If you love your guitars, you will know that they can get quite expensive.
Better wood, better microphones and strings, as well as build quality and craftsmanship, all add up when you start to climb the ladder in the guitar world.
However, you won’t find any of these guitars in your local guitar store, that’s for sure, because they are the most sorted on earth!
With guitars played by rock and roll legends like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, unique guitars custom designed for Jerry Garcia; here is a list of the 10 most expensive guitars in the world!
The 10 most expensive guitars in the world
The list of guitars and figures mentioned below has been compiled from various sources on the Web, such as Money Inc, String Joy & Guitar Player.
These are the 10 most expensive guitars in the world:
10. Doug Irwin “Tiger” personalized by Jerry Garcia
Price: $ 957,500
Jerry Garcia was the lead guitarist for Grateful Dead. He played his custom Doug Irwin guitar for a decade, from 1979 to 1989.
Its name, “Tiger” comes from the custom painted tiger head that Jerry ordered on the body of the guitar.
The personalized Doug Irwin was the last guitar Jerry had ever played in public; which is one of the reasons he went to auction so much.
Jerry Garcia’s custom Doug Irwin “Tiger” was auctioned off by the auctioneer in Guernsey in 2002 for $ 957,500 to Jim Irsay, owner and CEO of the Indianapolis Colts.
9. “Blackie” by Eric Clapton
Price: $ 959,000
Next on the list is “Blackie”, Eric Clapton’s famous mix of parts from three separate guitars.
The story goes that Eric Clapton decided to buy six guitars, giving one to Pete Townsend, George Harrison and Steve Winwood.
Clapton then patched the parts of the three remaining guitars to create “Blackie”.
She became her most famous guitar, recording with her in the studio and playing it in countless live performances.
After a good run, Clapton retired from “Blackie” in 1985 and auctioned it off in 2004 for $ 959,000.
8. Bob Dylan 1964 Fender Stratocaster’s Newport Folk Festival
Price: $ 965,000
Being the very first electric guitar that Bob Dylan played in a live performance, it goes without saying that this guitar has major historical value.
It marked a period in history when his own fans booed him on stage, as they weren’t impressed with his choice of guitar.
They were used to the acoustic versions of all of his songs, and they made sure to let him know when he went on stage at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965.
This performance and the choice of a guitar by Dylan marked his transition to the use of more electronic instruments.
Because of who owned the guitar and the story behind it; the 1964 Fender Stratocaster sold at auction for an impressive $ 965,000.
7. Keith Richards 1959 Les Paul
Price: $ 1 million
Keith Richards 1959 Les Paul is the seventh most expensive guitar in the world.
The 1959 Paul Standard are worth more than six digits, without the help of a famous name, and to this day, not many are striking.
However, this one was played by Keith Richards when the Rolling Stones premiered in the Ed Sullivan show, which was an important moment in rock and roll history.
Many famous groups and artists owe part of their success to their place at the Ed Sullivan Show, and collectors and souvenir investors understand how events like this add significant value to items like the 1959 Keith Richards Les Paul.
With this in mind, the guitar was sold at auction in 2003 for $ 1 million.
6. 1958 Gibson Korina Explorer
Price: $ 1.1 million
This 1958 Gibson Korina Explorers value can be attributed to having been played by three of the best guitarists in the world.
Slash, Kirk Hammett and Rick Neilson have all played this guitar at some point in their careers, which is quite unique, to say the least.
Only a dozen of these guitars have been made, so when you combine the rarity and unusual shape of this guitar with its player history; it is easy to see why he managed to recover $ 1.1 million at auction.
The 1958 Gibson Korina Explorer is the sixth most expensive guitar in the world.
5. Washburn 22-Series Hawk by Bob Marley
Price: $ 1.2 million
Number five on our list of the most expensive guitars in the world is Bob Marley, Washburn 22-Series Hawk.
Bob Marley, perhaps the most famous reggae artist to have ever lived, owned only seven guitars in his lifetime.
One of these guitars was this Hawk Washburn from the 22 series; which he gave as a gift to his guitarist, Gary Clausen.
Rumor has it that the Jamaican government, which declared the guitar as a national treasure, bought the guitar at auction for between $ 1.2 and $ 2 million.
However, the actual location of the guitar is still unknown to this day.
4. Jerry Garcia’s “wolf”
Price: $ 1.9 million
The second Jerry Garcia guitar to appear on our list of the most expensive guitars in the world is yet another custom Doug Irwin, dubbed “Wolf”.
Similar to his personalized Doug Irwin, “Tiger”, his name derives from the personalized illustration of the wolf on the body of the guitar.
The sale of “Wolf” was part of a fundraiser for the Southern Poverty Law Center, and “Wolf” successfully auctioned off in 2002 for nearly $ 2 million.
Today, “Wolf” could be worth even more, depending on his condition.
3. Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 Fender Stratocaster
Price: $ 2 million
The original right-handed Stratocaster with a white Olympic finish is nothing special compared to some of the other guitars on the list.
However, it was played by Jimi Hendrix at the Woodstock music festival in 1969; where his legendary performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” took place.
Because of its unique history, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen bought the guitar in 1998 for around $ 2 million.
It’s one of those things where you would definitely do it if you could!
2. Gibson J-160E acoustic-electric from 1962 by John Lennon
Price: $ 2.4 million
The only acoustic guitar on our list of the most expensive guitars in the world, had to be something special, and it’s special!
John Lennon’s 1962 Gibson J-160 E electric guitar was one of a pair of almost identical acoustic guitars; bought by John Lennon and George Harrison in London in 1962.
It was used to co-compose, with Paul McCartney, Beatles songs like “I Saw Her Standing There” and “She Loves You”.
After the Beatles gave a concert in 1963, the guitar managed to disappear and was presumed lost, but resurfaced several years later.
Starting from its original purchase price of £ 161 in 1962, the acoustic guitar was sold at auction in 2014; to an anonymous bidder, for a staggering $ 2.41 million.
1. Fender Stratocaster “Reach Asia”
Price: $ 2.7 million
The most expensive guitar title in the world goes to the Fender Stratocaster “Reach Out To Asia”, which sold for $ 2.7 million in 2015.
This guitar is the result of the Bryan Adams project “Reach Out To Asia”; which was created to assist the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Which killed around 230,000 people in 14 countries.
The guitar is unique because it has some of the most famous rock star signatures written all over the body.
It has been signed by a total of nineteen artists and presents signatures by Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Brian May, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Liam Gallagher, Angus and Malcolm Young and Brian Adams.
“Reach Out To Asia” sold at auction in 2015 by Sotheby’s for $ 2.7 million – making it the most expensive guitar sold in history!
We hope you enjoyed our list of the 10 most expensive guitars in the world.
It seems that, like most souvenirs or collectibles, previous owners, important dates and events, and unique custom designs play a huge role in the evaluation of these items.
With guitars, it’s certainly more to do with who played, played and recorded with them than anything else.
You buy part of the story and the story of someone who, depending on the importance, is probably almost invaluable!
Here is a quick summary of the 10 most expensive guitars in the world.
- Fender Stratocaster “Reach Asia” – $ 2.7 million
- John Lennon 1962 Gibson J-160E Acoustic Electric 1962 – $ 2.4 million
- Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 Fender Stratocaster – $ 2 million
- Jerry Garcia’s “wolf” – $ 1.9 million
- Bob Marley’s Washburn 22-Series Hawk – $ 1.2 million
- Gibson Korina Explorer 1958 – $ 1.1 million
- Keith Richards 1959 Les Paul – $ 1 million
- Bob Dylan’s 1964 New Port Folk Festival Fender Stratocaster – $ 965,000
- Eric Clapton’s “Blackie” – $ 959,000
- Doug Irwin “Tiger” personalized by Jerry Garcia – $ 957,500