Luxury chess sets can be more than just a decorative addition to your home. For some, they’re a testament to a person’s passion for the game. They have a unique charm that can make any onlooker curious.
While they can come in any material, our primary focus for this article is the captivating and ever-beautiful glass material. In this article, we featured our top 5 best luxury glass chess sets, featuring those from Strass Swarovski, Pianki’s Refraction and Baroque sets, Lenox Hill, and Royal Selangor.
Unsure which one to buy or where to start looking? Here’s a roundup of why these are the glass chess sets you might want to get your hands on!
1. Strass Swarovski Crystal Chess Set
As the name implies, this Strass Swarovski Crystal Chess Set from Pianki is made from the famous Swarovski crystal glass. These are high-quality, precision-cut components from the Austrian brand.
This material is widely known for its clarity and brilliance, achieved by melting quartz sand. These crystals are cut using a patented glass cutting machine that produces more precise pieces than any other manual cutting technique.
While Swarovski crystals aren’t as precious as diamonds and are, at their core, still just glass, they’re valuable because of how they’re made and the brand that makes them.
The Swarovski Group is well-known in the jewelry-making industry because of its innovations in crystal cutting. Some of the notable fashion partners of the brand include Christian Dior and Balenciaga. This is why the Swarovski crystals still have a hefty value.
That said, this crystal chess set carries the name of the brand. It has a 2.6-inch King, a 13.4 by 13.4-inch board, and a retail price of $1,369.
2. Refraction Crystal Chess Set
The limited edition Refraction Crystal Chess Set, designed by Eva Starkovi and cut by Jirk Neu il, is priced at a whopping $8,700—significantly more than most sets on this list. The designer only made ten fully hand-crafted sets to release and sell.
To add to its value, this glass set was featured in the 2006 film Lucky Number Slevin, when Josh Hartnett and Morgan Freeman were playing a game of chess.
With a 16 by 16 inch mirrored glass board and custom chess pieces with carved cuts instead of their typical appearance, the Refraction Crystal Chess Set is a luxurious collector set. It has a unique form and significantly taller pieces that are absolute head-turners.
Pair that with the unique hand-carved cuts and a stunning board made of black glass, and you have a luxury chess set coveted by many.
3. Royal Selangor Star Wars Chess Set
This Star Wars Chess Set from Royal Selangor is available for purchase online at Harrods. You may recognize some of the iconic characters from the franchise as the central chess pieces, such as Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker being the Kings.
Although, we have to admit that not the entire set is made out of glass. The board is made from tempered glass, but the pieces are made from high-quality Royal Selangor pewter.
Regardless, we still believe that this fits on the list because it’s a great collection piece for fans of both chess and the Star Wars franchise. It doesn’t feature your typical pawns, King, and Queen chess pieces. Instead, we see stormtroopers and members of the Rebel Alliance.
It’s a great gift for admirers of the intergalactic universe by George Lucas. The set retails for $2,240.
4. Baroque Crystal Chess Set
The Baroque Crystal Chess Set is another limited edition glass set from Pianki. This set was made by Vladimir Zubrican, a skillful glass blower from the Czech Republic.
Because it follows the Baroque aesthetic, the chess pieces are decorative and theatrical. All of the pieces, including the 9-inch tall King, are garbed in ruffled collars and ballooned sleeves—true to the nature of Baroque fashion.
The set is priced at $2,500. With your purchase, you have the liberty to choose the colors in every piece, as this set is hand-crafted and custom-produced for every order. It also comes with a signed certificate of authenticity.
However, while this is sold as a crystal chess set, the listing doesn’t actually include a board. Nevertheless, we believe this belongs on the list because of the distinctive look of the pieces that pay tribute to the early 17th-century style.
Pieces from this Baroque crystal chess set are sure to fit any type of board they’re placed on!
5. Lenox Hill Crystal Chess Set
Last on our list is this Lenox Hill Crystal Chess Set from Bello Games, New York Inc. Compared to the previous sets on this list, this crystal chess set might not seem that much—with a price tag of just almost $500—but don’t be fooled.
This set is imported from the Orient and boasts of its rainbow colors when illuminated by any light source. The King stands at two inches or roughly 5cm, significantly smaller than most of the chess sets on this list.
Its board is 12 by 12 inches with a mirror and ice or smoked effect. The pieces, although small, are nothing short of stunning. They have a more minimalist design, but they essentially still hint at the typical forms and styles of each chess piece.
That wraps up our list of the top 5 best luxury glass chess sets in the market right now. Glass is an uncommon material for luxury chess sets, but it can elevate designs to a whole other level.
These chess sets are head-turning and great additions to any collection, whether for playing or for display. They’re a valuable investment, considering most of the sets in this list are limited editions, with only a handful of sets produced and available for sale.
From the usage of different colored glass and varying imaginative forms of chess pieces down to the intricate markings, these all make luxury glass chess sets unique in their own way and worth every penny to the avid collector.