March 4, 2006 The luxury goods market exists because people will always enjoy having exquisite objects, showing their status and wealth and expressing their individuality. That’s why people will pay hundreds of dollars for a cigarette lighter, thousands of dollars for a pen, and tens of thousands of dollars for a watch. So it was inevitable that when flash drives became personal, that we’d see an upmarket version, similar to the Vertu range of high end mobile phones. Flash drive manufacturers White Lake have created a top-of-the range USB flash drive named the Golden Stick which will be showcased at CEBIT next week. The Golden Stick is made of 14 carat gold with five embedded diamonds, though you can have it in 18 carat gold if you wish, but it’ll cost more, and if you think the diamonds are a bit gauche, you can leave them out and reduce the price from EUR 2,950 (US$3,550) to EUR 2,400 (US$2,885). We’re not so sure about making top shelf items in the rapidly moving technology fields – having a 4GB Golden Stick might not be so cool this time next year when everyone else has 16GB.