March 10, 2006 10:56 AM PST

Gold-plated USB stick sparkles

HANNOVER, Germany--A USB memory stick coated in gold and studded with five diamonds has been launched.

The glitzy memory stick, shown at the CeBit trade fair here this week, comes with up to 2GB of memory and can be coated in either 14-carat or 18-carat gold. The diamonds are optional.

Pricing varies depending on whether customers need the full 18 carats of gold or opt for the sparkly version. A 1GB version with 14-carat gold coating and five diamonds costs in excess of 2,000 pounds (about $3,500).

Gold USB stick
Credit: Specs Distribution
White Lake's gold-plated
USB stick holds up to 2GB
of data.

White Lake, the company behind the device, said it has taken orders for 24 units in the last week, although it wasn't able to say who they were from. White Lake is part of Specs Distribution of the Netherlands, which manufacturers branded USB, or universal serial bus, sticks for corporate customers.

Honore Bouwman, a Specs sales executive, told ZDNet UK that Specs was selling 125,000 branded USB sticks per month. He predicted that such devices would continue to get much faster over the next year.

"Last year, we were still selling 16MB memory sticks, but they have all gone now," Bouwman said. "Now 64MB is the entry level, and it's fading out. Next year, we'll be selling 4GB models, and maybe 6GB as well."

Graeme Wearden reported for London-based ZDNet UK.

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