Which Actor’s Words Are Worth the Most?

We expect successful actors to be paid massive sums to star in our favorite films, but have you ever considered how much they earn, relative to the amount of dialogue they actually speak? Here are the top-earning actors, based on the money earned per word of dialogue. Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator While starring as... Continue Reading →

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The Good Fortune and Bad Luck of the Most Expensive Item Ever Mailed

The most valuable item known to have been shipped by U.S. mail was the Hope Diamond. It was shipped from a New York City jewelry store on November 8, 1958, and sent to the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum in Washington, DC. The Hope Diamond has long been rumored to be cursed. According to legend, the diamond... Continue Reading →

Who was the Best-Paid Athlete of All Time?

In today's era of multi-million dollar salaries for professional sports figures, it might surprise you that even the wealthiest of modern athletes cannot hold a candle to the best-paid sportsman of all time. In 2017 Real Madrid soccer star Ronaldo Cristiano brought in $93 million. As impressive as that is, it is mere pocket change... Continue Reading →

Meet the Latest Contender for a Girl’s Best Friend

Diamonds may still be a girl's best friend, but they can no longer claim to be the hardest substance on earth. As of 2005, that distinction is now claimed by bucky balls.Readers of Commonplace already know that bucky balls (more properly known as buckminsterfullerene) are the among most expensive substances in the world. This scientifically-engineered... Continue Reading →

The Getty Kidnapping: How Much is a Grandson’s Life Worth?

  Jean Paul Getty (1892-1976) was one of the wealthiest man in the world. In 1966 the Guinness Book of Records named him as the wealthiest man on the planet with a fortune of $1.2 billion ($9.1 billion in 2017). He earned his fortune in the oil business, and in 1996 The Wealthy 100 ranked him as the 67th... Continue Reading →

If You Can’t Afford This Fruit, You’ll Be Melon-choly

The Densuke watermelon -- commonly known as a black watermelon -- is a luxury item. Grown only on the island of Hokkaido, Japan, this gourmet fruit sells in department stores for $200 - $300 apiece. In 2008 one 17-pound Densuke melon sold at auction for $6,100. Connoisseurs tell us that the melon is unusually crisp, with... Continue Reading →

The Gift That Didn’t Please His Wife

Cecil Chubb (1876-1934) was in the market for the perfect gift for his wife and thought he found just the thing. Apparently thinking that her love for "big stones" meant something other than diamond jewelry, Chubb purchased Stonehenge for her. The world-famous landmark became his for £6,600 (£477,000 or $624,000 in 2016 values). He was rather... Continue Reading →

Forget Real Estate — Here is Where the Big Investment Is

The next time you are tempted to complain about the price of a gallon of milk or even the cost of a new car, take a moment to give thanks that you don't have to buy bucky balls. Bucky balls -- also known as endohedral fullerenes or buckminsterfullerenes — are small, but their price isn't based on... Continue Reading →

That’s Bloody Expensive!

One of the most expensive substances on the planet comes from one of it's unlikeliest -- and ugliest -- sources: the horseshoe crab. The bright blue blood of the of these inhabitants of shallow ocean waters fetches an astonishing $60,000 per gallon. With one gallon containing 75,708 drops, this equates to each drop of blood being worth... Continue Reading →

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