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Five of the Most Insanely Expensive Manicures in Nail Art History

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Here at Racked, we're dedicating this week to the kind of fantastical shopping that most of us only get to experience in dreams (or at 80%-off sample sales). Taking a page from casino parlance, we'll be talking a lot about "whales," those big spenders who feel perfectly comfortable dropping tens of thousands of dollars every night on roulette, or, in our case, on Cartier. Welcome to Whale Week 2013.

Nail polish is a huge business—the industry sold $768 million worth of the stuff in 2012 alone. But for certain megarich people, polish alone just isn't enough. Luckily, whale-friendly manicures made from materials like gold and crushed diamonds exist for those lucky few who can afford them. Read on for the five of the most expensive manicures in nail art history.

Red Carpet Manicure Amor 24 Polish: $5,000
For the 2012 Grammys, Rihanna rocked a 24-karat gold gel manicure from Red Carpet Manicure. Luckily, the company made a not-quite-24-k version for the common folk to buy.

Leighton Denny's Diamond, Sapphire, and Ruby "Encapsulation": $32,000
Master manicurist Leighton Denny holds court at Harrods' Urban Retreat, one of London's poshest spas. His "encapsulation" (sounds fancier than just a plain old manicure, doesn't it?) includes 9 karats worth of real diamond bling. It's reportedly a huge hit with Arab princesses and once had a 175-deep waiting list.

Cherish ... Me Iced Manicure: $51,000
In luxury-loving Dubai, high-end beauty treatments are everywhere. But the Iced Manicure from now-defunct spa Cherish ... Me was the gold diamond standard. The bling could "only be obtained following a consultation with the owner of the nail art bar herself and her team of diamond manicure experts." Qualifications for becoming a diamond manicure expert remain unclear.

Models Own Gold Rush Couture Polish: $130,000
For a while, the world record holder for priciest polish ever was Brit brand Models Own. Their Gold Rush Couture polish was made from gold leaf and came in a bottle made out of yellow gold and studded with actual diamonds. There's still a non-couture version of the polish, which gives most of the glitter for much less of the cost.

Azature's Black Diamond Polish: $250,000
Gem company Azature made headlines when they created a special nail polish made with black diamonds. The lucky celeb who got to debut the six-figure mani was Kelly Osbourne, who showed it off at the 2012 Emmys. However, not everyone loved Osbourne's glamorous look. When she was criticized for spending more than the average American's annual salary on a single manicure, she took to Twitter to apologize—and to mention that she'd been comped.
· The Baller Shopping Guide to 6 Racked Cities
· Whale Week 2013 [Racked]