Yeah, ok, that $15 pipe you picked up down at the gas station is nice and all but you could be smoking out of something a bit… more. A basic bong will do the job, sure, but if you aren’t smoking out of a five-foot-tall platinum encrusted water pipe shaped like a Sumerian death goddess, then what are you even doing with your life?
…Well, likely saving money, but we digress (for now). But what if you do have the resources to indulge in an over-the-top bong? The world of glass blowing and pipe making is one filled with fragile, expensive, and in many cases breathtakingly beautiful artwork.
In today’s article, we’ve compiled a whole bunch of the world’s most expensive smoking devices for your viewing pleasure – Bongs, dab rigs, and pipes alike. Most of these are out of most anyone’s price range, not to mention already sold to private buyers. But there’s fun to be had in seeing what’s out there. Let’s dive in.
By Buck Glass, LaceFace Glass & Joe O’Connell
Getting our expensive bong list kicked off right is this glass pirate ship that will definitely help you set sail on the “high” seas (thank you, thank you, we’re here all week).
Crafted in 2010 at Cornerstone Glass in Eugene, Oregon, this is two feet by two feet of amazingly intricate glasswork and 100% functional as a pipe – The removable main mast works as the mouthpiece while each of the six detachable cannons on its side serves as the bowls. Considering the level of detail on this piece (and some of the other, even more expensive bongs we have coming up), this pirate ship is a steal at only thirty grand.
By Ryno, Kondo, Happa, Disk & Aquarius
Inventors of the “C.U.P. (Contemporary Urban Pipe)” series, the Japanese art group SLOP, came up with this unique collaborative piece while being visited by overseas glass makers Coyle and Ryno. A fully functional dab rig modeled after a cup & straw, the rubber duckies, skulls, and monkey all add a unique flair. This one was signed and dated by Coyle in the year 2015 and, as of this article’s original publishing date, is on sale for $33k.
“The Miley Cyrus Bong”
Normally we wouldn’t delve into tabloid issues, but this counts, so we’re listing it here. Around 2010, pop sensation Miley Cyrus got caught hitting a bong – something that became quite the scandal for the younger singer, ultimately costing her a lucrative deal with Walmart retail giant.
In 2015 the bong in question – A rather unassuming piece of relatively plain glass – sold at auction for over $70,000. This just goes to show that sometimes it isn’t the artistry in the piece. Instead, it’s the name attached that makes it expensive.
“Ray Machine” AKA “Skull Gun”
By Weinmayer Bernd, for Roor
Crafted by the Munich-born glass artisan Weinmayer Bernd this Roor skull bong looks like a full-sized replica of a futuristic assault rifle (complete with scope) merged with, well, a skull. The pictures where the pipe appears to be lit up in pink & purple are due to super-heated plasma being run through the interior cavity of the piece – A gorgeous effect, but maybe not recommended while being used as a smoking device.
Bernd has done several massive (and expensive) skull-themed glass pieces for Roor over the years (such as the wearable backpack-style “Ray Pack” skull bong), many of which are on display at their associated Amsterdam art gallery. If you’re looking for something a bit less ostentatious, Weinmayer has done a series of smaller gun-shaped pipes and bongs for Roor as well; these are only produced to-order for special collectors, though, so expect a hefty price tag still.
By Mr. Gray & Scott Deppe
A collaborative piece first unveiled via Instagram in 2014, this piece is… well, it’s hard to do this hookah justice with words, but we’re going to try anyway: A base and interior of gold and emerald green glass are then encased in 100% real, gold-encrusted marijuana leaves to form the shape of a skull, with a water chamber and pipe hidden inside.
In case you’re wondering how to smoke a gold-encrusted skull bong, a dab rig gets inserted into the nose piece while a hookah pipe cord attaches toward the back of the skull; both then connect to the torus-shaped water chamber resting inside. Utterly ridiculous and over the top in all the best ways, this is a genuinely unique, one-of-a-kind piece with an expensive price tag to match.
By Scott Deppe & Sagan Glass
Scott Deppe representing with yet another top-dollar bong, this time in collaboration with Sagan Glass (you’ll see both names again on this list). Done as a collaboration under the Mothership Glass studio, this piece has a series of solid white & grey moons adorning an iridescent, galaxy-black base and pipe; what’s truly special is one of the moon-shaped marbles, which was literally launched into space in 2015. A hefty and solid-looking piece, this expensive bong sold at auction for over $100k in 2016.
“Hayabusa Satellite Bong”
By Sagan Glass
Another piece from Sagan, this intricate replica of Japan’s robotic Hayabusa satellite, is completely functional and ready to smoke. The detail work on this piece is very impressive, with tiny holes on the satellite panels giving the glass a transparent look. Unfortunately, like many others on our list, this piece has already been sold at an expensive $110k; it was a one-of-a-kind creation, unlikely to be replicated by the artist.
“Sedna” and “Vahana”
By Banjo & Joe Peters
These two collaboration pieces by the glassmaker’s Banjo and Joe Peters both reached top dollar at auction, and given the mastery of work on display, it’s easy to see why.
A very intricate, aquatic-themed piece, “Sedna” sold in 2016, two years after its initial creation. Formed over a four-day period as part of a workshop, Sedna is both colorful and a bit disturbing, displaying a menacing robotic figurine towering amongst fish and other sea creatures. Though it can be hard to spot at first, this two-foot-tall piece has a bowl tucked away at the back, with a water chamber at the creature’s knee joint; the mouthpiece is easier to find, located on top between the figure’s head and a playful looking octopus.
Their second collaboration piece, “Vahana,” has a bright orange, translucent goddess figure reclining on a chair; purple gemstones and a green “netting” material cover the base. When in use, smoke travels through the deva’s body, swirling about as the user takes a hit, a unique feature that helps justify its expensive cost.
By Darby Holm, Banjo, Scott Deppe & Roman
Now we’re reaching the top of our list. This is a true masterpiece of glasswork, featuring design and construction from four of the world’s top glass makers; no wonder it reigns as one of the most expensive bongs in the world.
Finished in 2010, this piece is just shy of two feet tall and weighs in over five and a half pounds, with its chair structure provided by Holm and figurine crafted by Banjo (following a design by Roman) – Scott Deppe’s contribution would be the skulls on top and at the hands.
The bowl sits at the back and connects to a water chamber underneath the chair’s seat, while the top skulls are removable to reveal the mouthpiece. Replicas of “The Throne” have been made and sold, but the original is available for viewing at Illuzion Glass Galleries in Denver, Colorado.
“Earl the Skeleton”
By Kevin Murray
Oh yeah, there’s more than one million dollar pipe out there – Or, in this case, a series of pipes. “Earl,” the skeleton pipe set is a real marvel, with beautifully sculpted glass forming a multi-piece, highly expensive, anatomically correct skeleton (admittedly with some liberties, particularly in the cranial area).
Held together by a custom stand that costs thousands of dollars alone, Earl is actually a collection of eight separate pipes: two dry bowl pipes in the arms & hands, with the upper legs, lower legs, torso, and head each usable as water pipes or dab rigs. Earl was sculpted by Murray as a one-of-a-kind showpiece in 2014, and he has been on display at the Milked glass and vape shop in Watertown, MA, ever since.
More of a “special mention” entry on the list, this 2,400-year-old smoking device crafted from solid gold was found in an archeological dig in southern Russia. Existing from roughly 8th century BC to the 2nd century AD, the Scythians were described by Greek historians as using plants to “produce smoke that no Grecian vapor-bath can surpass, which made them shout aloud.”
After running tests on residue found along with the interior of the cup-like relics, researchers discovered traces of opiates and cannabis within (a combination that likely explains all the shouting). We listed this as “Priceless” because we don’t feel historical artifacts should end up in a private collector’s hands; just like Indiana Jones would say, they belong in a museum (which, thankfully, is where these finds seem to have landed).
Is Owning One of the Most Expensive Bongs in the World Worth It?
To answer this question, let us first examine famous rap artist 2 Chainz. Stay with me here.
See, 2 Chainz hosts a video series over on GQ.com called “Most Expensivest Sh*t,” wherein GQ pays 2 Chainz to venture forth and, well, encounter the most expensive stuff around.
On three separate occasions, 2 Chainz, who describes himself as a “casual smoker,” is thrown up against some of the most expensive bongs, pipes, dab rigs, blunts, joints, and all other manners of THC-related smoking devices humanity can muster. Yet he always seems to come away if not unimpressed, then seemingly not understanding why people can’t just roll up a joint and smoke the thing.
How Much is Too Much?
The artistry and skills on display in glass pieces from high-end makers like Scott Deppe or Weinmayer Bernd speak for themselves, and if you’re a collector of art, who has the money to spend supporting your favorite creators? Please, by all means, do so. It’s big spenders like you who help make sure the glass artists we both like stay in business; even if I myself may never smoke from one of their bongs, I can at least look at the pretty pictures on the internet, and that’s enough for most of us.
The world’s most expensive bongs are, well, expensive and probably relegated to the world of serious collectors only. That doesn’t make luxury glass pieces out of your reach, though – Almost all of the bongs & pipes we listed above are made by individuals who make other, much cheaper glass as well. So while blowing three hundred grand on a replica of a satellite might be a steep asking price, those same artists make bongs and other glass pieces that come in at fractions of the cost – They may not be quite as stunning, but the odds are you’ll still be happy with your purchase.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our tour through the most expensive bongs on the planet. With the world of glass making exploding alongside cannabis legalization, we can only assume these bongs are the tip of the iceberg. Happy smoking!