By KATE POOLE
For bling lovers who have already adorned their ears, wrists and fingers, a company called Mr. Kennedy offers a new way to shine: 24-karat gold shoelaces that will set the wearer back $19,000 (or for style mavens on a budget, $3,000 for a silver pair). The Dublin-based outfit, named after Harvey Kennedy, the reputed inventor of the shoelace, makes the laces out of Colombian gold, which is compressed into thin threads, then hand-crocheted into a fine rope. (Owner Colin Hart says he came up with the idea while shopping for bracelets for his wife on a trip to the South American nation.) The company says it will deliver the laces -- with their own security guard -- anywhere in the world, and adds that wearers don't need to worry about kicking up a little dust with their footwear finery; the laces can be cleaned with simple soap and water.
Jewelry pros say that, while pressing metals into thread does typically make them more durable, 24-karat gold remains a relatively soft material. Helena Krodel, director of media for trade group Jewelers of America, says that shoelaces made with the metal are probably not made for everyday wear and tear. (The company says its laces come with a lifetime warranty.) As for the price, there's a reason items made of gold are expensive; currently, the precious metal is going for about $1,600 an ounce. But with a pair of laces requiring about 5 ounces of gold, the cost of the shiny stuff accounts for less than half the total price.