Christmas tree for a mere $4.2 million

Ornament is made of 40 kg of gold, standing about 2.4 metres high and 1.2 metres in diameter

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 40 kg (88 pounds) of pure gold, standing about 2.4 metres (7.9 ft) high and 1.2 metres in diameter. It is decorated with pure gold plate silhouette cutouts of 50 popular Disney characters and draped with ribbons made of gold leaf.

 The price tag? A mere 350 million yen ($4.2 million).

 But the ornament is actually a deal, said Tomoko Ishibashi, in the marketing department of Tanaka Kikinzoku Jewelry, which runs the Ginza Tanaka jewellery store.

 "Right now gold is over 4,400 yen per 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 Takashi Miura, a 36-year-old jeweller. "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 25 cm high for a mere 2 million yen ($243,000).

 While nobody has yet made a down payment on the larger tree, the miniature has already found buyers, Ishibashi said.


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