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The World’s Most Expensive Handbag Sold for This Much

This Birkin with Himalayan crocodile leather and diamonds sold for $300,168 at a Christie’s auction. Bobby Yip/REUTERS

Expensive taste is in the bag! During a May 30 auction at Christie’s Hong Kong, a luxe Hermes Birkin became the most expensive purse ever sold at an auction. Prior to the bidding, a Christie’s press release estimated that the Birkin would rake in anywhere between $190,000 and $260,000 — but that turned out to be a conservative guess. A buyer, who remains anonymous, spent $300,158 on the Hermés Himalaya Niloticus crocodile diamond Birkin 30 handbag.

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“This bag exemplifies a truly exciting and important moment in the handbags collector market,” the press release continued. “The diamond pieces created by Hermes are exceptional, but none are nearly as iconic as the Himalaya. It is believed that only one or two of the Diamond Himalayas are produced each year, globally, making it one of the lowest production runs for handbags.”

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The pricey accessory does have some luxe components. According to a Vogue interview with JaneFinds, a retailer who sells one-of-a kind Birkins, the 30-centimeter purse is made of Nido crocodile skin that was dyed to resemble the Himalayan mountains. 

“This dyeing process is painstaking and takes many hours to complete  — the lighter the hue, the more difficult the process,” JaneFinds explained. It also features some serious bling. “The hardware is done in 174.4 grams of hand-crafted, solid 18-karat white gold and 245 VVS, F-color diamonds, for a total diamond carat weight of 9.84.”

The Birkin, loved by fashionistas like Victoria Beckham and Kim Kardashian, is arguably one of the most popular handbags in existence, despite its price. Regular Birkins begin at a relatively paltry $7,600 but are constantly on legendarily-long and exclusive waiting lists. The Himalayan breaks last year’s record for most expensive handbag, a fuschia Birkin with white gold and diamond hardware that went for $203,000.

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Before the auction, Christie’s acknowledged the importance of the status symbol. “We anticipate a strong response from collectors around the region, as their tastes and connoisseurship continue to deepen and as they continue their journey in acquiring pieces of fashion history.”

Tell Us — would you ever spend over $300,000 on a Birkin? Let Us know in the comments below!

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