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Golden Inspiration

An 84-year-old jeweler puts his inspiration—and skill—to work in an unusual way.

Do you love playing board games? Monopoly and Life were two of my favorites growing up.

So I recently went down to the Museum of American Finance to check out Sidney Mobell’s $2 million, gold-plated Monopoly game. The game, on loan from the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History, weighs 32 pounds and is covered with 165 gemstones. The cards are 23-karat gold-plated, and the tokens and dice are solid 18-karat gold.

Sidney Mobell is an 84-year-old jeweler and the designer of the gold-plated Monopoly. He has owned a San Francisco jewelry store for more than 30 years, and he has created other outlandish pieces, such as a 14-karat gold-and-diamond mousetrap and a diamond filled hourglass necklace!

His ideas are boundless. When asked how he comes up with his priceless concepts, he says, “Who knows…I think of something as I go to sleep, and write it down before I forget.”

His imagination is both whimsical and inspiring!

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