Buying this fashion status symbol is 'historically safer' than investing in the stock market

Hermes Birkin Bag With Diamonds Auctions for Nearly $222,000

Many women joke and say that a Birkin bag is an "investment purchase." But a new study suggests that purchasing the famously expensive handbag could actually be a smart move.

Racked has cited a study from Baghunter that states that over the past 35 years, Hermes Birkin bags have increased in value over 500%. Baghunter says that the handbag increases in value on average 14.2% every year.

Baghunter says that Birkin bags have never decreased in value over the years — whereas gold and the S&P 500 have. The study flatout says it's a "historically safer investment than a stock market."

Here's a graphic showing some of the study's finds, courtesy of Baghunter:

hermes_values_rising baghunter graphicCindy Ord/Getty Images for Comes With Baggage

But it's not so easy to purchase one of these bags.

To start, you can't purchase a bag on Hermes's website — they're only available in stores. (You can, however, get bags through third party websites, or through luxury reselling websites, like TheRealReal.)

They're notoriously expensive, typically starting out at around $10,000. This summer, a bag sold for a record-setting $221,846 at a Christie's auction in Hong Kong.

Hermes Birkin BagCindy Ord/Getty Images for Comes With Baggage

They are status symbols, so the average person often cannot obtain one.

In fact, the company allegedly makes it intentionally difficult for people to get the bags.

Hermes "made a point to communicate that there is a limited supply of these gold nuggets," Constance Dunn, marketing and branding extension instructor at University of California, Santa Barbara, said to Fortune this past summer.

The company famously has a wait list for bags, as well, which Dunn described to Fortune as a "particularly clever tactic that causes even greater salivation among the image-obsessed and grasping. We are the descendants of those who successfully recognized resources in scarce supply, and made a point to acquire and utilize them."

But at least they're an investment.

See celebs with their favorite Birkin bags:
Celebs with Hermes Birkin bags
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Buying this fashion status symbol is 'historically safer' than investing in the stock market
Kyle Richards arrives at 'Yogi Bear 3-D' Premiere in Westwood Village on December 11, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 9: (ITALY OUT, NY DAILY NEWS OUT, NY NEWSDAY OUT) Julia Roberts is sighted shopping on Madison Avenue on November 9, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 23: Lara Stone is seen on March 23, 2012 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by JJ/ROCHAS/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
Kim Kardashian and Jonathan Cheban attend the Miami Heat vs NJ Nets Game at Prudential Center on October 31, 2010 in Newark City.
NARITA, JAPAN - APRIL 13: Singer Lady Gaga shows her Hermes bag with hand written message 'I love small monster, Tokyo Love' at Narita International Airport on April 13, 2010 in Narita, Japan. (Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage)
New York, UNITED STATES: A employee holds a 129,000 USD crocodile Hermes Birkin Bag for the press to see during a private opening for the new Hermes store on Wall Street in New York 21 June 2007. The store which is located at 15 Broad Steet is across the street from the New York Stock Exchange. The store is one of several luxury shops opening near Ground Zero as part of a revitalization project in the area. AFP PHOTO/ TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
FRANCE - FEBRUARY 07: The detail on a Hermes handbag seen in a Paris branch, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2007. Hermes International SCA, the maker of Kelly and Birkin handbags, said first-half profit rose 9 percent after shoppers bought more perfumes and silk scarves. (Photo by Alastair Miller/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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