15 of the World’s Most Expensive Handbags: Birkins That Bling, Chanel’s Crocodile Skin Flap Bag and More Brands With the Power of the Purse 


For some, a purse is more than an accessory — it’s an investment. According to Data Bridge, a global market research firm, the luxury handbag market is on an upswing, with its value projected to reach $42 billion by 2029. Meanwhile, global financial consulting company Credit Suisse estimates that high-end handbags are one of the best investments of 2023, beating out both art and jewelry.

High fashion labels are increasingly catering to collectors, releasing their most prized purses in extremely limited numbers. These one-of-a-kind pieces can fetch hundreds of thousands at auction, with crocodile finishes and diamond embellishments upping the ante.

Below, see 15 of the world’s most expensive handbags. Unsurprisingly, Hermès dominates the list.

$137,500

The Ombré Birkin

The Ombré Birkin 25.

Sotheby’s

The Ombré Birkin was introduced in 2019. Crafted from ultra-rare Varanus salvator lizard skin, the bag comes adorned with palladium hardware and is lined with Parchemin chevre leather. While its retail price is between $40,000 and $80,000, the Ombré Birkin is worth almost double at auction. In 2020, Sotheby’s sold this purse for $137,500.

$139,230
The Metallic Birkin

The Metallic Silver Chèvre Birkin 25, most expensive purses in the world, worlds most expensive handbags, hermes, silver

Sotheby’s

Released in 2005, limited-edition metallic Birkins were made in silver and bronze. Measuring 25 centimeters, they’re smaller than the typical Birkin, but they’ll still cost a pretty penny. A silver version with bronze detailing, sold by Sotheby’s in 2022, went for nearly $140,000.

$208,000

The So Black Birkin

Jean Paul Gaultier, Matte Crocodile So Black Birkin 30, so black handbags, most expensive purses in the world, worlds most expensive handbags, luxury, hermes

The Matte Crocodile So Black Birkin 30.

Christie’s

Before Jean Paul Gaultier stepped down as creative director of Hermès in 2010, his final collection for the fashion house included a line of “So Black” handbags. This limited-edition matte niloticus crocodile 30 with PVD hardware fetched just over $200,000 when Christie’s auctioned it off in 2019.

$261,000
Chanel Diamond Forever

most expensive purses in the world, MOUGINS, FRANCE - MAY 22:  Singer Madonna onstage during amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS 2008 benefit held at Le Moulin de Mougins during the 61st International Cannes Film Festival on May 22, 2008 in Cannes, France.  (Photo by Toni Anne Barson/WireImage)

Madonna holds the Chanel Diamond Forever bag at amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS 2008 benefit.

WireImage

In 2008, Chanel produced its Diamond Forever bag. Karl Lagerfeld designed the alligator leather piece in the style of the French label’s iconic flap bags. It features white gold hardware, including a clasp encrusted with 334 diamonds totaling 3.56 carats. The Diamond Forever was put up for auction during amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS benefit, selling for $261,000.

$288,200

The Diamond Birkin

most expensive purses in the world, world's most expensive handbags, Géranium Crocodile Diamond Birkin 35, luxury purses, hermes bags, white gold diamonds, crocodile skin

The Géranium Crocodile Diamond Birkin 35.

Christie’s

Birkins made with exotic skins are already considered rare, so it’s no surprise that a little bling increases the price tag. Crocodile diamond Birkins typically cost more than $200,000 on the resale market, with one of the most expensive being the Géranium 35, pictured above. Sold by Christie’s in 2018, the bag is crafted with porosus crocodile skin and includes 18-karat white gold and diamond hardware.

Hermès So Black Feather Kelly

most expensive purses in the world, Hermès Black Box Feather Sellier Kelly 32 with black PVD hardware

Hermès Black Box Feather Sellier Kelly 32 with black PVD hardware.

Michi Sin/Sotheby’s

Christie’s auctioned off this limited-edition Hermès purse in 2022. Designed by the label’s former creative director, Jean Paul Gaultier, it was created in collaboration with French feather métier Maison Lemarié.

$352,000

Hermès Feather Mosaïque Kelly

most expensive purses in the world, Feather embroidery Sellier Mosaïque Kelly 32 with palladium hardware

The Feather Mosaïque Kelly 32 with palladium hardware.

This taupe Sellier Kelly, made in 2010, is adorned with a geometric collage of multicolor feathers. It sold for $352,825 at a 2021 Christie’s auction in Hong Kong.

$400,000
Hermès Faubourg Birkin

most expensive purses in the world, Hermès matte alligator Faubourg Birkin, worlds most expensive purses and handbags

Hermès matte alligator Faubourg Birkin.

Sotheby’s

First released in 2019, the Faubourg Birkin resembles an Hermès storefront. There are four different shades of the coveted handbag, with the Neige or “Snow” colorway being the most valuable. Faubourgs have become among the most collectible Hermès bags, featuring both alligator and chèvre leather. Sotheby’s sold this rare 20 cm handbag with palladium hardware for $400,000 in 2022.

$400,000
Li Bingbing’s Lana Marks Cleopatra Clutch

most expensive purses in the world, HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26:  Li Bingbing arrives at the 84th Annual Academy Awards at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on February 26, 2012 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Li Bingbing at the 2012 Oscars.

WireImage

Lana Marks’ trademark Cleopatra clutch comes in a variety of colors. It became a must-have red carpet accessory in the 2000s, with stars including Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron and Angelina Jolie carrying variations of the crocodile bag.

Marks’ most expensive creation, however, was for Chinese actress Li Bingbing. Bingbing’s $400,000 custom clutch features 40 carats of black diamonds, 18-karat gold, and her name written in pink gold embellished with pink diamonds.

$450,000

Hermès Himalaya Birkin

most expensive purses in the world, Eunis Chan models a Matte White Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Diamond Birkin with 18K gold and diamond hardware -- one of the most valuable handbags in the world -- during a preview at Christies in Hong Kong on May 4, 2016. / AFP / ISAAC LAWRENCE        (Photo credit should read ISAAC LAWRENCE/AFP via Getty Images)

Hermès Himalaya crocodile diamond Birkin with 18-karat gold hardware.

AFP via Getty Images

Sotheby’s sold a Himalaya Birkin 30 with diamond-encrusted white gold hardware for $450,000 in 2022. Made from niloticus crocodile skin, the highly-coveted handbag features nine to ten carats of stones. Named for their gradient pattern reminiscent of the snow-capped mountain range, Himalayas, even those without diamond hardware, are considered some of the rarest — and most valuable — in the world.

$513,200
Hermès Himalaya Kelly

most expensive purses in the world, NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 04:  A Hermès White Himalaya Matte Niloticus Crocodile Retourne Kelly 32 Palladium Hardware, 2011 is on display during a press preview of the upcoming Luxury Week at Sotheby's on June 04, 2021 in New York City. 2 (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

An Hermès Himalaya Crocodile Retourné Kelly 32 with palladium hardware.

Getty Images

Much like Himalaya Birkins, their Kelly counterparts are worth a pretty penny. Christie’s broke a world record with the 2021 sale of a Himalaya crocodile Retourné Kelly 28. The piece, which features 18-karat gold and diamond hardware, sold for $513,200. Another Himalaya crocodile Retourné Kelly 25 with palladium hardware fetched $435,375 in 2020.

$1 Million

Louis Vuitton Millionaire Speedy

most expensive purses in the world, Rocket Williams, Pharrell Williams, and Frédéric Arnault at the Loewe Spring 2024 Menswear Collection Runway Show at the Gendarmerie Nationale-Garde Républicaine on June 24, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Swan Gallet/WWD via Getty Images)

Rocket Williams, Pharrell Williams and Frédéric Arnault at Loewe’s spring 2024 menswear show.

WWD via Getty Images

This luxe iteration of Louis Vuitton’s fan-favorite duffle is crafted from yellow crocodile skin and emblazoned with the brand’s signature monogram pattern. It also features a diamond-covered chain strap. The brand’s new creative director of menswear, Pharrell Williams, debuted the bag at Paris Men’s Fashion Week in June.

$1.9 Million
Hermès Ginza Tanaka Birkin

most expensive purses in the world, A Ginza Tanaka employee shows off 200-million-yen (1,626,016 USD) diamond bijou bag made of 208ct, 2182-diamonds and platinum during a platinum exhibition press preview in Tokyo on June 18, 2015. Japan's jewelry company, Ginza Tanaka will hold the exhibition, "The Story of Platinum" together with Platinum Guild International from June 19 to July 31.          AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA        (Photo credit should read TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP via Getty Images)

Hermès Ginza Tanaka Birkin.

AFP via Getty Images

Hermès collaborated with Japanese jeweler Ginza Tanaka in 2015 to create this $1.9 million platinum “Birkin.” It’s encrusted with 2,182 diamonds, including an eight carat pear-shaped center piece.

$2 Million

Hermès Sac Bijou Birkin

world's most expensive handbags, The Sac Bijou Birkin, expensive purses, luxury, Hermès' Haute Bijouterie Collection, pierre hardy designs

The Sac Bijou Birkin.

Priced at $2 million, the Sac Bijou Birkin was released as part of Hermès’ Haute Bijouterie Collection in 2012. Designed by Pierre Hardy, the miniature handbag, intended to be worn as a bracelet, features over 2,000 diamonds set in rose gold. According to Sotheby’s, there are only three Sac Bijou Birkins in existence.

What is the most expensive purse in the world?

$3.8 Million
Mouawad

the most expensive purse in the world, most expensive handbag of all time, A heart-shaped handbag, 'The 'Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse', with 4517 incorporated diamonds with a total weight of 381.92 carats, is displayed with its presentation case during a Christie's auction preview in Hong Kong on October 17, 2017. 
The Robert Mouawad designed bag holds the world record for the most valuable handbag ever produced, with an original price of 3.8 million USD in 2010. / AFP PHOTO / Anthony WALLACE        (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images)

Mouawad 1001 Nights diamond purse.

AFP via Getty Images

One of the world’s most expensive handbags was created by Mouawad jewelers, who crafted this Guinness World Records-certified 1001 Nights diamond purse. Priced at $3.8 million, 10 artisans covered the heart-shaped piece in more than 4,000 diamonds. These yellow, pink and colorless stones total 381.92 carats.

What are the most expensive purse brands?

  • Hermès
  • Chanel
  • Bottega Veneta
  • Christian Dior
  • Céline
  • Fendi
  • Gucci
  • Judith Leiber
  • Tom Ford
  • Givenchy



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