The Dutch tulip bulb market bubble, also known as ‘tulipmania’ was one of the most famous market bubbles and crashes of all time. It occurred in Holland between 1634 and 1637, when speculation drove the value of tulip bulbs to extremes. At the height of the market bubble, the rarest tulip bulbs traded for as much as six times the average person’s annual salary. Tulips sold for 10,000 guilders, which is equivalent to the value of a mansion on the Amsterdam Grand Canal, or around $750,000.
Around 1637 the market fell apart as buyers of the tulips announced that they could not pay the high prices previously agreed upon for the bulbs. The entire event destroyed relationships built on trust and people’s ability to pay.
There are several areas of Holland that preserve the history of the country including ‘tulipmania’. Keukenhof is one of the Dutch area’s premier gardens and covers more than 32 hectares (or 79 acres). Open only 8 weeks per year, the team of 30 gardeners plant more than 7 million bulbs in the autumn which bloom in the spring. The planting is all done by hand and takes three months to complete the new design for the upcoming season. The bulbs are supplied by 100 bulb growers and are destroyed at the end of each season and are turned into food for livestock.