What would be the most expensive thing in the world to buy? Buying being market value and not including any research it took to build, etc. Criteria is it being a tangible object, and something that could be bought under the right circiumstances. The USA could probably not be bought, but the Mona Lisa could under the right circumstances. My guess is that it would probably be some piece of military equipment or a satellite.
Of course, that would be true only if there was anywhere near a pound of it available.
I think it would be a better question if the item had a quotable price and anyone with enough money could but it if they wanted to. Something like a 747 at over $200,000,000 springs to mind. I doubt that a person could by the Mona Lisa under the right circumstances because it is considered to be a priceless international treasure.
Using your criteria, some giant palace like Versailles or the Taj Mahal might quilify but you can’t buy those either. A marginal answer is buying a whole company yourself. You can spend billions buying enough shares to gain a controlling interest.
Price per unit mass it is probably one of the Transuranic Elements. Hundreds of thousands of dollars per microgram, way up there on the periodic table.
Then there are historic autographs, I think there are some from the 1500’s that go for absurd prices, every half dozen decades when someone dies. If you could find a post card from Edison to Tesla, that happened to be a first day cover of the upside down air mail stamp, I imagine that would fetch a fair price.
How much is an original Schickelgruber?
Going by mass I’d imagine antimatter would be pretty close to the most expensive per kilo. Plus shipping and handling is really gonna add up fast :).
Wouldn’t you need anti-shipping and anti-handling though?
And I guess you’d pay for it in anti-dollars, which under the current exchange rate would come out to $0, so maybe not that expensive.
Does it have to be a single item?
Purchasing a single company can run in the billions.
Here’s a company my employer just bought.
I’m thinking it’s either an extremely rare element, or perhaps a large company. Just a guess, though.
The World itself.
I always thought that was free because I always here people telling someone they will give them the world.
Dang, and here I have a bunch of that stuff collecting dust in my attic and thought it was worthless. Who knew?
Actually the world, or much of it, was once for sale. In A.D. 193 the Roman Emperor Pertinax died without an obvious successor. The Praetorian Guard therefore offered the Roman Empire to the highest bidder. Two rivals bid for the empire and the man who bid the most turned out to be Didius Julianus. He was proclaimed Emperor and ruled for about eight weeks before he was murdered.
I don’t think it’s fair to say “a ton of Californium”, because you can make the quantity arbitrarily large. I think you need to confine this to a physical object or entity, say “the space shuttle”
That was what I was saying. It isn’t a good question unless the wealthy person in question could actually decide to buy one, contact the owner or salesperson, and own it in a reasonable amount of time. No one can buy the White House, the Mona Lisa, or Buckingham Palace. I would also say that abstract entities like companies should be excluded as well. They may or may not be for sale and you could spend any amount of money buying shares of big corporations. I would isolate it to a physical thing that you can get on the phone and find someone willing to set up the sale right away. Otherwise, you get answers about things that don’t exist or truly aren’t for sale. Commissioning a gold plated, diamond encrusted cruise ship for yourself might be possible but it isn’t a realistic answer and you couldn’t have it in any reasonable amount of time.
If we restrict ourselves to something the more or less average person might buy, saffron, which retails for about $1000 a pound, ought to be in the running.
I can think of many substances that would be a great deal at $1000 a pound. Many of them are even legal.
How much for the Space Station?
Sounds like a job for Federal Express.
Note that the OP did not specify “most expensive per unit mass”. So it would be rather easy to come up with items more expensive than a pound of saffron.
How about advertised prices for genuinely available objects or services?