teapot-5_tcm25-441013Several tea-related Guinness World Records were broken in 2016.

On June 14th, 735 guests attended the largest ever cream tea party in Shanghai, China, which was organized by the British Consulate General to celebrate Queen Elizabeth the Second’s 90th birthday. Unfortunately, this festivity does not seem as well-documented as the previous record holder – Nationwide Building Society’s 2015 fundraising event.

Just a few days earlier, on National Iced Tea Day, also in June, the townsfolk of Summerville, South Carolina brewed 210 pounds of loose leaf tea with 1,700 pounds of sugar to produce 9,554 liters, or 2,524 gallons, of iced tea.

Personally I find the name of the world’s most valuable teapot much more indelible than its 18k yellow gold base, its mammoth ivory handle, and its 1658 brilliant diamonds and 386 authentic Thai and Burmese rubies. This Italian masterwork, commissioned by a U.K. entity, is called The Egoist! Why is it called The Egoist? Because it can only hold one cup of tea!? I still don’t understand why it is called The Egoist.

For those of you who are interested in taking Gemology 101 at home, don’t miss Nova’s program Treasures of the Earth: Gems. And if you are wondering how and why mammoth ivory was made available to the Italian jeweler who crafted The Egoist teapot, mammoth tusks might have become just a little less scarce with the melting of the arctic tundra.