AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — It’s almost Valentine’s Day, which means it’s the busy season for Windsor Jewelers in Augusta, Georgia.
While stopping in, a new piece may catch your eye: a chess set weighing in at almost 11 pounds of 14 karat gold and priced at $1 million.
“It was commissioned about 50 years ago, so this is not a new piece,” General Manager Michael Zibman said. “It’s being resold by the current owner through the original artist. The designer who made it originally is a friend of mine, and when he got it back from the current owner to resell he reached out to a few different people, me being one.”
It took more than a year to make the entire set, and the chess pieces are made with 14 karat yellow and white gold and adorned with gemstones. Each piece has its own story to tell.
“The artist who made it decided to design the different pieces in different costuming, in different eras in time, so the knights are different in period and location than the pawns,”Zibman said. “The pawns are based on Welsh soldiers.”
It took four artists about a year to construct and build the waxes that the pieces are built from, which is why so much detail can be found in each piece.
“The rook or the castle is based on a German castle, Falkenstein Castle, and it’s designed to show that it’s just impenetrable,” Zibman said. “It’s high up and it’s just not going to be breached. Again, a lot of research went into it and a lot of design elements.”
Before coming to Augusta, the set was one of the most popular attractions at the Gemological Institute of Americas Museum in California when it was on the display. Since being at Windsor Jewelers, the set has received its fair share of attention.
“Obviously, ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’ and ‘tell me all about it’, ‘can I take a picture’… It’s mostly an interesting piece that most people would come in just to look at. One day, there is going to be someone interested in purchasing it,” Zibman said.
Whether you’re just coming in to get a glance, or interested in buying the once-in-a-lifetime set, the folks at Windsor Jewelers have a piece of advice for you.
“Don’t wait, come on in. We’d love to show it to everyone,” said Zibman.