Although I always say it is not how much you spent on the gift, it is still
interesting to see how wild one can go.
It came about as an expression of love and an appreciation gift by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Quite a gift, but she was quite a wife too. She gave birth to 14 beautiful children.
Yes, we are talking about Taj Mahal inspired by the beauty of Mumtaz. This building replicates her beauty and graciousness for all the world to admire. Hundreds of the best artisans worked together to create this masterpiece. After 30 years of work they finally competed it in 1653, to be still appreciated today for its architectural and cultural achievements in India. And it is recognised today as one of the new 7 Wonders Of The World, attracting millions of visitors.
Unfortunately, it is a bittersweet story. Shah has actually commissioned this building after Mumtaz died during the birth of their last, 14th child. It is a gift to her memory and is used as a tomb for her and later Shah’s remains.
It took 20 years to build and its total costs, in today’s money would be around 915 million dollars.
Statue Of Liberty is a gift from the French nation to the people of the United States. President of the French Antislavery Society, Édouard René de Laboulaye, came up with the idea to celebrate Union’s victory in the American Civil War. He believed that France and the US were working for the common goal of liberating people.
Prominent French sculptor – Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, designed the statue. Which then was supported by metal construction built by even more famous engineer – Gustave Eiffel (constructor of the Eiffel Tower in Paris).
To give further insight into the story, the building of the statue was not plain sailing. Initially, there were financing delays in France due to the Franco-Prussian War, Napoleon’s regime and his consequential loss of power.
And then, when the statue was delivered to the US, it took another six years for the US government and activists to get the $100,000 (in 1890’s money) needed to build a stone base on the Liberty Island. As usual, there were fights on who will pay for it and even a veto against using government funds from the governor of NYC.
In the end, Joseph Pulitzer drove a massive public campaign to achieve 120,000 donations of less than a dollar. This, finally, put the Liberty statue on the pedestal. So we can safely say that ordinary Americans contributed to the cost of adequately displaying this special gift.
In today’s money, the statue’s total cost and the base come to around 110 million dollars.
I did not want to make it all about the impressive buildings and gracious notions between the nations. There are more recent gifts that would be quite exciting for most of us, especially those enjoying jet-setting lifestyles.
Beyonce has expressed her love to her husband, Jay-Z with several exceptional presents previously. There was a cool 2 million Bugatti Veyron Grand Sports car. A sparkling 5 million worth fully diamond-covered Hublot watch, and now… yep, a sweet private jet worth around 40 million dollars.
It is worth noting that there is a private jet and then there is the private jet. The Bombardier Challenger 850 is a top of the range private jet that can offer a lot for the world travellers.
This jet is 26.77 m (87 ft 10 in) long and can jet up to 16 passengers at the speeds of 819 km/h (509 mph). It is suitable for local travel as well as international trips of up to the distance of 5,206 km (3,235 mi).
I am sharing these stories not to have regrets about not getting a jet for a birthday. But more to share the exciting stories that these gifts carry with them. It took an effort of 30 years for a number of really influential people to make that Liberty statue happen.
The Taj Mahal was an expression of love and appreciation. A desire to continue telling the story about the most amazing woman to the world.
We can also create or share stories when gifting. It is so much more interesting than talking about the price.
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