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Starbucks $450 steel card: class warfare in a coffee cup?

Starbucks $450 gift card is made of stainless steel and will only be available in limited quantities through a luxury goods website. Is the Starbucks $450 steel gift card a sign that Starbucks is going "1 percent" on us? Or is it just harmless, splurgy fun? 

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Pedestrians walk past a Starbucks in West London on Dec. 3, 2012. Starbucks is launching a $450 steel gift card, only availible through the luxury goods retail website gilt.com. The launch comes just a week after the chain released its pricey $7 cup of coffee.

David Goldman/AP/File

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One-percenters need their coffee too, and Starbucks has just the thing.

The global coffee chain has just announced what will be the most opulent gift card ever: the Limited Edition Metal Starbucks Card. For a mere $450, you can get the java enthusiast in your life $400 worth of Starbucks coffee, plus a gold-level Starbucks membership (the extra cash pays for the card itself, which costs $50 to make).

The cards will go on sale this Friday, Dec. 7. Just 5,000 will be produced initially, and they will only be available through the luxury goods website Gilt.com.

A gift card made of metal may be a little too reminiscent of the clunky tools and appliances used on “The Flintstones,” but rest assured: The company writes via email that the card only weighs 20 grams, about the same weight as eight pennies. Once you go through the $400, it’s refillable, and it comes with all the perks of a Starbucks Gold level membership, including a free birthday drink.

A $400 gift card would keep the coffee flowing for a long time. USA Today has a nifty infographic showing how far the Steel Card would go depending on the drink: 106 Grande Frappuccinos, for example, or 205 Grande brewed coffees (without tax).

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