Fender made a million dollar guitar
by Richard Howard
February 13, 2017
While it might amaze some that new high-end guitars can have price tags above $5,000, the collectible guitar scene is infamous for the most desirable instruments catching insane prices at auction. Whether it’s a matter of age and history (like this 1949 first prototype of Leo Fender’s Telecaster that went for $375,000 in 1994) or who played it (Jimi Hendrix’ white Strat went for a nutty $2m), fat stacks are the order of the day.
It’s less often the case, however, that a guitar’s materials actually send its price into the stratosphere. Eric Clapton’s gold-plated Stratocaster deservedly grabbed a few hundred thousand in the early 2000s, and maybe that was the impetus for Fender to go batshit crazy and build the “Pine Cone Fender Stratocaster.”
Yes, you are looking at what you think you are. Fender built a guitar based on the ludicrously expensive Fabergé Pine Cone Easter egg. And the guitar is no less decadent. The pine cone ‘scales’ are gilded with fine silver and 18 karat gold, while the latter precious metal is also hand-inlaid into the fretboard and plates hand-engraved hardware. Of course, you ain’t fancy if you ain’t got that ice, so 550 high-grade diamonds were hand-embedded into the body, headstock, fretboard inlays and side dots. And before you ask, yes, you do get a Fabergé egg with the guitar.
While there was never an MSRP attached to the one-off instrument, it was eventually ensured for one million dollars before being sold to an Asian investor in late 2015. While the guitar store that sold it refuses to divulge the final sale price, the smart money says the figure was even higher. Listen to the Pine Cone Strat’s creator and Fender Custom Shop master builder Yuriy Shishkov talk about building the world’s most pimped out electric guitar.