Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Most Expensive Purses

What are the most expensive purses?

Expensive purses have long been status symbols in upper-class culture. For years women routinely shelled out hundreds, sometimes thousands for the “it” bag, but the major price shift to the five figure handbag occurred nearly five years ago when bag makers started offering “signature items”. With this shift came a willingness to spend way more than necessary and the idea that these handbags are not just accessories, but investments and collectibles too. Check out the most expensive purses in the world.

Louis Vuitton’s Tribute Patchwork Bag – $45,000

Louis Vuitton’s Tribute Patchwork Bag, LV’s most expensive handbag, has an even higher retail price. This hideous bag, made in 2007 from fifteen other bags exhumed from LV’s fashion graveyard—their spring/summer and cruise lines, to be exact—actually sold out fairly quickly.

One can only hope that the supply, limited to only twenty-four numbered bags, had more to do with that than high demand. 


Hermès “Birkin” – $64,800

While a Hermès “Birkin” bag retails at $37,000 USD, the highest amount paid for one of these bags was $64,800 USD, sold at a Doyle New York auction in April of 2005. This black crocodile-skin features silver hardware, 14-karat white gold closure plates paved with 174 diamonds and an additional 310 diamonds on the lock. The 484 diamonds weigh in at 14.11 carats.

Leiber Precious Rose – $92,000


Without a doubt, the most remarkable thing about Judith Leiber’s most expensive handbag is its unique rose shape. There’s a lot more going on with this purse than that, however. It’s lined with metallic kidskin and features 1,016 diamonds (42.56 carats), 1,169 pink sapphires and 800 pink tourmalines. For the purse’s metal components, Leiber used 18-karat white gold. Only one was ever made and it’s no longer available from Leiber’s boutique.

Lana Marks’ Cleopatra Clutch – $100,000

Lana Marks releases just one of these limited edition bags per year. Pictured here is the 2007 bag, made with metallic silver alligator skin and 1,500 fully cut, faceted black and white diamonds set in an 18-karat white gold frame. Each year’s bag is signed and numbered.

Chanel “Diamond Forever” Classic Bag – $261,000

Only thirteen of these pricey Chanel bags were created with only five available stateside. The alligator-skin bags featured clasps set with 334 diamond (3.56 carats) in the shape of Chanel’s trademark double-C logo. Eighteen-karat white gold was used to fashion both the clasp and the bag’s long shoulder straps.

Ginza Tanaka’s purse – $1.9 millio

The most expensive purse in the world is a unique bag created by Japanese jewelry house Ginza Tanaka. It shouldn’t surprise you that the most expensive purse is covered in diamonds—over 2,000 diamonds totaling 208 carats, in fact—but the bag’s other features make it truly special. For one thing, the rest of the bag is made of platinum, a very difficult metal to work for such a project. For another, the strap and clasp can be detached and worn as a necklace and brooch. It’s almost as if they expect someone to actually use this bag!

The luxurious handbag will be on display in several stores across London during the first ever London Jewellery Week. It’s being offered by jewelry shop Nicholas James for the phenomenal price of £1 million (nearly US $2 million).


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