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The 10 Most Expensive Guitars in the World



Most Expensive Guitars in the World

For those immersed in the world of guitars, the realm of six strings transcends mere musical instruments; it becomes a universe where craftsmanship, quality materials, and legendary provenance converge to create objects of unparalleled value. The ascent in the guitar world is not solely measured by skill or musical prowess; it also involves a climb up the ladder of quality wood, pickups, strings, and impeccable build craftsmanship.

In this exclusive echelon, however, the guitars showcased are not your run-of-the-mill finds at the local guitar shop – they are the most coveted and sought-after on the planet. With strings that once resonated under the fingers of Rock and Roll icons like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, to bespoke, one-of-a-kind creations crafted for the likes of Jerry Garcia, this article unravels the 10 most expensive guitars in the world.

Join us on a journey through musical history and craftsmanship as we explore the exquisite instruments that have become not just tools of melody but veritable works of art in their own right.

The 10 Most Expensive Guitars in the World

Below are the 10 most expensive guitars in the world now, alongside their price tag. They include:

1) “Reach Out To Asia” Fender Stratocaster ($2.7 million)

The “Reach Out To Asia” Fender Stratocaster is not just a guitar; it is a symbol of unity and support for a cause. In 2005, several music legends, including Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and David Gilmour, signed this custom-painted Fender Stratocaster. The guitar was then auctioned with the proceeds going towards aiding victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami. With a selling price of $2.7 million, it became the most expensive guitar in the world.

Crafted by Fender, a renowned guitar manufacturer, this Stratocaster holds historical significance beyond its musical capabilities. The signatures of iconic musicians, coupled with the charitable cause it supported, add a layer of cultural and philanthropic value. Fun fact: The “Reach Out To Asia” Fender Stratocaster not only contributes to the music world but also stands as a testament to the power of collaboration for a greater good.

2) John Lennon’s 1962 Gibson J-160E Acoustic-Electric ($2.4 million)

The 1962 Gibson J-160E Acoustic-Electric played by John Lennon is more than just a guitar; it is a piece of Beatles history. In 1963, Lennon used this guitar to record some of the band’s early hits, including “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” This historical instrument fetched an impressive $2.4 million at auction, becoming the second most expensive guitar in the world. It is a prized possession for a fortunate collector.

Manufactured by the renowned Gibson, this J-160E has a unique blend of acoustic and electric capabilities that contributed to the distinctive sound of the Beatles. The high price tag reflects not only the guitar’s musical significance but also its association with one of the most influential musicians in history. The story behind Lennon’s J-160E adds a layer of nostalgia, making it a cherished relic for Beatles enthusiasts worldwide.

3) Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 Fender Stratocaster ($2 million)

Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 Fender Stratocaster is a legendary piece of rock history and also ranks as the third most expensive guitar in the world. This guitar was used by Jimi Hendrix during pivotal moments, including his iconic performance at Woodstock in 1969. In 1998, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen acquired this historic instrument for a staggering $2 million, solidifying its status as one of the most expensive guitars ever sold.

Manufactured by Fender, this Stratocaster is not just a tool for making music but a symbol of Hendrix’s groundbreaking contributions to the world of rock and blues. Its intricate history and association with a cultural icon make it a sought-after collector’s item. Fun fact: The unique sonic experiments and performances by Hendrix on this guitar continue to influence generations of musicians, adding to its allure as a piece of musical heritage.

4) Jerry Garcia’s “Wolf” ($1.9 million)

Next on our exclusive list is “Wolf,” Jerry Garcia’s iconic guitar and a symbol of the Grateful Dead’s musical journey. Crafted by luthier Doug Irwin, this guitar sold for a remarkable $1.9 million at auction. The story of “Wolf” began in 1973 when Garcia commissioned Irwin to create a custom guitar that would stand out both visually and sonically. The result was a guitar with a distinctive shape, intricate inlays, and a warm, unique tone.

The “Wolf” guitar not only accompanied Jerry Garcia on numerous live performances but also became an integral part of the Grateful Dead’s legacy. Its sale in 2017 marked a historic moment in the world of music memorabilia auctions. A fun fact is that the guitar’s body features a cartoon wolf sticker, giving it a whimsical touch that mirrors Jerry Garcia’s free-spirited approach to music creation.

5) Bob Marley’s Washburn 22-Series Hawk ($1.2 million)

Ranking at fifth place on our list is the renowned Bob Marley’s Washburn 22-Series Hawk; a masterpiece of reggae history. This Washburn guitar, used extensively by Bob Marley during the late ’70s, fetched an impressive $1.2 million at an auction. Washburn, the esteemed guitar manufacturer, played a pivotal role in crafting this instrument that resonated with Marley’s distinctive sound.

The auction of Bob Marley’s guitar not only reflects the enduring influence of the renowned reggae legend but also highlights the cultural significance of his music. The Washburn 22-Series Hawk serves as a tangible connection to Marley’s era-defining tunes. Fun fact: The guitar’s sale price reflects not only its musical value but also the profound impact Bob Marley had on the global music landscape.

6) 1958 Gibson Korina Explorer ($1.1 million)

The 1958 Gibson Korina Explorer stands as a beacon of vintage guitar history, commanding a hefty $1.1 million at auction. Gibson introduced the Explorer as an avant-garde design in the late ’50s, and this particular model has become a coveted collector’s item. Its angular body and distinct, asymmetrical lines make it a visually striking piece of musical artistry. This guitar is a cultural artifact that embodies the spirit of the artists who played them.

Known for its rare Korina wood construction, the 1958 Explorer has a rich tonal quality that has resonated through decades of music. The auction of this guitar represents the rarity of vintage instruments and the enduring appeal of classic designs in the world of rock and roll. The Explorer, though initially met with skepticism in the late ’50s, has since influenced the shape and style of many guitars that followed.

7) Keith Richards 1959 Les Paul ($1 million)

The Keith Richards 1959 Les Paul is a legendary guitar with a rich history. Crafted by the renowned guitar manufacturer Gibson, this model gained iconic status due to its association with the Rolling Stones’ legendary guitarist, Keith Richards. The Les Paul is known for its warm tones and distinctive design. In a historic auction, this guitar fetched an impressive $1 million, becoming one of the most expensive guitars ever sold.

Keith Richards 1959 Les Paul has seen countless performances, gracing numerous stages worldwide. The luxurious aura of this iconic guitar lies not only in its price tag but also in its connection to rock and roll history. A fun fact is that Richards acquired the guitar in the early 1970s and has since contributed to its legendary status, making it a prized possession for guitar enthusiasts and collectors alike.

8) Bob Dylan’s “Newport Folk Festival” 1964 Fender Stratocaster ($965,000)

Bob Dylan’s “Newport Folk Festival” 1964 Fender Stratocaster is a guitar steeped in folk music history. Manufactured by Fender, this iconic instrument played a pivotal role in the legendary Newport Folk Festival of 1965, where Dylan made his controversial switch to electric guitar. The guitar was sold at auction for $965,000, reflecting its historical significance and the impact of that transformative moment in music history.

This Fender Stratocaster is not just a guitar; it is a symbol of change and evolution in musical genres. Its high auction value is a testament to the cultural impact of Bob Dylan and the historical resonance of this specific performance. Fun fact: The Newport Folk Festival marked a shift in Dylan’s sound, and owning this iconic guitar means owning a piece of that pivotal moment in music history.

9) Eric Clapton’s “Blackie” ($959,000)

Ranking at number nine is Eric Clapton’s “Blackie,” a legendary guitar with a captivating history. Crafted from the merging of three different Fender Stratocasters, this guitar became Clapton’s signature instrument during the 1970s. The name “Blackie” originates from its distinct all-black finish. In 2004, this iconic guitar fetched an impressive sum of $959,000 at auction, making it one of the most expensive guitars ever.

Fender, the renowned guitar manufacturer, played a crucial role in shaping “Blackie.” With its unique blend of components and a striking black appearance, this guitar is not just a musical instrument but a symbol of Clapton’s mastery and influence in the world of rock music. A fun fact is that Eric Clapton used “Blackie” to record some of his most famous tracks, including “Cocaine” and “Wonderful Tonight.”

10) Jerry Garcia’s Custom Doug Irwin “Tiger” ($957,500)

The last but definitely not the least is Jerry Garcia’s Custom Doug Irwin “Tiger.” This iconic guitar is synonymous with the Grateful Dead’s lead guitarist. Crafted by luthier Doug Irwin, this custom guitar, known as “Tiger,” was sold at an auction for a staggering sum of $957,500. Its intricate inlay work, unique design, and connection to the iconic Jerry Garcia contribute to its high valuation.

Doug Irwin and the Grateful Dead’s collaboration resulted in a guitar that goes beyond being a musical instrument; it is a work of art. The “Tiger” not only represents Garcia’s distinctive playing style but also showcases the creativity and craftsmanship involved in its creation. The “Tiger” was one of several custom guitars crafted for Jerry Garcia, each with its own unique characteristics, adding to the allure for collectors and rock music enthusiasts.


As we gently strum the final chords of this exploration into the world of extraordinary guitars, we trust that our list of the 10 most expensive has struck a chord with your curiosity. Much like other cherished collectibles, the value of these guitars is not merely measured by the sum of their parts; it is an intricate dance between previous owners, historical events, and unique custom designs that defines their extraordinary worth.

In the realm of guitars, it is not just about the wood, strings, or craftsmanship; it is about the hands that have plucked those strings, the stages they have graced, and the melodies they have birthed. Owning one of these guitars is more than a possession; it is a connection to the rich tapestry of musical history and the stories woven into the fabric of each instrument.

With every strum, these guitars whisper the tales of legends, making them, in essence, priceless artifacts that transcend mere monetary value. As we bid adieu to this symphony of opulence, may the allure of these extraordinary guitars continue to resonate in your musical musings and inspire reverence for the timeless artistry encapsulated within each six-string masterpiece.


Echewendu Ebuka is a skilled and creative content writer, enriching readers with insightful and compelling content. With a flair for communication and a knack for covering diverse topics, Ebuka's writing captivates and informs audiences.

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