Diamond-Encrusted Hermes Handbag Sells for Record $377K

A Christie's auction of Hermes handbags in Hong Kong set a new record for the highest price ever spent on a Birkin Bag in their auctions.

The price flew past the presale estimate of HK 1.5 million to 2 million ($193,000-$258,000) during 10 to 15 minutes of intense bidding in the auction room and from phone and online buyers, Christie's spokeswoman Gigi Ho said.

The UK auction house did not identify the buyer of the matte White Crocodile skin Hermes Birkin bag with 18 karat Gold and Diamond hardware at Wednesday's sale.

The bag sold for HK$2.94 million (£294,000) after 15 minutes of frenzied bidding and comes after a similar Hermès was sold in Hong Kong a year ago for £232,000 ($300,168).

This isn't the first time a Birkin has drawn attention at an auction house.

A Hermes Birkin bag is a treasure if you can afford to buy one new, but like a fine wine, these bags cost more with age.

The limited-edition handbags are among the luxury goods most sought after by celebrities and the super rich.

The product line's first bag, inspired by style icon Jane Birkin, was designed almost 30 years ago. The company says they're exceptionally rare, with only one or two believed to be made each year because of a time-consuming process to dye the crocodile skin.

Birkin, who is now 70, recently told the BBC she rarely uses the bag.

Waiting lists have been known to last up to six years, with prices quickly entering five figures.

In 2015, Birkin asked Hermes to remove her name from the bags, because she was troubled by the "cruel practices" used to kill the crocodiles for the bags.

  • Zachary Reyes