The luxury handbag broke the world auction record in Hong Kong on Wednesday, according to Christie’s spokeswoman, Gigi Ho.
The matte white “Himalaya Niloticus” crocodile skin Hermès Birkin bag with 18-karat-gold buckles and strap loops encrusted with 205 diamonds, sold for 2.94 million Hong Kong dollars ($380,000). Although the auction house did not identify the buyer of the exceptional piece, Christie’s Gigi Ho can confirm that the price flew past the pre-sale 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, from the phone and online buyers.
Himalaya Birkins get their name from the bag’s colour, which fades from smokey grey to pearly white, evoking comparisons with the mountain range. 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.
The highly coveted bag was created in 1984 by French luxury label Hermes in honour of British singer and actress Jane Birkin. It’s famous for a stratospheric price tag, celebrity owners and a years-long waiting list.
The previous record holder was another Birkin bag which had identical specifications as the one just sold was auctioned off for a cool $300,000.
If that price is giving you a headache, keep in mind that the luxury handbags are rumoured to be a better long-term investment than gold.