Gold Turns Hairdryer into Luxury Item

Gold Turns Hairdryer into Luxury Item from Schiff Gold

How do you turn a mundane $20 bathroom appliance into a luxury item that will set you back $500?

Put some gold on it.

That’s exactly what Dyson has done. No joke. The iconic (meaning overpriced) vacuum cleaner company has developed a hairdryer gilded with 23.75-karat gold leaf.

Will this hairdryer get your hair dryer than the $16.99 Conair model advertised on Amazon?

Nope.

Does this hairdryer blow some kind of special air unknown to other hairdryer brands?

Nope.

Will this hairdryer make your hair look better than the Walmart version?

Nope.

So, why pay $500 for it?

Well, I wouldn’t.

Then again, I don’t have much hair, so this isn’t really a must-have appliance for me. But the bottom line is that people will pay $500 for the Dyson gold-gilded dryer simply because it’s made with gold. And let’s face it. We all love having gold.

Now to be fair, I don’t actually know that the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer won’t dry your hair better than the plain, old, non-supersonic Conair model. But, I don’t really see how. Blowing hot air is pretty much blowing hot air. Still, like I said, I’m no expert. I started shaving my head back in the 90s, so I’m not exactly up on the latest in hair drying technology. But I just can’t imagine that there is a significant functional difference in a $16.99 hair dryer and a $500 hair dryer. I could be wrong, though. But I’m probably not.

Granted, a pricer Dyson model may well last longer. The company is, after all, known for its engineering prowess. But I can buy an awful lot of Conair dryers for $500. Twenty-nine to be exact. Let’s say my el-cheapo dryer only lasts two years. That’s still almost 60 years worth of hair drying for $500.

But, that Conair dryer isn’t gilded in gold.

The gilding process is actually pretty interesting. Dyson put out a nice videofeaturing Karen Haslewood, a “master gilder.” Master gilder is a thing. It says so right on the video.

 

By trial and error, Haslewood came up with a gilding process that works on a hairdryer. I’m guessing Karen probably doesn’t consider this peak artistic expression, but I imagine the paycheck was pretty solid.

Here’s how the Dyson website describes the gold gilt. (Before you read this, put on some classical music and then read it in a very proper British accent. Pouring a glass of cognac and lighting a Cuban cigar is optional.)

Sourced from Florence, Italy, 23.75K gold leaf has been chosen for its color and luster. [Because 23.74 leaf just wouldn’t cut it.] At approximately 333 atoms thick [That seems like a pretty precise approximation.] each leaf is incredibly delicate and must be applied by hand. Five leaves are used in each product, which are then brushed together to form a smooth, even finish.”

The video production reminds me of the hoity-toity Rolls Royce video I told you about in last week’s Fun on Friday column. It even has similar musical scoring. Watching it will make you feel rich.

Dyson isn’t the first company to create an upscale hairdryer. For instance, Babyliss sells a hairdryer with s a Ferrari motor. It’s not clear if the end result is hair that looks like you just rode in a Ferrari with the windows down. In 2010, it cost $400. But apparently, demand wasn’t too high for a dryer with a car engine. You can now pick one up today for less than $200.

Here’s a dirty little secret I gleaned reading about the dryer on Dyson’s website – gold gilt comes off. Now, this could be a problem — unless you have a really good marketing department.

And Dyson does.

“Through use, some of the red base color may become visible beneath through the gold. This is intentional and should not be considered a defect, but rather something that makes each hair dryer unique to its owner.”

You see – the flaw is a feature!

Good job Dyson marketing team.

Needless to say, I won’t be purchasing a $500 hairdryer. But this once again underscores the value of gold. You’d have a hard time selling a plain old hair dryer for $500. The extra value comes from the gold.

Now, if you like the idea of having gold, but prefer it not be attached to your bathroom appliances, you can buy gold bars and coins. They make fantastic investments. Call one of our SchiffGold precious metals specialists today to learn more. They won’t blow on your hair, but they can tell you all about today’s precious metals market.

Fun on Friday is a weekly SchiffGold feature. We dig up some of the off-the-wall and off-beat stories relating to precious metals and share them with you – with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Click here to read other posts in this series.

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Peter Schiff

Mr. Schiff began his investment career as a financial consultant with Shearson Lehman Brothers, after having earned a degree in finance and accounting from U.C. Berkeley in 1987. A financial professional for more than twenty years, he joined Euro Pacific in 1996 and served as its President until December 2010, when he became CEO. An expert on money, economic theory, and international investing, he is a highly sought after speaker at conferences and symposia around the world. He served as an economic advisor to the 2008 Ron Paul presidential campaign and ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut in 2010.