A rare diamond-encrusted Himalaya Niloticus crocodile-skin handbag has fetched nearly USD 300,000 at an auction in Hong Kong, setting a new record for the world’s most expensive purse. An anonymous buyer paid 2.32 million HK dollars (USD 298,655) for the Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Diamond Birkin 30 auctioned by a private Asian collector.
The price beats the last year’s record when a fuchsia-coloured Hermes bag was sold for USD 222,912 in Hong Kong. “The diamond pieces created by Hermes are exceptional, but none are nearly as iconic as the Himalaya,” auction house Christie’s was quoted as saying by South China Morning Post.
The crocodile skins were dyed to give the handbag a white centre and ash grey edges to resemble the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayan mountains, Christie’s said. “It is believed that only one or two of the Diamond Himalayas are produced each year, globally, making it one of the lowest production runs for handbags.” they said.
One of the rare handbags, the iconic accessory is encrusted with diamonds, while the buckle and Hermes padlock are made of 18 carat white gold. “Its rarity and exclusivity, the quality of leather and craftsmanship, its style and the ability to customise”, all contribute to making this the most valuable bag in the world today, New York-based appraiser Helaine Fendelman, of Helaine Fendelman & Associates, was quoted as saying by CNN.
It’s a celebrity handbag she quipped, adding “Catherine Zeta-Jones, Katie Holmes, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and J-Lo have all been photographed with one on their arm.”
Named after British singer Jane Birkin, the handbag was designed in 1984 when she could not find a bag that was both elegant and practical.
She had last year asked Hermes to have her name removed from the handbag when she learnt of the cruel methods involved in its making.