5 Steps to Authenticating a Chanel Bag

5 Steps to Authenticating a Chanel Bag

Authenticating a Chanel bag can be a daunting task, especially with the rise of counterfeit products on the market. However, with a keen eye for detail and a little knowledge, you can distinguish between a genuine Chanel bag and a fake one. In this blog post, we will guide you through the 5 essential steps to authenticate a Chanel bag.

1). Stitch Count and Quality

Chanel is known for their impeccable craftsmanship which is reflected in the construction of their bags. They typically have a high stitch count. It is one of the harder things to fake well, so that's where we normally start. There should be approximately 10 or more stitches per edge of each diamond quilted section. Chanel uses a higher stitch count to help hold the shape of their bags and to provide more durability. Numbers vary, but this is a good place to start.
Pro tip: The stitching should be close to perfect, with no bumps or loose threads.

Chanel Stitch Count example

2). Symmetry and Quilting Pattern

The second most obvious thing to check for is the symmetry and quilting pattern of the bag. When looking at the overall composition and appearance of the bag, the diamond pattern should line up perfectly and symmetrically. Not just on the front of the bag, always check to make sure the back and sides are lined up perfectly.

For example, on a Chanel Double Flap Bag there is a flat pocket on the exterior of the bag. The quilted pattern should seamlessly continue across the back of the bag onto the pocket, as if the pocket isn't there. If the pattern is broken or misaligned around the pocket, the bag is most likely fake.

Pro tip: don't let older or vintage bags fake you out. Sometimes the leather starts to wrinkle or loose its shape because of age or improper storage. Try to stuff the bag and stand it up before you try and access the shape and symmetry.

Chanel Stitch quality example

3). Serial Number/Date Code

Chanel instituted the serial code system in the 1980's. They are located in different places depending on the bag, but can normally be found on the inside lining or on a small leather tag in the interior. They typically look like a small sticker with a series of numbers. The serial number is one of the easiest things to replicate on a fake bag, so saving this assessment for last after considering all other clues is recommended.

The year the bag is made can be determined by the first digit of the number along with the amount of digits. The chart below details the serial number along with what year the bag was made.

Pro tip: When in doubt, look it up. There are so many different websites and blogs with examples of different serial codes. It never hurts to cross-reference a few different reputable sources. I love this book, The Chanel Reference Guide. Created by industry professionals, this picture heavy reference guides includes images of authentic serial stickers and logos should look like by year.

 chanel serial codes

4). Inspect the Hardware

The color of the hardware should always match the Chanel stamping inside the bag. If the bag has gold-tone hardware, but is stamped on the interior with silver, this is a major red flag. Additionally, the lock plate inside of the front flap is very telling. Newer Chanel bags will have six point star shaped screws, whereas vintage Chanel bags will have flat head screws. If you see a screw with an X pattern, the bag is fake.

5). Check the CC Logos and Zippers

Like with all things Chanel, the CC logo on the interior and exterior should be perfectly even and symmetrical. Make sure that the right C overlaps the left C at the top, and the left C overlaps the right one at the bottom. 
Next, zippers are often time overlooked, but shouldn't be. They are a great way to check for authenticity, but can be a little tricky because Chanel uses different types of zippers depending on the bag. Some of the zippers used most often are YKK, Lampo and DMC.

Pro tip: open and close the bag several times to ensure that the zipper is sliding smoothly. The quality of the zipper should match the rest of the bag.

If you are ever wondering about a bag's authenticity don't hesitate to reach out. We have in-house experts and AI technology at our disposal to ensure that you're purchasing a genuine Chanel bag.


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