Top 5 Most Expensive Guitars of All Time

You can usually get a great guitar for a couple of hundreds of dollars. However, this hasn’t stopped guitar enthusiasts and collectors from spending millions on a single guitar if it has some history attached to it. Scroll down to see the most expensive guitars of all time.

Eddie Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher” Guitar

Eddie Van Halen’s custom red and white Kramer guitar is one of the most recognizable guitars in the world. It was played by Van Halen on stage a number of times while making an appearance in the “Hot For Teacher” music video. Back in 2023, one collector paid $3.9 million for this guitar at Sotheby’s auction.

Price: $3.9 Million

White Fender Stratocaster From the “Reach Out to Asia” Initiative

Price: $2.7 Million

In 2005, an auction was held in Qatar as part of the Reach Out to Asia initiative to help collect funds for parts of the continent struck by devastating tsunamis. Among the items offered was a stock Fender Stratocaster guitar signed by some of the biggest names in music, including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Brian May, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Pete Townsend, Mark Knopfler, and Paul McCartney. The guitar ended up fetching $2.7 million.

David Gilmour’s The Black Strat

Price: $3.975 Million

Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour made a live stage appearance in 1971 with a black Fender Stratocaster and used the same guitar over the next several decades, prompting the fans to nickname it “The Black Strat.” The guitar was also used in a number of recording sessions, most notably for  “Comfortably Numb” and “Shine on You Crazy Diamond.” It was auctioned off in 2019 for $3.975 million and was the most expensive guitar in the world at the time.

Kurt Cobain’s Fender Mustang from “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

Price: $4.55 Million

Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is one of the biggest songs of the 1990s, and its music video is one of the most iconic to ever grace the TV screens. The Fender Mustang guitar that the band’s late frontman Kurt Cobain played in this music video made it to auction in 2022 and was sold for $4.55 million, with the winning bidder being Jim Irsay, the owner of the NFL franchise Indianapolis Colts.

Kurt Cobain’s Martin D-18E from MTV Unplugged

Price: $6.01 Million

Finally, the most expensive guitar ever is a Martin D-18E, played by Cobain during the recording of Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged. The guitar was sold at an auction in 2020 for$6.01 million to RØDE microphones founder Peter Freedman.

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