Top 10 Most Expensive Handbags of All Time


Top-10-Most-Expensive-Handbags

Humans have used handbags and purses to carry valuables for thousands of years. But the priciest handbags aren’t archaeological wonders excavated from buried homes and temples. Instead, they’re modern wonders made of luxurious materials, including precious jewels and rare animal leathers.

The most expensive handbag of all time is Debbie Wingham’s Easter Egg Purse, valued at $6.7 million. This egg-shaped handbag is made from an emu egg, Cartier earrings, and thousands of diamonds. It also features a luxurious Hermès scarf. This handbag is the priciest Easter item in the world!

Accessorizing with the finest handbags is an excellent way to flaunt your status while accentuating your style. This ranking will reveal which handbags fetch the highest prices, helping you select one that suits your needs and preferences.

Here Are the Top 10 Most Expensive Handbags of All Time:

  1. Debbie Wingham’s Easter Egg Purse – $6.7 million
  2. The Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse – $3.8 million
  3. Hermès Kelly Rose Gold Bag – $2 million
  4. Sac Bijou Birkin by Pierre Hardy – $2 million
  5. Ginza Tanaka Hermès Birkin – $1.4 million
  6. Hermès Lipstick Red Porosus Crocodile Diamond Birkin – $600,000
  7. Hermès Birkin Diamond Blanc Crocodile – $525,000
  8. Hermès Himalayan Crocodile Special Edition Kelly – $485,000
  9. Lana Marks Cleopatra Clutch – $400,000
  10. Hermès Himalaya Niloticus Diamond Birkin – $379,261

10. Hermès Himalaya Niloticus Diamond Birkin – $379,261

Hermès-Himalaya-Nilocticus-Diamond-Birkin
photo source: Christie’s

It’s no secret that Hermès Birkin bags are incredibly expensive. Several of the costliest handbags come from this French luxury brand.

This includes the Hermès Himalaya Niloticus Diamond Birkin, a shimmering crocodile leather bag outfitted with 18-karat white gold hardware and more than 200 diamonds. Though this handbag isn’t the priciest ever made, it is the most expensive handbag ever sold at auction.

When this lavish Hermès Birkin bag went to auction in 2017, it sold for $379,261. That’s more expensive than the average U.S. home!

Why It’s Expensive

Understanding why this handbag sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars isn’t challenging. After all, it’s made of leather harvested from a Niloticus crocodile (better known as a Nile crocodile), one of the rarest and most valuable types of animal leather.

This bag also features gold hardware and straps encrusted with hundreds of diamonds. The coloration of this bag also makes it a valuable commodity, as albino crocodiles are exceptionally rare, and dyeing crocodile skin is a complicated process that’s easy to mess up.

9. Lana Marks Cleopatra Clutch – $400,000

Lana-Marks-Cleopatra-Clutch
photo source: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Lana Marks is a notable fashion designer (and a former ambassador), having helped create iconic looks for the late Princess Diana. But the Cleopatra Clutch might be one of the most valuable items ever released by the fashion expert, as it retails for up to $400,000.

Made famous by Kate Winslet during the 77th Academy Awards in 2005, this platinum-colored clutch is entirely constructed of precious materials. From its silvery alligator leather to its 40 karats of colorless, sparkling diamonds, there’s nothing about this bag that’s understated or subtle.

But the fabulousness of the Lana Marks Cleopatra Clutch makes it a top choice for socialites, especially those with plenty of wealth to throw around.

It only takes one look at this bag to understand how much of a status symbol it is, and there’s an excellent chance that the most opulent versions will sell for higher prices in the future.

Why It’s Expensive

This clutch is expensive because of its fame, precious materials, and fashion designer.

Though Lana Marks made a handful of “recreations” that didn’t include as many precious stones, the one carried by Kate Winslet in 2005 received international attention due to its beauty. As such, that particular Cleopatra Clutch became an in-demand accessory, resulting in an ever-growing price tag.

Of course, the bundles of colorless diamonds accentuating the top and clasp of the clutch also boost this bag’s overall value!

8. Hermès Himalayan Crocodile Special Edition Kelly – $485,000

Hermès-Himalayan-Crocodile-Special-Edition-Kelly
photo source: 1stDIBS

Several of the handbags included in this ranking are no longer available for purchase. But that’s not true of the Hermès Himalayan Crocodile Special Edition Kelly!

This handbag is nearly identical to the Hermès Himalaya Niloticus Diamond Birkin, though it has a more significant price tag of $485,000. It also lacks the diamonds that make its counterpart so valuable.

That said, this is a rare handbag made of hand-buffed Nile crocodile leather. It also features palladium hardware, which is extremely valuable.

Why It’s Expensive

All Hermès Himalayan Crocodile handbags are valuable, as they’re rare and made of precious materials.

This bag’s animal leather construction, goat skin interior, and palladium hardware are inherently expensive. So, it’s no wonder why this bag is so expensive!

7. Hermès Birkin Diamond Blanc Crocodile – $525,000

Hermès-Birkin-Diamond-Blanc-Crocodile
photo source: 1stDIBS

Here we have another valuable Hermès Birkin bag made of Himalayan Crocodile leather. But unlike the previous handbag (the Hermès Himalayan Crocodile Special Edition Kelly), this one features a sparkling diamond strap along the front!

The addition of these precious stones helps boost this bag’s price to $525,000. That could be a little steep for some buyers, but it’s crucial to note that these unique Birkin bags are in short supply and increasingly rare.

So, if you’re eager to own one of the most expensive handbags of all time, you’ll want to act fast and invest in this grey-and-white fashion accessory.

Why It’s Expensive

Where to start?

This Hermès Birkin bag is rare, made of expensive animal leather, and studded with diamonds. It also features 18-karat white gold hardware! These qualities combine to make it a must-have for anyone with a passion for fashion, regardless of its price.

6. Hermès Lipstick Red Porosus Crocodile Diamond Birkin – $600,000

Hermès-Lipstick-Red-Porosus-Crocodile-Diamond-Birkin
photo source: 1stDIBS

Dyeing crocodile skin isn’t a straightforward or low-cost venture. But Hermès seems to have perfected this art, as you can see by examining this bright lipstick-red Porosus Crocodile Diamond Birkin.

This eye-catching handbag is spacious, has feet to ensure it never settles onto the floor, and exudes luxury from every inch of its crocodile leather body. It even has a diamond-encrusted front strap for added flair.

The only catch? Well, this bag costs $600,000.

Still, considering how stylish and valuable it is, investing now (before it’s long gone) could be a wise decision.

Why It’s Expensive

Most handbags depreciate in value over time, but not Hermès Birkin bags. These bags grow more valuable over time, especially when they feature high-cost materials like crocodile skin and diamonds.

Because this lusciously red bag is a perfect example of such a treasure, it will become a modern heirloom and a fashionable physical asset. Essentially, this bag is expensive now, but it’ll probably be even more valuable in a few years or decades.

5. Ginza Tanaka Hermès Birkin – $1.4 Million

Ginza-Tanaka-Hermès-Birkin
photo source: Sekhon Family Office

If you’ve never heard of Ginza Tanaka, don’t worry. This Japanese company deals primarily in precious metals. So unless you’ve been investing in imported items made of the most expensive precious metals, there’s a good chance the name isn’t familiar.

But if you’re a fan of high-end handbags, you’ve likely heard of (or own) Hermès Birkin bags. Still, you probably haven’t seen a Hermès Birkin bag with the same glittering, fairy-tale-inspired elegance as the Ginza Tanaka Hermès Birkin.

This white-and-silver bag (which is more like a purse) is made of platinum and diamonds, two materials that continue to get pricier over time. Even the delicate strap is made of diamonds!

If you’d like to make this distinctly valuable handbag yours, expect to spend about $1.4 million.

Why It’s Expensive

This handbag is expensive because of the 2,000+ colorless diamonds encrusted into the top. That’s not to mention the diamond strap and 8-karat pear-cut diamond mounted on the front.

Of course, the platinum exterior and Hermès brand name also help inflate the total value of this Birkin bag. After all, platinum is incredibly expensive, and nearly any item created by Hermès is worth a small fortune.

4. Sac Bijou Birkin by Pierre Hardy – $2 Million

Sac-Bijou-Birkin
photo source: Jeweller Magazine

The Sac Bijou Birkin by Pierre Hardy is partly a handbag and partly a piece of jewelry. This chainmail-looking handbag has an estimated value of $2 million!

But while you might guess that this bag is made of looped golden bands while looking at it from afar, those circular pieces are actually more than 2,700 diamonds. The upper portion of the bag also resembles decadent crocodile skin, but it’s handcrafted rose gold that’s textured to look like leather.

Why It’s Expensive

First and foremost, this is a Hermès bag. That fact alone makes it expensive.

But this bag is also dripping with luxury materials, from glittering diamonds to sparkling rose gold. The only Hermès bag that holds a candle in terms of decadence and value is the Kelly Rose Gold Bag, also partially created by designer Pierre Hardy.

3. Hermès Kelly Rose Gold Bag – $2 million

Hermès-Kelly-Rose-Gold-Bag
photo source: PurseBlog

Hermès Birkin bags generally top the ranks in terms of value, but they’re not always the costliest Hermès bags. Take the Hermès Kelly Rose Gold Bag, for instance.

This $2 million handbag, a collaboration with Pierre Hardy (like the Sac Bijou Birkin), is solid gold and bedazzled with more than 1,100 colorless diamonds. Even the solid gold handle is encrusted with glittering diamonds!

This bag looks very similar to the Sac Bijou Birkin, but instead of featuring a chainmail aesthetic, it’s entirely solid. Its value is equally solid.

Why It’s Expensive

Any handbag made of solid gold is a near-priceless treasure. When you add diamonds to such a bag, you end up with an accessory worth about as much as a modern mansion.

In short, this bag is valuable primarily because of its materials. That said, the fact that it’s a one-of-a-kind collaboration piece between Hermès and designer Pierre Hardy also makes it expensive.

Along with the Sac Bijou Birkin by Pierre Hardy, this handbag ties for the title of the costliest Hermès handbag ever created. Still, as you’ll soon see, these Hermès accessories aren’t the priciest handbags in the world.

2. The Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse – $3.8 million

The-Mouawad-1001-Nights-Diamond-Purse
photo source: Mouawad

According to Guinness World Records, the most valuable handbag is the Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse. This handbag’s value was listed at $3.8 million when it was released in 2010.

This heart-shaped purse is entirely covered in precious metals and jewels, including gold and diamonds. Most of the diamonds are colorless gems, but delicate yellow and pink diamonds accentuate the exterior and lead to a massive 5-carat heart-cut diamond in the center.

Why It’s Expensive

There’s no question as to why this purse is worth almost $4 million. It’s entirely covered in precious materials!

If you were to remove these materials, piece by piece, and sell them separately, you’d end up with almost the same amount of money as the purse is valued at.

But while Guinness World Records counts this diamond purse as the most valuable handbag in the world, a newer creation features an even steeper price tag.

1. Debbie Wingham’s Easter Egg Purse – $6.7 Million

Debbie-Wingham's-Easter-Egg-Purse
photo source: Debbie Wingham/SWNS

The most expensive handbag of all time is Debbie Wingham’s Easter Egg Purse. This distinctive handbag is valued at $6.7 million due to its pricey materials (diamonds, luxury brand components) and uniqueness.

If you’re familiar with Debbie Wingham, it shouldn’t be surprising that her handmade Easter Egg Purse is the world’s most expensive handbag. After all, this multimedia artist has a penchant for investigating, creating, and owning some of the priciest luxury items.

But what is it, exactly, about the Easter Egg Purse that makes it so incredibly valuable?

Why It’s Expensive

For starters, this handbag is made of a real emu egg that’s been hardened and preserved by a covering of 24-karat gold and blue diamond dust. This initial choice already makes the handbag valuable, as it’s rare and covered in one of the most valuable precious metals on the planet.

Still, additional ornaments and add-ons make Debbie Wingham’s Easter Egg Purse even more costly. These include a fashionable Hermès scarf that lines the interior, 8,000 diamonds (set in clusters all over the bag), a solid gold handle, and three rare pink diamonds.

The clasp for the purse is made of luxurious Cartier earrings. And though the Cartier earrings used in this purse aren’t the most expensive earrings of all time, they aren’t cheap!

When examining the reasons why this handbag is so costly, it’s crucial to examine every element. After adding them up, you’ll quickly understand how this emu egg purse ended up topping the list.

What Makes a Handbag Expensive?

If you’re accustomed to spending $100 or less on a handbag, you might be confused about why some handbags are worth millions. After all, aren’t all handbags just designed to carry your stuff?

Well, technically, yes. A handbag is just a vessel for carrying belongings. But some handbags are also status symbols or appreciable assets.

For example, luxury handbags from Hermès can become more valuable over time. These bags are also iconic due to their distinct appearance and brand reputation.

If you head out with a Hermès Birkin bag on your shoulder or arm, you’re telling the world that you’re a successful, fashionable, and influential person.

Still, many of the most expensive handbags are valuable because of the following:

  • Luxurious materials
  • Brand or designer reputation
  • Supply and demand

Like the most expensive wallets, handbags and purses made of rare animal leathers, precious metals, or jewels are bound to sell for higher prices than cotton or canvas bags.

Brand and designer reputation also has a part to play. Handbags released by some of the most reputable luxury brands and fashion designers will always sell for higher prices than those mass-produced by hit-and-miss department store brands.

Lastly, there’s the issue of supply and demand. Many luxury-quality purses and handbags are one-of-a-kind items or part of a small inventory. For example, Debbie Wingham’s Easter Egg Purse is the only of its kind, so it’s virtually irreplaceable.

This minimal supply, coupled with worldwide demand for high-quality handbags, means that retailers and brands can charge staggering prices for their goods. After all, if you’ve only got one of each item but a thousand interested buyers, the item will go to the buyer who’s willing to pay the most!

What’s the Most Expensive Handbag of All Time?

The most expensive handbag of all time is Debbie Wingham’s Easter Egg Purse. While this bag might not be the most practical or conventional option (it’s made of a real emu egg), it’s undeniably decadent.

Debbie Wingham’s Easter Egg Purse features thousands of diamonds, glittering Cartier earrings, and a sumptuous Hermès scarf. These luxurious materials are the primary reason this purse is valued at $6.7 million.

Check out these related articles to learn more about the world’s most expensive lifestyle items!

Eric Lyons

Eric is a subject-matter expert on the world's most expensive luxuries and collectibles. He has explored thousands of luxuries and collectibles over the past few years and now brings them to readers around the world.

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