Over thousands of years, gold has been electroplated onto spoons, jewelry, watches, belt buckles, picture frames, watches, and even faucets. Now, things have gone even farther, because a company called Carlson just introduced a gold-coated Mercedes-Benz S Class sedan at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland. It calls its modified car the Carlsson CS50 Versailles, because it is intended to replicate the opulence of the chateau of Versailles during the age of Louis XVI. There’s gold on the exterior panels, on the trim, and in the interior too. Carlsson isn’t giving out the price, but does state that about $17,000 worth of gold is used in the interior of the car alone. That should help you decide whether to inquire further.
If you’re in the market for a new car, you can read about the Carlsson Versailles and see pictures here.
A Squirrel Applies the Gold to the Outside
I’m not completely kidding about that. Here, from Carlsson’s press release about the car, is a description of how the gold leaf is layered onto the car’s exterior:
“In a process taking over 200 man-hours, the bodywork of the Carlsson Versailles is adorned with more than 1,000 sheets of wafer-thin gold leaf. A special Squirrel hairbrush is used to absorb these 80 x 80 mm gold leaves, and place them on the suitably prepared surface in an irregular laying pattern known as a Roman Association. This is merely the start of an elaborate process taking more than 14 days, during which the bespoke clear-coat undergoes its labour intensive application, drying and sealing to ensure a unique and perfect finish whose practicality and durability is comparable to that of conventional paint.”
And now let’s move onto a description of the trim and the interior:
“In a specially developed process, a further 278 interior and 30 exterior components receive a lustrous gold finish, with exterior elements such as the radiator grille, door handles, and grille inserts in the front bumper left glistening with a rich golden sheen. In the plush cabin, various buttons, knobs, air vents and even the speaker grilles also take on a golden glow, forming an aesthetic symbiosis with the gold leaf covered frame, panels and trim inserts. This task requires more than 100 man-hours of specialist craftsmanship to complete, and the value of the 985 gold used in the interior alone is around 12,000 euros. The skill of Carlsson's craftsmen is also apparent in the soft Nappa leather from their Signature Line that envelopes the seats in a contrasting combination of dark brown and champagne hues set off by the gold highlights. A gold Carlsson logo is incorporated into the champagne section of the leather as the finishing touch.”
Can We Recycle Your Gold-Plated Mercedes?
To date, 10 people have placed orders for these cars. If you are one of them and you anticipate that you might want to recycle it someday, please keep Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners in mind. We have yet to smelt a Mercedes, but now that we have entered the era of the gold-plated car, we look forward to the opportunity some day. For expert advice and assistance with reclaiming and recycling electroplated gold, call us at 800-426-2344.
3 Simple Steps: How to Find the Best Gold Refiner
Gold Refining: Why It Takes an Expert to Evaluate Your Gold-Plated Items
Some Fascinating – and Potentially Profitable – Facts You Never Knew about Refining Gold
The Confusing – and Very Profitable – World of Gold Alloys
A Brief – and Useful – History of Fool’s Gold