The Most Expensive Handbags in the World
If you've been eyeing a handbag that costs the same as a mortgage payment, don't fret. There are some people out there who invest in bags that cost the same as an actual house. Apparently gorgeous, handcrafted works of art don't always come cheap. It seems style and design and pricey materials can put arm candy over the top. Here is just a sample of some of the world's most extravagant handbags — from least to most expensive purse in the world. But if you don't have the bank account of a billionaire CEO or world-famous actor, these are for browsing purposes only.
20. Marc Jacobs Carolyn Crocodile Handbag: $39,000
This quilted beauty is made of purple crocodile skin and is one of the designer's most popular bags. It's also a steal at this price. You know, compared to the other bags on the list. Plus, it'll go perfectly with some of the most expensive dresses of all time.
19. Fendi Selleria Bag: $49,000
The designs themselves aren't super-pricey but if you get one custom-made with two of the world's rarest animal skins — sable and chinchilla — that's when you're in luxe territory.
18. Gadino Bag by Hilde Palladino: $50,000
Norwegian designer Hilde Palladino crafted this bag which features 39 white diamonds hidden in clasps of white gold. This price tag on this totally makes sense.
17. Louis Vuitton Tribute Patchwork Bag: $55,000
In some cases, it's not always about the workmanship but also how much work was done. Only 20 of these patchwork bags from 15 different LV patterns are in existence. Having an almost one-of-a-kind bag can be worth it.
16. Louis Vuitton New Age Traveller Backpack: $71,000
The only backpack of the pack boasts various lurex jacquard woven monogram fabrics under all kinds of tassels featuring exotic skins like crocodile, fox and snake. But because it's also functional, there's a port for your headphone cables as well.
15. Leiber Precious Rose: $119,000
This bad girl is aptly named and couldn't be more precious thanks to its 1,016 diamonds (totalling 42.56 carats), 1,169 pink sapphires and 800 tourmalines, all set in 18-carat white gold. Considering there's only one in the world, it might be worth every penny.
14. Brighton Blue Porosus Crocodile Birkin Bag with Palladium Hardware: $147,000
What makes this bag stand out isn't so much the colour but the Palladium hardware, a very rare and lustrous silvery-white metal.
13. Hermès Matte Crocodile Birkin Bag: $156,000
Inspired by French actress Jane Birkin, the one's made of crocodile skin with a clasp consisting of 10 carats of white diamonds.
12. Louis Vuitton Urban Satchel: $195,000
LV's Urban Satchel looks more like a hodgepodge of random trash that comes with an equally disgusting price tag.
11. Hermès Blue Crocodile Birkin Handbag: $213,000
This stunner in dark blue crocodile skin also has gold fittings encrusted with 18-karat diamonds.
10. Hermès Fuchsia Diamond-Studded Birkin: $285,000
This one's encrusted with 18-karat gold and diamonds, so basically fit for a queen. Though there's nothing basic about it.
9. Chanel Diamond Forever Classic Bag: $339,000
WIth 334 diamonds (totalling 3.56 carats) set in 18-carat white gold, not to mention the white-gold straps, and the fact that there were only 13 of these bags made, this one's a showstopper.
8. Hermès Exceptional Collection Shiny Rouge H Porosus Crocodile: $386,000
This red work of art has been crafted with Porosus crocodile skin, 18-karat white gold and diamond-studded hardware.
7. Hermès Niloticus Crocodile Himalaya Birkin: $492,000
Constructed from rare "almost albino" crocodile skin, the 30 cm bag also boasts 242 diamonds on its 18-karat gold hardware. It's consider a collector's item as only one or two Himalaya Birkins are made every year, contributing to its value.
6. Lana Marks Cleopatra Clutch: $519,000
Marks produces only one Cleopatra bag a year so they're highly coveted. They vary in price ($130,000 to $519,000) and feature different designs and colours but all have loads of diamonds and gold.
5. Hermès Birkin Bag by Ginza Tanaka: $2.46 million
Japanese designer Tanaka constructed this exquisite bag using platinum and 2,000 diamonds on its outer shell. The detachable diamond strap which doubles as a necklace and the eight-carat, pear-shaped centrepiece can be used as a brooch. Um, three for the hefty price of one? Yes, please! And while you've got your chequebook open, why not pair it with this pricey pair of shoes? A perfect match!
4. Birkin Sac Bijou: $2.46 million
Created by Pierre Hardy, creative director of fine jewellery at Hermès, this paragon of purses is made entirely of rose gold and studded with 2,712 diamonds. And the kicker? Only three were made.
3. Hermès Chaine'd Ancre Bag: $2.59 million
This isn't so much as a bag than a work of art with details and styling so elaborate you'd be better building a display case for it rather than toting it around. Pierre Hardy also designed this which boasts strategically placed white gold studs encrusted with 1,160 pieces of diamonds (totalling 33.94 carats). Like the Sac Bijou, only three were made, making for another collector's item.
2. Hermès Kelly Rose Gold: $2.59 million
Another stunner in collaboration with Pierre Hardy, instead of being made from crocodile, this one mimics it — in solid rose gold. It also features 1,160 diamonds, can be worn conventionally or toted on the wrist, making for the fanciest wristlet ever, and with with only 12 in the world (four different styles made three times each), it will make jaws drop.
1. Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse: $4.93 million
Funnily enough, the world's most expensive handbag does not come from Hermès. This heart-shaped piece of work took 10 skilled artisans to clock in a total of 8,800 hours to create. Encrusted with 4,517 diamonds in yellow, pink and colourless variants (totalling to 381.92 carats), not to mention the gold and its signature heart shape and as of 2010, it still hold the top most expensive spot. Totally belongs on this list of the 100 most expensive things around the world.
Denette Wilford is a writer dabbling in the worlds of lifestyle and entertainment. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post Canada, The Loop, The TV Junkies, 24 Hours Toronto and TV Guide Canada. Follow her on Twitter @DenetteWilford