Exclusive    Hermès

Breaking the $500,000 Mark: A Look at an Extremely Rare Hermès Gris Cendre Diamond Himalaya Birkin

This bag should fetch over a 30% increase from the last highest priced bag ever sold

When it comes to record-breaking bags, look no further than Hermès. We all know that time after time at auction, exotic and diamond-encrusted Birkins break records as the most expensive bag ever sold. Privé Porter has consistently broken previous records, with its last ultra-rare Birkin selling in 2016 for $298,000.

But Privé Porter’s owner Jeff Berk is sitting on the next bag he knows is certain to smash the existing record. In fact, Berk admitted to me he already passed on an offer from a Middle Eastern client for $500,000, opting instead to take this bag to auction this coming fall or winter. Enter the Hermès 30 cm Gris Cendre Diamond Himalaya Crocodile Birkin with 18K Gold Hardware, said to be one of the rarest, most difficult-to-find bags in the world. This version has 18k white gold hardware with diamonds.

Hermès Gris Cendre Diamond Himalaya Crocodile Birkin VS ‘Regular’ Himalaya Crocodile Birkin

Berk reports this bag was purchased in 2013 in the Las Vegas boutique for around $250,000, and today he feels strongly it will easily break $500,000. What compels someone to spend over double the purchase price? Exclusivity and rarity. If you are a bag collector and have the means, owning this bag may make you one of few people in the world to ever put your hands on it. And from what we’ve been told and from our research, there may have never been another bag like this made. Another huge fact to keep in mind is that the last highest sold bag ever was $382,000 by Christie’s in November of 2017 at its Hong Kong Auction. That record holding price and a couple before it were for the ‘Regular’ Diamond Himalaya (not Gris Cendre). Berk told me he believes there are about 60 ‘regular’ Diamond Himalaya Birkins out there (including 25cm, 30cm, and 35cm). That price was already hefty but once this bag sells for over $500,000 we are looking at a massive jump in price for the most expensive bag ever sold, one that marks over a 30% increase, and one that may never be met again. This could be a record that stands for the foreseeable future (more on that below).

Many bag lovers know about the Hermès Himalaya bags, but in speaking with Berk, I’ve learned some additional interesting facts. Berk will be releasing a new book soon, Moneybags, and to gather information for the book, he spoke with Hermès employees and clients who are educated (often more so than most Hermès employees) about the brand.

The Making of an Ultra Rare Holy Grail

The common belief is the regular Himalaya bag, either a Birkin or Kelly (meaning not diamond and gold hardware) is made once for every 100 other niloticus croc handbags. During the 2010-2012 run of the Gris Cendre Himalaya, the estimation is that only one Gris Cendre was made for every 10 Himalaya bags. Berk spoke to a craftsman at the Madison Avenue boutique last month, who told him he had only heard of or seen one Gris Cendre with Diamond and Gold Hardware Birkin. This matched with his other information that the only other one made, a 35cm, was sold in Beverly Hills in 2012. Though we don’t know the owner of this bag, the only image of a “regular” Gris Cendre Birkin (meaning no diamonds) I’ve been able to find was on Tamara Ecclestone, who has amassed quite the Hermès collection herself.

With the facts and figures shared above, the belief is there were only two Hermès Gris Cendre Diamond Himalaya Crocodile Birkins made, and this the only one with this exact hardware configuration. There are rumors that Gris Cendre may never be made again, which leads me back to my point above — whoever places the highest bid on this bag will be the owner of a bag that is not only extremely rare, but also may remain the most expensive bag sold for a long time to come.

We’ll keep you posted about the news on this bag, as it is sure to break records. And though I won’t be bidding myself for obvious reasons – one being finances -I find a bag and story like this so interesting. And what I really want to know is who buys this bag (though probably will never, unless the person wants to share) and how they plan to use it.

Wouldn’t you love to take a peek in the new owner’s bag closet?

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Kenzie
Kenzie
5 years ago

Because a non-diamond-encrusted hardware Birkin isn’t enough of a status symbol? Seems egregiously ostentatious and excessive.

yoco mdw
yoco mdw
5 years ago
Reply to  Kenzie

I have to agree as I think the non-diamond encrusted Birkin is actual far more beautiful. But on the other hand, if you have more money than you and your family could ever spend for several lifetimes/generations, then why not?

fran123
fran123
5 years ago
Reply to  yoco mdw

Why not? How about donate it?

yoco mdw
yoco mdw
5 years ago
Reply to  fran123

They could. But at the end of the day it’s their money and not yours or mine, so…?

Amb
Amb
5 years ago
Reply to  Kenzie

Oh god get over it. Be happy for the SA who got the commission from selling it ??

Hao Wang
Hao Wang
5 years ago
Reply to  Amb

No commission on BKC though

Kate
Kate
5 years ago

The skin is certainly beautiful, but the diamonds are silly. My guess is that this will sit on a display shelf in its new owner’s home and will almost never be carried.

caitlin
caitlin
5 years ago
Reply to  Kate

Late reply but Jamie Chua, instagram @ec24m has been seen carrying her diamond himalaya birkin a lot of time.

Mizantrop
Mizantrop
5 years ago

Buy a bag or build a hospital in a ‘third world’ country…hmm tough choice ?

JH
JH
5 years ago
Reply to  Mizantrop

If you can buy this bag, you can probably do both and so then it becomes buy this bag and build the hospital or don’t buy the bag and build two hospitals and so on. Any luxury good purchase is subject to this kind of buy the item or do whatever good thing in the world with the money you would have spent. If we all followed that line, no one would own any luxury items because you can always do something else with the money.

Mizantrop
Mizantrop
5 years ago
Reply to  JH

My point exactly, you can always do something else with the money 🙂

Sparky
Sparky
5 years ago
Reply to  JH

Thank you. Luxury shopping and charitable work are not mutually exclusive. I know a lot of people with closets bursting with luxury goods. These same people make extremely generous donations to charitable work. Donations so large they make this bag price look like pocket change.

SeeJay
SeeJay
5 years ago
Reply to  JH

??

Sparky
Sparky
5 years ago

I read posts where people claim this “Gris” color is hard to produce. I was in Kwanpen (Singaporean maker of croc bags) and they had the same colorway. I asked about it and the SA casually said that’s the natural color of the skin. It’s a lovely color

Kate
Kate
5 years ago
Reply to  Sparky

I’m pretty sure it’s a specific tanning process that produces this color. Albino crocodiles are so exceptionally rare, and even they won’t produce this color.

Sparky
Sparky
5 years ago
Reply to  Kate

Don’t know. Maybe it’s bleached or something. There were quite a few at Kwanpen

Mary anne
Mary anne
5 years ago

so …..is there a Himalaya with GOLD hardware? is it also considered RARE?

Belle
Belle
5 years ago
Reply to  Mary anne

The one in the post is 18k gold! But it’s never been made with yellow gold, only palladium and white gold. I don’t think yellow gold would suit the Himalayan colors. The 18k white gold one is definitely more rare and valuable than the palladium ones.

Mary Anne Silo
Mary Anne Silo
5 years ago
Reply to  Belle

i ve been to Paris FSH and asked the SA and craftsman on the 5th floor. they said Yes they produced GHW for Himalaya too .

JSB
JSB
5 years ago
Reply to  Mary Anne Silo

There is no 18K yellow or rose gold hardware made by Hermes’ goods, the “Regular’ Himalaya which Chtistie’s has set the last few records with are all 18K while gold hardware & diamonds.

Belle
Belle
5 years ago
Reply to  Mary Anne Silo

Hmmm, interesting. I’ve only seen fakes with yellow gold hardware. Are you sure they didn’t mean white gold?

JSB
JSB
5 years ago
Reply to  Belle

I don;t believe there was ever 18K yellow or rose gold hardware by Hermes.

Ruby
Ruby
5 years ago

Come on. Christies’s and Hermes have simply borrowed the formula they’re used for the ultra inflation of this value from the contemporary art market.

A few collectors and Christie’ pass these bags around adding some profit on top for themselves and it supports Hermes retail “value”.

JSB
JSB
5 years ago
Reply to  Ruby

While there is indeed a ‘cottage industry’, and the ‘cottage industry’ elevates the Birkin mystique, this unit was bought by a VIP VIP Hermes customer five years ago, and simply needed the money. This is 90% of the ‘cottage industry’ activity. A testament to the value of the bags, she sold it much more than the $250,000 she paid for it. It will be going to another collector, perhaps sooner than later.

Irenemitalas@yahoo.com
5 years ago

I say, “Why the Hell Not!?”. A Gorgeous and beautiful and work of art. The decadence and extravagance of this bag is made for Royalty.

Janet Bunton
Janet Bunton
5 years ago

I think I read the Majorie Harvey has this bag. I saw her carrying this bag in a Vogue photograph. Or maybe not

psny15
psny15
5 years ago

its kinda funny but these bags just look so creepy to me, i prefer the shiny crocodile skin versus this dead skin, one mans trash is another mans treasure?

memsy
memsy
5 years ago

Such a gorgeous bag. I do prefer it without the diamonds though, but I certainly wouldn’t say no to one with them. lol.

MissDemeanor
MissDemeanor
5 years ago

Who cares? It’s fugly! Can we move on from the Birkin please? It’s the most uninteresting bag ever, why does it keep getting hyped up so much? There are copies everywhere! Also the bloody stupid rigmarole that you need to go through to get one. I’m so over these bags, I’d rather have Chanel and keep the change!!

indiewifey
indiewifey
5 years ago

Happily
You
Pay
Enthusiastically

Fools & their money should be parted & so, while much good could be done with such funds, they might as well buy arm candy, rather than arms. Pretty is peaceful.
???????

Vicky
Vicky
5 years ago

Taking a peek in the winner’s closet would be interesting. But….. call me oblivious. I don’t see or understand the difference between normal Himalaya or Gris Cendre Himalaya. ??? I keep going back to that comparison photo and it doesn’t help much. ???Anyone can point it out to me? ???

KO0926
KO0926
5 years ago

If someone could afford to buy this bag, and by that I mean truly have the discretionary money to buy this bag, they would carry it. Why not? If you are buying it for an investment, that you can’t afford to carry it. Think about it, anyone who can shell out 500 K just to buy a bag (not an investment) would be crazy not to carry it. I’d imagine the person carrying this bag would have a $50,000,000 primary home, a couple more ($ 5-10) million dollar homes around the world, a $20,000,000 yacht, a handbag collection worth millions and a jewelry collection worth millions. Not to mention a spouse with a car collection worth millions and a couple of watches worth millions, and anything else someone worth billions would collect. That is the woman I see who can afford to carry this bag.