The average American woman spends about $160 per purse that they own. This may sound like a steep price to many, but it’s pennies compared to the most expensive handbags in the world.

These purses, reaching nearly $4 million, are some of the most beautiful and classy luxury items on the market. Read on to learn about the materials and craftsmanship of these pieces (and to get to know the retailers who sold them).

The Mouawad 1001 Nights Diamond Purse: The #1 Sale in the Most Expensive Handbags

The Most Expensive Handbags in the World. | Mouawad 1001 Nights

This one-of-a-kind handbag is by far the most expensive in the world. It was sold at an auction for the equivalent of USD 3.8 million. A Hong Kong retailer called Christie’s made the sale, which was much easier by the fact that it has been in the Guinness Book of World Records since 2011.

In any case, the bag is 100% handmade with a base of 18-karat gold. It’s shaped like a gorgeous heart that makes it both beautiful and easy to carry.

The bag is valuable partly because it’s entirely encrusted with diamonds. It has 105 yellow diamonds, 56 pink ones, and 4,306 colorless clear diamonds. The center features a pure diamond shaped like a heart, much like the bag itself.

Despite its existence for many years beforehand, it only sold in 2017 at Christie’s auction preview. Those who crafted it took 8,800 hours to do so, so the price was well worth it for the buyer.

Hermes Kelly Rose Gold Handbags

The Most Expensive Handbags in the World | Hermes Kelly Rose Gold Handbags

Hermès is a luxury French handbag designer that people all around the world look to for the latest style trends. They partnered with a jeweler named Pierce Hardy to create 12 beautiful handbags from solid rose gold.

This purse is small and elegant- so small, in fact, that it wouldn’t even hold your cell phone. However, it’s molded to look like crocodile leather despite having been made from a luxury metal, so those who bought it for over $2 million likely use it as they would a piece of jewelry (see: for the aesthetic).

In addition to their rose gold exterior, the bags have 1,160 diamonds embedded in their surface. Buyers can also wear the handles around their wrists as they would a bangle, which would look just fine considering how tiny they are.

The Hermes Chaine’d Ancre Bag.

The Most Expensive Handbags in the World | The Hermes Chaine'd Ancre Bag.

This bag is one of the coolest on the list because it’s made completely from chain links. They’re extremely intricate and feature any silver chains encrusted with 1,160 small diamond pieces.

The bag would up selling for USD 1.4 million. Only three bags like this were ever created, which amped the price up by quite a bit. Another factor contributing to their price was that they were are a Pierre Hard-designed collectible item.

Because of their jewelry-like aesthetic, buyers were probably excited to pair it with their favorite luxury pieces. After all, if you have one of the most expensive handbags out there, you’ll need the jewelry to match!

The Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Diamond Birkin 30

The Most Expensive Handbags in the World | The Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Diamond Birkin 30

Christie’s sold another of the most expensive handbags ever in 2014, though this was much cheaper than the Mouawad 1001 Nights purse. This handbag was called the Himalaya Nicoticus Crocodile Diamond Birkin 30- quite a mouthful for a single handbag!

However, the purse had a price that far surpassed the length of its name. It was sold at auction for the equivalent of $380,000 USD. Affordable compared to the bags that surpassed a million dollars, but still high.

The retailer had a good reason to call it the ‘most desirable handbag in existence!’

It was made from a hard shell of 18-karat white gold encrusted with diamonds. The soft exterior was made from luxurious crocodile skin. It also had many functional features, including a lock and key, 2 dustbags, 2 boxes, and a high-end leather pouch.

The White Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Birkin 25

The Most Expensive Handbags in the World | The White Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Birkin 25

Christie’s was likely very proud when they had a repeat performance of their successful 2014 auction sale (though, sadly, it didn’t match their 2017 one). In 2018, they sold another Himalaya Nilocticus Crocodile Birkin bag, this time in a matte white color. It was similar to the 2014 version because it was the same series as the previous one.

Desiring this brand, people flocked to bid on these gorgeous handbags. This made sense when you consider the handcrafted beauty of the models and the flawless workmanship that they presented. This bag went for $208,000 USD.

Many other purses in the Himalaya Birkin series are among the top-tier bags sold for exorbitant amounts of money. They all went for around $200,000 minimum. While owning these purses is something that most people can only dream of, most luxury handbag brands offer crocodile skin alternatives for far less.

2019 White Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Retourné Kelly 25

The Most Expensive Handbags in the World | 2019 White Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Retourné Kelly 25

Though this bag is not part of the regular Himalaya Birkin series we have discussed so far, it is part of a similar series launched by Hermès. They sold the bag for around USD 241,000 at- you guessed it- Christie’s in Hong Kong.

It’s part of an extremely limited series, so buyers were raving to get their hands on it. Combine that with Christie’s luxury reputation, and the retailer had a surefire recipe for success the moment it hit the auction floor.

Final Thoughts

There are a plethora of classy and sophisticated items that the rich and stylish use to spice up their wardrobes. The most expensive handbags out there are definitely some of the most luxurious accessories that you can imagine.

Now that you know some luxury purses that you can dream of getting your hands on, it’s time to learn more about other designer items. Next time you go shopping for gorgeous purses and jewelry to match, keep the lifestyles (and handbags) of the 1% in mind as you shop. You’ll find something amazing that matches your personal style at a much more affordable price.

Featured image source by Ante from