An Indian optometrist has created the world’s first contact lenses to be embedded with diamonds and gold. The $15,000 pair of contact lenses are available in four designs: 18 diamonds on white gold, 18 diamonds on yellow gold, white gold without diamonds, and yellow gold without diamonds. According to creator Chandrashekhar Chawan, the contact lenses sit between 6mm and 9mm away from the cornea, weigh five grams in total, and are designed to allow ample amounts of oxygen to reach the eye.
Decorating Eyes with Jewels & Diamonds
The alluring jewelry line from Shekhar Eye Research satisfies those who are unsatisfied with simply boasting their bling on their fingers, ears, or around their neck. Inspired by his wife’s diamond-adorned teeth, Chawan tried his hand at gold-dust contact lenses, but wasn’t impressed by their lack of “sparkle”. It’s important to note that these contact lenses aren’t strictly a fashion statement—those who require vision correction can custom order their lenses to fit their prescription.
Although Chawan plans to only make a limited amount of the expensive lenses—3,996 lenses, to be exact—he claims bejeweled contact lenses could be the next big trend in fashion. From designer lenses from Christian Dior to Anthony Malliar’s crystal infused lenses, decorating your eyes with jewels isn’t an entirely new concept. All profits will be used to fund treatment for Stevens Johnson syndrome, a disease that affects the tear glands and can lead to vision loss.
Are Fashion Contact Lenses Safe?
According to Chawan, the contact lenses are made using Chandra Boston Scleral lenses, a product that’s generally used to treat eye illnesses. The lenses are used to hold the jewelry part of the lenses in place, without having the jewelry actually touch the cornea. He claims the method is “very safe”, but many experts warn against using medical lenses for vanity. In fact, eye doctors and medical professionals agree that introducing foreign objects to the eyes—no matter how beautiful and shiny—is a dangerous practice that comes with its own set of consequences.
While millions of Americans purchase cosmetic lenses without a prescription each and every year, few know the risks associated with these lenses. Contact lenses are medical devices that require a prescription and proper fitting by a licensed medical professional. As a general rule of thumb, never purchase cosmetic contact lenses from a retailer that does not ask for a valid prescription—they’re disobeying the law and are possibly running an illegal operation.
In order to safely wear diamond contact lenses or other costume contact lenses, follow these guidelines:
- Get an eye exam from a licensed eye care professional—they’ll measure each eye and talk to you about proper contact lens care.
- Obtain a valid prescription that includes lens measurements and expiration date.
- Purchase the cosmetic lenses from a retailer who asks for a prescription, like Lens.com.
- Follow the contact lens care directions for cleaning, disinfecting, and wear.
- Never share contact lenses with another person.
- Get follow-up exams with your eye care provider.
If you notice redness, swelling, discharge, or pain when wearing contact lenses, remove the lenses and seek medical attention as soon as possible.