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Diamond-inlaid credit card to be released in Kazakhstan

Tyler Metzger

I recently described the American Express Black as the ultimate status symbol for the rich. I was wrong.

Borat
Source: Michael Bulcik

Kazakhstan, home of the fictional comic character Borat played in a 2006 movie of the same name by actor Sacha Baron Cohen, announced this week that its bank Kazkommertsbank will issue a status symbol like no other — a diamond-inlaid credit card.

Aptly named the Diamond, the Mastercard will have a 0.02 carat center and a $1,000 annual fee. The bank plans to issue only a total of 1,000 at a rate of 30 a month and apply a credit limit of $50,000, which is about $20,000 higher than the limit on some MasterCard platinum cards.

Kazkommertsbank has received some criticism for releasing the card in the middle of worldwide financial crisis. But Alla Voyakina, head of international payment systems for the issuing bank, said status symbols are always welcome for the rich.

“The crisis is also affecting us, but we are talking about rich people; they can afford to have such cards. It’s a question of prestige to have such cards in your wallet,” she told the Financial Times.

In 1991, Kazakhstan became the last Soviet republic to declare itself independent. Since then, it has used its enormous fossil fuel reserves and abundant supplies of other minerals and metals to become a growing force in the global economy. According to the CIA World Fact Book, Kazakhstan experienced double-digit growth in 2000 – 2001 and continues to grow at 8 percent per year thanks largely to its successful energy sector, economic reform and foreign investment. This increase in wealth has helped create a class of super-rich.

So what can be next to top this feat of consumerist gluttony?

See related: Rent a movie, loss your identity, Tinsel meets plastic: Top 10 Hollywood credit card movies, Lessons from “It’s a Wonderful Life”

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  • Thowell3

    Perhaps a credit card made of ivory! Or the tanned hides of any endangered species.
    Or we could take a page out of the baseball card manufacturing playbook – where they take pieces of jerseys or the astro-turf and affix them to the card.
    Only for credit cards, we could use pieces of of priceless art or religious relics. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Vatican Visa!