Why Are Chess Sets So Expensive?

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You can play chess online whenever you want. But having really cool chess set by your side is still a fascination. However, when you see their prices you might think, why are chess sets so expensive?

The price of a chess set depends on the quality of material used, design of the chess pieces, size, craftsmanship, brand value, and specialty. Considering all these factors, some chess sets are expensive. 

For the purpose of playing chess in a club or casually you can easily find cheaper chess sets. Those chess sets that are expensive are often for decorative purposes or as artwork.

Now, ahead I am going to discuss each of the factors in detail that make the chess sets so expensive. Plus I will also share with you the examples of some of the most expensive chess sets. So if interested then keep reading.

Quality Of Material Used

Chess sets are made up of a variety of materials like plastic, wood, marble, and metals. As is obvious, plastic chess sets are cheaper while wooden chess boards made with premium quality wood are expensive.

If chess sets are made up of cheap quality woods then they are likely to get damaged soon.

Quality deserves the price, isn’t it?

Chess sets that are used for decorative purposes are generally made up of precious materials like gold, silver, and others.

The world’s most expensive chess set is “Pearl Royale”. Gold, diamonds, sapphires, and south sea pearls are used in this chess set. The price of this chess set is 4 million dollars.

Obviously one of the main reasons this chess set is so expensive is the material used. Apart from this, the price of a chess set is also determined by the design and decoration. Hence coming on to our next topic design of the chess pieces.

Design Of The Chess Sets

Chess sets that are used worldwide and also accepted in tournaments are the Staunton chess set. If you want a chess set to practice for competitions then you should definitely consider this design.

But if you want a cool-looking chess set then there are a lot of options with a variety of designs. The chess pieces are often called chessmen and in some designs (like the Carolingi XIV chess set discussed ahead) instead of the normal king, queen, rook.. you can have real-looking chessmen. 

Of course, this would require more effort to make this kind of chess set and things that are more artistic are more valuable.

Size Of The Chess Sets

More material, time, and effort are required to make a bigger chess set than a smaller one. So, chess sets that are bigger in size are generally more expensive than their smaller counterparts.

Tip 🙂 – Have you ever wondered why most of the chess boards are in green and white color combination? Is there any scientific reason? Read my article Why Are Chess Boards Green? (Explained) to know more.


Handcrafted things are always valuable, isn’t it? Chess sets that are made with a lot of time and effort are really going to be beautiful.

Carolingi XIV chess set is one of the best examples of craftsmanship. The theme of this chessboard is based on the 9th-century battle that took place between Ottoman Turks and Carolingians.

This chess set is made with fine detailing and the chess pieces are designed like the actual looking king, queen, rook, bishop, and knight. The price of this chess set is 113,575 dollars.

Brand Value

As you know, the price of a product is also affected by brand value. If both chess sets are completely the same but still there is a difference in their price then most probably the costlier one is from a renowned brand.

Like the chess sets of the brand ‘House Of Staunton’ is quite famous.


If you are looking for something very special or rare then the price of that thing will be surely high. Things that are more collectible are generally expensive.

The Art Of War Chess Set designed by Victor F. Scharstein costs around 750,000 dollars. This chess set is based on the theme of Sun Tzu’s Art Of War. Emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and diamonds are used to decorate this chess set.


So that’s it! Hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed sharing this with you. Thanks and have a nice day!