Dedicated shoppers will soon have a shiny new way to flash their money around — in the form of a solid gold debit card.
Made of 18-karat gold, this is the first hallmarked payment card made of precious metal, the UK’s Royal Mint, which is producing the card, said in a statement Friday. The gold used to make the cards is source-traceable, meaning its provenance can be checked, the mint said in a statement.
The card doesn’t come cheap — prices start at £18,750 (around $23,000), with further charges for personalized designs on the front and back.
After buying a card, customers automatically become Raris account-holders with Mastercard.
The Royal Mint, which has minted coins in England for over 1,100 years, developed the card with Mastercard and Accomplish Financial, a service provider for electronic payments.
Initially, a limited run of 50 gold cards will be produced with the same design, with a new design to be announced for further cards in the range, the Royal Mint told CNN.
James Thorpe, a Mastercard spokesman, told CNN that the project took several years from inception to launch. He said it was a challenge to conform the cards to payment systems, adding that, like other metal cards, the new gold cards won’t work with contactless technology.
Commenting on why anyone would buy one, Thorpe added: “If you want something that is unique in this world, there are very few things. But this is a remarkable and valuable product.”
The good news for customers is that, according to Thorpe, these new gold cards will be “treated exactly like any other payment card” and will be replaced if lost or stolen, provided the card’s terms and conditions have been met.