According to a new study published by the Bag Hunter, looking at 35 years of collected historical data, Hermès Birkin bags have proved to be a top investment. The study compares popular forms of investments, finding that between 1980 and 2015, the S&P 500 has returned a nominal average of 11.66%; gold has offered an average annual return of 1.9%’ and Birkin handbags have offer an average annual increase in value of 14.2%. Now I read that customized Birkins have replaced diamond rings as engagement gifts. Named after singer Jane Birkin (below), Hermès had introduced this fashion icon in 1985, and its prices range today from $11,550 to $150,000, depending on the type of leather used. They are handmade in France by expert artisans, and the saddle stitching is one of its features.