Christie’s auction house in Hong Kong just set the record for the highest price for a handbag by selling a luxury Hermes Himalaya Birkin bag made with 18 karats of gold and 10 carats of diamonds. The bag sold for HK $2.94 million, or $380,000.
The Hermes Himalaya Birkin handbag is made with matte white crocodile skin and was produced by Hermes in 2014, but it is the subtle details that set this bag aside from the rest. It has 18-karat gold buckles with strap loops encrusted with 205 diamonds, according to Hollywood Reporter.
During the auction, the bag quickly passed the original estimated price range of HK 1.5 million – 2 million ($193,000 - $258,000) and reached $380,000 within 15 minutes.
According to Christie's, business for selling Birkin handbags in auctions has been booming, and a wide range of people have been buying them.
“With 93 percent sold by value and 91 percent by lot, we are delighted to report yet another strong season of auctions for handbags, culminating in a world record for the Himalaya Birkin," Winsy Tsang, a representative from Christie’s Hong Kong, said in a press release. He added, “The diverse buying crowd in the sale room, ranging from young enthusiasts to connoisseurs, proves that we were spot-on with our strategic sourcing approach, resulting in a hugely successful sale that appeals to a wide spectrum of clients.”
The person who purchased the luxury bag has not been identified
What’s so special about Himalaya Birkin bags?
The Hermes Himalaya Birkin bag is made from Nilo crocodile skin.
The “Himalaya” name is not related to the bag’s origin but is used to describe the unique color gradation of the bag. It fades from a smoky gray color into pearly white. The color is made to resemble snow-capped Himalaya Mountains.
The dyeing process for crocodile bags is time-consuming and is part of what makes them unique and expensive. Add gold and diamond hardware, and you now have a bag that costs the price of a home or a luxury car.