As a guitar enthusiast, I’ve always been fascinated by the craftsmanship and artistry that goes into creating these musical instruments. What is even more amazing is the price that people will often pay for them.
The list of the most expensive guitars is shocking. In this article, I’ll be exploring the world of the most expensive guitars, including looking at some of the most sought-after models and the reasons behind their high price tags.
There is a guitar on this list from almost every genre and everyone, from a guitar player or collector to simply someone interested in the world of high-end investments, the world of expensive guitars offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of craftsmanship, art, and luxury.
From custom designs to vintage classics, there are countless factors that contribute to the high price of these instruments, and it’s worth exploring each one in detail to understand why they’re so highly prized. Most of the instruments on this list are famous guitars thanks to the combination of artist who played them and model.
Throughout this article, we’ll examine what makes them so valuable, and explore the stories behind their creation. Whether you’re a seasoned guitar player or simply curious about the world of high-end instruments, there’s something for everyone in this exploration of the most expensive guitars on the market.
The Top 10 Most Expensive Guitars
When it comes to guitars, some are worth more than others. Here are the top 10 most expensive guitars in the world:
1: The Fender Stratocaster ‘Reach Out to Asia’
The “Reach Out to Asia” charity guitar was sold at a charity auction in Qatar in 2005 for a staggering $2.7 million. It was signed by over 20 musicians, including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Brian May, and David Gilmour, and all proceeds went to help victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.
2: Jerry Garcia’s ‘Wolf’
This guitar was used by Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead for over two decades. It was sold at auction in 2017 for $1.9 million, making it one of the most expensive guitars ever sold. The new owner remains anonymous.
3: Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 Fender Stratocaster
This guitar was used by Jimi Hendrix at the Woodstock festival in 1969. This Stratocaster was sold at auction in 1990 for $1.3 million. It is amazing the number of guitars on the list that sold for over a million, and even knowing that it’s still astonishing the prices you’ll see!
4: Eric Clapton’s ‘Blackie’ Stratocaster
This guitar was used by Eric Clapton for many years and was his favorite. It was sold at auction in 2004 for $959,500, making it one of the most expensive guitars ever sold.
5: Bob Dylan’s 1964 Fender Stratocaster
This guitar was used by Bob Dylan during his 1965 tour and was auctioned off in 2013 for $965,000. Put together one of the most famous musicians ever with one of the most legendary models, and you get a BIG price tag!
6: John Lennon’s 1962 Gibson J-160E Acoustic-Electric
This guitar was used by John Lennon during the recording of many Beatles songs. It was sold at auction in 2015 for $2.4 million. Again, this isn’t shocking considering the Beatles turned the world on to electric music in the first place.
7: David Gilmour’s ‘Black Strat’
This guitar was used by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd and is responsible for hits like “Hey You”, “Another Brick in the Wall, and “Comfortably Numb” just to name a few. It was been sold several times over the years, the last of which was for $3.9 million in 2019.
8: Paul McCartney’s 1964 Höfner Bass
The only Bass Guitar on our list, this bass guitar was used by Paul McCartney during many Beatles recordings. It was sold at auction in 2013 for $204,800.
9: Keith Richards’ 1959 Les Paul Standard
This guitar was used by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones for many years. It fetched a cool million in 2003 and is the most expensive Les Paul I know of!
10: George Harrison’s 1964 Gibson SG
Last but not least, another Beatles guitar makes the list! George Harrison’s first Gibson was used during the Beatles’ early years and was sold in 2004 for $567,500.
Other Expensive Guitars
While the Martin D-18E is the most expensive acoustic guitar ever sold at auction, there are other notable acoustic guitars that fetch a high price. For example, the 1941 Martin D-45 is one of the most sought-after acoustic guitars due to its rarity and craftsmanship. Another expensive acoustic guitar is the Gibson J-200, which has been played by artists such as Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan.
The Most Expensive Gibson Guitars
While the Gibson Les Paul and SG are popular models, they are not the only expensive Gibson guitars out there. Duane Allman’s 1957 Gibson Les Paul is one of the most expensive Gibson guitars ever sold, fetching over $1 million at auction. Other notable expensive Gibson guitars include Jerry Garcia’s Wolf and George Harrison’s 1964 Gibson SG.
Other Notable Expensive Guitars
There are many other expensive guitars out there that are not Gibson or acoustic models. Eric Clapton’s Blackie Stratocaster, Bob Dylan’s 1964 Fender Stratocaster, and Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 Fender Stratocaster are all notable expensive guitars. The Reach Out to Asia Fender Stratocaster, which was signed by over 20 artists including Bryan Adams and Mark Knopfler, sold for over $2 million at auction. Other expensive guitars include Tony Iommi’s custom Gibson SG, Ritchie Blackmore’s custom Fender Stratocaster, and Gary Moore’s Peter Green Les Paul.
While these guitars may seem like a lot of money, they are often purchased by collectors and enthusiasts who appreciate the craftsmanship and history behind them. Whether it’s for playing or collecting, expensive guitars are a part of popular music culture and will continue to be sought after for years to come.
A ukulele player pretty much from birth, Edward has gone on to play banjo, lead guitar, and bass for a number of bands and solo projects! Edward loves talking, teaching and writing about music!