When it comes to holiday shopping, there are gifts we buy for our loved ones — and gifts we wish we could buy.
But if money is no object, Departures magazine Senior Editor Stellene Volandes has plenty of ideas for out-of-this-world luxury gifts, and she shared many of them on The Early Show Friday.
Departures is a luxury lifestyle magazine published for American Express Platinum Card and Centurion members. It looks at the luxury world for its readers, finding everything from a great cashmere sweater to a vintage piece of jewelry that's new again.
JEWELRY: This is always a popular luxury item to give, because it has high impact and really holds its value and general appeal. Something that was classic 50 years ago still looks incredible today. Verdura Maltese Cross Cuff made of black jade, sapphire, ruby, diamond and gold. Verdura allows you to fully customize their bracelets starting at $14,000. From the wrist measurement to the stones. These pieces have been worn by style icons like Chanel and Sofia Coppola. PRICE:$23,000; www.verdura.com Van Cleef & Arpels' Magic Alhambra Earrings made of 18-carat gold set with white mother-of-pearl. Part of the collection to celebrate Van Cleefs 100th Anniversary, the clover is the signature design for this company, so recognizable for style. Mother-of-pearl is also extremely popular right now in jewelry. PRICE: $6,300; www.vancleef-arpels.com Cartier Love Charity bracelet. $100 from each sale goes to charity. PRICE: $475; www.cartier.com
WATCHES, like jewelry, can really be investment piece. Patek Philippe Calatrava Watch. Patek Philippe takes 9 months to complete the most basic watch and up to 2 years for a complicated timepiece -- each finished by hand. A limited production, about 38,000 Patek Philippe timepieces, are produced annually for the world. It is the only remaining independent, family-owned Geneva watch manufacturer, in continuous operation since 1839. Patek Philippe timepieces not only maintain but often increase in value to unprecedented levels (especially rare or complicated pieces), and are among the world's 12 most expensive timepieces sold at auction. PRICE: $14,850; www.patek.comToy Watch USA is truly one of the looks of the season. They have an acrylic strap, and are water resistant. PRICE: $250; www.bergdorfgoodman.com
FASHION: Nothing says luxury like high-end designer apparel and accessories, especially when it comes to the handbag of the season.Goyard tote for TK. You have to be in the know to know what this bag is! Monogram optional. PRICE: $855; www.goyard.comHermès "Birkin" Bag has become one of the most popular bags designed by Hermès and is available in several sizes (25 cm, 30 cm, 35 cm, and 40 cm -- the 50 and 55 cm are meant for traveling). The bag is made in in a variety of colors and skins -- produced by Hermès. PRICE $18,600 for 30 cm; www.hermes.comRalph Lauren Cashmere Cableknit Sweater. Cashmere is a timeless gift to give, and these classic cable knit sweaters are gorgeous. Starting around $200 for the blue label, going up from there depending on the quality of cashmere. PRICE: $200; www.polo.com Seize Sur Vingt (PRONOUNCED SEIZE SUR VANT) Custom Shirt. True luxury this season is about customization. You can have anything created from an IPOD playlist to shoes. But a perfect fit shirt is hard to beat, and not just for people on Saville Row anymore. First shirt takes four weeks. Special fabric gift certificates available. PRICE: $800-$1000 for minimum of 4 shirts; www.16sur20.com
PERFUME:Pour Femme by Bulgari is a limited edition perfume with a beautiful Swarowski crystal bottle. A special one with a 18-karat gold cap with diamonds will go up for auction next year. Particularly fitting with the resurgence in demand for the sort of beautiful perfume bottles that sat so exquisitely in our grandmother's boudoirs. PRICE: $145; www.bulgari.com
TASTES:: A simple way to give the gift of luxury can be giving something edible. Petrossian's Alverta President American Caviar. For years, it was only caviar from Russia, but now American caviar has won a spot on the table, even for discerning palates. The luxe Parisian caviar emporium Petrossian sells delicious California sturgeon. PRICE $120 per ounce; www.petrossian.com Krug Pink Champagne is a fun way to toast the holiday season. Has a pale pink-gold color and comes in a sleek light pink box for a pretty presentation. PRICE $250; www.krug.com
TRAVEL: Trips are always such a fantastic gift, and this year, they continue to be more and more luxurious. Travel Gift Certificate. If you can't make up your mind, consider giving a gift certificate for travel. Places like Abercrombie & Kent and the Four Seasons allow you to do this. At the Four Seasons you can give anything from $100 to $100,000 for services to their resorts around the world. PRICE: $100-$100,000; www.fourseasons.com
OVER-THE-TOP: Hammond Editions Personal Biography: For a cost starting at $25,000, you can have a book created like no scrapbook or photo album ever seen. This is an exclusive service linking a photographer, a creative director, a printer, and a binder to those seeking to create a custom-made, limited-edition, hand-bound document of a life, family, or occasion. Created on archival paper that lasts 200 years. PRICE $25,000 & Up; www.hammondeditions.comExomos Submarine. You no longer have to join up to commandeer an underwater vehicle. Exomos lets you choose you own from nine styles of submersibles. All come with air-conditioning, can dive to 60 feet or deeper, and are available in different colors (like blue, camouflage, and yes, yellow). PRICE: $37,000; www.exomos.com