...how much can an egg cost?
Fabergé objects were very expensive. Even the least costly items, such as the miniature pendant egg hidden inside the 1895 Hen egg, cost 60 rubles, an amount equal to two years salary for the average tradesman. But the original charge to the Czar for each of the Imperial eggs was very likely well below costs.

Winter egg
According to author Géza von Habsburg, "They were by no means the most expensive things that the imperial family bought from Fabergé. The first eggs cost something like two to four thousand dollars, approximately, at the time. Not cheap, but not expensive either. The most expensive egg was the Winter Egg of 1913. That cost just under 25,000 rubles, or about $12,500, not vastly expensive compared to necklaces that Fabergé had sold to the imperial family in 1894. For instance, the great necklace of pearls given by Nicholas II to Empress Alexandra for their betrothal cost 176,000 rubles, or some $85,000 at that time. That was big money then."

The Winter Egg brought "big money" in modern times as well. In 1949, it was sold for a mere $4,760; but in 1994, it was acquired anonymously at public auction by an American businessman for the record price of $5.5 million dollars.

"The intrinsic value of the egg is comparatively quite low," says Von Habsburg. "The Winter Egg consists of two blocks of rock crystal – a couple of thousand dollars – a bit of platinum and some three thousand minute rose cut diamonds – another couple of thousand dollars. So all in all, if you break this egg up, what is it worth? Four or five thousand dollars. What are you paying for? The vision and genius of Fabergé!"

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