The Curious Case of History Supreme, the $4.8 Billion Yacht Made of Solid Gold

Technological advances are changing the yachting industry game, paving the way for the creation of real rule-breakers and innovators, and boosting prices in the process. Pile plenty of luxury amenities on top of that, and you get the idea why some superyachts have ballooning prices.
History Supreme, a superyacht made of solid gold, worth $4.8 billion 5 photos
Photo: Stuart Hughes
History Supreme, a superyacht made of solid gold, worth $4.8 billionHistory Supreme, a superyacht made of solid gold, worth $4.8 billionHistory Supreme, a superyacht made of solid gold, worth $4.8 billionHistory Supreme, a superyacht made of solid gold, worth $4.8 billion
However, even in this context, the 98.4-foot History Supreme stands out. This superyacht is believed to be the most expensive in the world, even 9 years after it was sold to a Malaysian businessman. The final tally: $4.8 billion.

That’s a lot of money to pay for a boat, even when your net worth is estimated at $14.5 billion (as of 2020)! Unconfirmed reports have it that the richest man in Malaysia and the second richest man in Southeast Asia Robert Kuok is the happy owner of this insanely-priced vessel, which he commissioned from luxury jeweler and designer Stuart Hughes back in 2011.

Hughes himself went public with the announcement of the job, which prompted several major media outlets both in the UK and Australia to cover it. He never said outright that Kuok was the buyer, but he gave plenty of hints in that direction. He also offered specifics on the boat, including on why it was so expensive – and no, it had nothing to do with tech on board, amenities, performance or even fuel-efficiency.

As it turns out, History Supreme was designed to be the most decadent piece of naval architecture ever created. It is literally engulfed in solid gold and platinum, includes precious stones in the design and, depending on who you believe, comes with several other of Hughes’ famous creations, some more outrageous than others.

So let’s get started on this.

Liverpool-based Hughes is mostly known for turning iPads and iPhones into luxury items, by wrapping them in gold or the finest of leathers, and slapping diamonds all over them. His most famous work is an iPhone 4 covered in 500 diamonds, including two interchangeable ones on the home button (in case you get bored, we assume). It is estimated at $6.4 million and, according to some reports, it comes with the History Supreme.

Another piece of work from the designer / jeweler available with the superyacht is a luxury liquor bottle with an 18.5 carat diamond, the D’ Amalfi Limoncello Supreme, worth $35 million. Because booze is never good enough in a regular bottle. There’s also a panoramic wall aquarium made of solid, 24-carat gold – about 150 pounds of it.

History Supreme, a superyacht made of solid gold, worth \$4\.8 billion
Photo: Stuart Hughes
The entire vessel, for that matter, includes about 220,463 pounds of solid gold as building material. The base is wrapped in gold, and it is also incorporated in the deck, the dining area, rails and anchor, and kitchenware. The stairs on the upper deck are said to have been made of solid gold.

Platinum is also used heavily, especially in the chef kitchen and the master suite, which, to boot, also features a wall made of meteoric stone and a sculpture made of actual T-Rex dinosaur bone sourced in Arizona. The bone alone is worth about $89,000, in case you’re wondering.

Hughes claimed that it took him 3 years to complete History Supreme and that he’d gotten on the job after a friend suggested it to him. He said he’d never met the buyer, but he would have liked to, perhaps out of curiosity to see what type of man sinks this kind of money in such a decadent boat.

You may have noticed by now that not a peep was mentioned of the superyacht’s performance or other features, as is usual with this type of announcements. For the detailed nature of the elements described, they still seemed like a random collection of stuff mentioned to justify such an outrageous price tag.

History Supreme, a superyacht made of solid gold, worth \$4\.8 billion
Photo: Stuart Hughes
What was even more outrageous than the $4.8 billion supposedly paid for a boat was the fact that none of it was true. When word of History Supreme got out, several reps for Hughes confirmed the accuracy of the reports to media outlets, including in emails to Business Insider. Then, it was radio silence on their end.

History Supreme sounded like an insane boat not even a Bond villain would buy, and for good reason. It was never real, it was never made and no, it does not exist. Regardless of what Google and some reliable yachting sites (still) have you believe, History Supreme is perhaps the biggest boating hoax in the industry.

Some time after the original story came out, Italy-based, Baia Yachts issued a statement to say that the photos posted on Hughes’ website, allegedly showing History Supreme, were stolen from its website and appropriated without permission. For whatever reason, Hughes still has the post up, so if it were up to him, he would still have you believe he designed – and sold – the world’s most expensive yacht, made with over 220,000 pounds of 24-carat gold.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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