Luxury brands have never been in such political buzz since the days of Imelda Marcos, and the spotlight is now on Malaysia following recent raids conducted in the country’s former Prime Minister’s house, as well as in Pavilion Residences units connected to him. They resulted in confiscation of not only cash and jewelry, but also hundreds of expensive designer handbags.

One particular brand that stood out thanks to its signature bright orange boxes is Hermès, whose Birkin handbags are one of the most coveted collections in the world of luxury fashion.

For ordinary citizens, the waiting list to purchase a Hermès Birkin can take years, but a study showed that your wait could be worth it – it’s apparently a better investment than gold. You must, however, be prepared to part with a lot of money, ‘cause even the ‘cheapest’ Birkin is priced at RM48,000.

Most of us can only dream of it, but if you have more than enough dough, you might be interested in this list of the most expensive Hermès Birkin handbags ever that have been auctioned off.

#6 Hermès Blue Crocodile Birkin Bag with Palladium Hardware

The Hermès ‘Matte Brighton Blue Porosus Crocodile Birkin Bag with Palladium Hardware’ was sold to a bidder for US$113,525 (RM451,659) during a sale hosted by Heritage Auctions in Texas, in 2011.

#5 Hermès metallic bronze chèvre leather Birkin

According to the New York Times, a leather Hermès Birkin fetched €100,000 (RM468,319) at a Christie’s handbag and accessories sale in Paris in December 2017. Specifically, it was a rare 2005 metallic bronze chèvre leather Birkin 25 with gold hardware that set a record for the most expensive leather Birkin sold at auction.

#4 Hermès Exceptional Collection Shiny Rouge H Porosus Crocodile 30cm Birkin

The official name of this Hermès handbag is ‘Exceptional Collection Shiny Rouge H Porosus Crocodile 30 cm Birkin Bag with Solid 18K White Gold & Diamond Hardware’, and its price tag is as equally impressive. It was auctioned off for US$203,150 (RM808,232) in Texas back in 2011.

#3 Hermès Birkin in dark blue crocodile skin with gold fittings and 18-karat diamonds

In June 2017, a Hermès Birkin bag was auctioned off for £155,000 (RM833,127) at Christie’s Mayfair auction house. Embellished in white gold and 18-karat diamonds, the handbag has been hailed as the most expensive handbag ever sold at auction in Europe.

#2 Fuchsia crocodile skin Hermès Birkin with gold and diamond hardware

Pink is my favourite crayon Birkin… This eye-catching bag with gold and diamond embellishments was bought by an anonymous buyer for HK$1.72 million (RM871,369) at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong in 2015. (An online portal is already speculating whether or not our former Prime Minister’s wife was the buyer, btw!)

#1 Hermès white Himalaya diamond Birkin

Last year’s November 2017 Christie’s auction in Hong Kong was topped by the Hermès matte white Niloticus crocodile Himalaya Birkin 30, with a jaw-dropping price tag of HK$2.98 million (circa RM1.5 million). The diamond- and white gold-encrusted handbag was sold via a phone bid. In 2016, Christie’s also sold a similar bag for HK$2.94 million.

And if you have a few more million dollars lying around, check out Hermès’ Haute Bijouterie line…

Hermès Chaine d’Ancre bag

Designed by jewelry designer Pierre Hardy for Hermès, the Chaine d’ Ancre bag is embellished with white gold studs and over 1,000 diamonds pieces. Only three have been produced, and each carries the price tag of USD$1.4 million (circa RM5.5 million).

Hermès by Ginza Tanaka

Also part of its Haute Bijouterie line, Hèrmes unveiled an extremely exclusive (and expensive) handbag designed by Ginza Tanaka, made of platinum and is embellished with 2,000 diamonds. It sells for a cool USD$1.9 million.

Hermès Kelly in rose gold by Pierre Hardy

In 2012, Hermès announced a USD$1.9 million Kelly handbag, in collaboration with jeweller Pierre Hardy. Crafted in rose gold, it’s super small (it functions as a bracelet, too), but with 1,160 diamonds adorning it, you better have a few extra security personnel to guard the bag.

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Now check this out if you want something that costs only RM12, but worn by our Prime Minister, Tun M.