very pretty,” said jeweller Takashi Miura. “The characters on it are also really cute and it really looks like a Christmas tree.”

For those with less ready cash, the store offers a scaled-down version that features 20 Disney characters and stands 25cm high for a mere ¥2m.

While nobody had yet made a downpayment on the larger tree, the miniature had already found buyers, Ishibashi said. – Reuters

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