Okay, so not all handbags are more valuable than gold. The bleached denim “I Love Durban” handbag you picked up at the beachfront flea market during your last holiday at the coast probably isn’t worth the money you paid for it, and is only going to depreciate from here on out (although we’re sure it looks great with your swimsuit!). The truth is that only some handbags are worth more than gold – one, for that matter, and that is the Birkin Bag.
What is a Birkin Bag?
Back in 1984, amidst the lasers, shoulder pads, and perms, a beautifully fresh-faced actress and singer by the name of Jane Birkin came to fame. A British lass, she wasn’t buried under a mountain of hair and layers of make-up. And so, promptly, she became the lady of the moment.
In the usual manner of big brands attaching star names to their products, Hermès used her name to market their leather handbag range. Although, as the story goes, the way this came about is far more innocent than a big brand hijacking a star’s name. Apparently, while seated next to the chief executive of Hermès on an international flight, Jane Birkin explained how she couldn’t find a leather weekend bag that she really liked. Keen to help her out, Hermès created a bag specifically for her, based on the 1982 model, which the company named the Birkin Bag.
Why the Birkin Bag Is so Special
‘It’s such a great investment;’ a phrase we often use to justify expensive fashion purchases, and one that somehow works better on ourselves than it does on our spouses. In any case, recent studies conducted by Baghunter (yes, that’s a real thing) set out to find if any purchase in history was actually a good investment. It looked at the price of the world’s most popular commodity, gold, as well as the S&P 500, which is a general reflection of the returns of the stock market.
There are, of course, a lot of variables. However, when we get down to the nitty-gritty, Birkin Bags are better investments than gold or stocks. Over the time period examined, gold offered a return of 1.9 percent while stocks returned 11.6 percent on average. The lovely leather handbags, on the other hand, increased in value by over 500 percent, climbing 14.2 percent annually.
To say these bags are expensive is a slight understatement, with prices ranging from 10,000 dollars to 150,000 dollars. However, instead of buying stocks that are basically just numbers on a spreadsheet, this is an investment that you can actually use, and one that will make you look fabulous while it appreciates. If that’s not a great excuse to buy one, what is?
Image credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birkin_bag#/media/File:Hermes_Ostrich_Birkin_Bag.jpg