$1.9M diamond deal on Neiman Marcus Christmas list

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by Associated Press

Associated Press

Posted on October 8, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 9 at 6:32 AM

DALLAS (AP) — Need that one-of-a-kind stocking stuffer and have $1.9 million burning a hole in your pocket? Design your own diamond ring and travel to Africa to see where the stone came from.

Love the outdoors but think you'd love it even more while watching the Outdoor Channel? How about an outdoor entertainment system replete with a 201-inch television that rises out of the ground? It can be yours for $1.5 million (plus shipping and handling).

These are among the unique offerings for sale in the 87th edition of the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, which was unveiled Tuesday in Dallas, where the retailer is based. Almost 40 percent of the more than 500 items for sale in the book cost less than $250 (cheapest: $12 mug), but it's the "fantasy gifts" that get everyone's attention, such as the airplanes and camels the company has offered in the past. Eight such items are for sale this year.

"The world has become so much smaller than it used to be that the challenge of finding things that are new and interesting becomes harder and harder every year," Neiman Marcus spokeswoman Ginger Reeder said.

At $1.85 million, the "diamond experience" is this year's most expensive fantasy gift. For that sum, the buyer gets a 25-carat rough diamond from which to make a personalized ring with the help of jewelry designer Maria Canale. The package includes a trip to De Beers' headquarters in London and to Africa to trace the stone's origins.

For the falconry enthusiast in your life, consider a $150,000-package that includes everything he or she would need for a leisurely afternoon hunting with hawks. Also included are a gold-plated perch, custom-made bird hoods and a handmade backgammon board (for downtime).

Design enthusiasts, drool at the thought of spending the night at architect Philip Johnson's Glass House, in Connecticut. An overnight stay — the first for sale — runs $30,000. "It's really a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live in a masterpiece," said Henry Urbach, director of the Glass House.

Car collectors, wow friends and enemies alike by rolling up to your next company picnic in one of 10 special-edition 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volantes. The sports cars, which cost $344,500, are handmade in England and come in an exclusive shade of blue.

"The cars sell out every year, and always sell out in a record amount time," Reeder said.

It can be hit-or-miss with other items, Reeder said. For example, besides last year's car, the only other item to sell was a walk-on role in Broadway's "Annie: The Musical" (at $30,000, enough to make even "Daddy" Warbucks a bit envious). Among the other fantasy items that sold in recent years were a $20,000 custom suit of armor and a $6.7 million helicopter, she said.

Among the other fantasy items for sale this year are a $750,000 Indian Larry hand-built motorcycle, a Jeff Koons sculpture for $20,000, and a designer exercise bike for $11,000.

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Online:

Neiman Marcus: http://www.neimanmarcus.com

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