Chanel Authentication

Chanel “MADE IN” Stamp:

Chanel “made in” stamps are usually embossed directly into the lining of the bag or on a leather patch. The colour of the logo stamp will always match the colour of the hardware, so a bag with gold hardware should have a gold stamp. Chanel bags are made in either Italy or France. Watch out for stamps that read “made in Paris.” Lettering in Chanel stamps is always clean and sharp. Beware of crooked or messy logos with blurred fonts and uneven spacing.

CC Logo:

The CC logo is the most recognizable symbol of the brand, and thus good counterfeiters rarely make a mistake with it. Make sure that the C’s overlap properly whether it is hardware or a stitched logo, always make sure that the right C overlaps the left at the top of the logo, and the left C overlaps the right at the bottom.

Stitching

Stitch Quality and Stitch Count. Validate if the bag has 10 or more stitches per edge of the diamond quilting. The stitching should be flawless, with no loose threads, bumps or otherwise any irregularities. Chanel bags also feature high stitch count: there should be 10 or more stitches per edge of the diamond quilting. This keeps the bag sturdy and also prevents puffiness from the leather. Exact stitch count can vary with the type of Chanel but if you see unusually low stitch count, it is likely a fake. Chanel uses a very high stitch count in their classic diamond quilt which allows the bags to last for years. A low stitch count on a fake will make the quilting look puffy and uneven. Also, be aware of sloppy or frayed stitching. Quilting pattern and symmetry – Check If the quilting pattern on the bag’s back pocket lines up perfectly. The most obvious, at-first-glance giveaway of the majority of fake bags you will come across is the quilting pattern. Real Chanel bags are flawless in terms of the quilted diamonds’ shape, symmetry and how they line up. On Chanel 2.55 Flap bags, check the rear pocket of the bag: with authentic 2.55’s, the quilting pattern on the back pocket will line up perfectly with the pattern of the bag itself.

Handles/Shape

The famous chain and leather straps are a signature feature of Chanel bags and also a great way to spot a fake. Vintage Chanel bags feature a link without the leather threaded through it whereas replica straps often don’t have a link without the leather threaded through it. However, contemporary Chanel bags feature leather straps folded back on themselves and stitched through each link, so it is important to inspect the detail up close! Replica Chanel bags are usually constructed poorly and feature a boxy shape in comparison to genuine Chanel bags. Look out for rounded corners on replicas compared to the squarer shape of genuine bags. This is a sign of the bag not being turned out properly and of poor-quality material used on the bag.

Hardware

Chanel used 24k gold plating on their hardware up until 2008. Hardware on a real Chanel bag will feel heavier and more substantial than on a fake. The chain must feel heavy in your hand because of its top quality. Screws on the back of the lock plate have to be flathead or proprietary star-shaped on newer bags Chanel’s hardware is in a class of its own, giving the bag an ultra-luxurious aura. This is where a lot of counterfeiters come up short as they cannot replicate Chanel’s quality. Here is what to look for. The first thing you should check is that the right ‘C’ overlaps the left ‘C’ at the top, and the left ‘C’ overlaps the right at the bottom. Next, be sure that the CC lock is centered both vertically and horizontally on its leather flap: if the placement looks off, it is a fake. Another easy giveaway is that the edges of the ‘C’s are flat on real Chanel bags-if you see rounded edges, it’s a fake. If you see a stamp on the CC lock, it was made in France; if there is no stamp, then the bag was made in Italy. Be sure that the stamp is clear and pristine fakes will rarely have legible stamps. Open the flap and inspect the back of the CC lock plate. If you confirmed that the bag is vintage based on the serial number, you shouldn’t be surprised to find flathead screws on the lock plate. The more modern Chanel bags feature proprietary star-shaped screws. If you see Philips-head screws, (the ‘X’ shaped ones) you’re dealing with a fake. Chanel never uses Philips-head screws in its hardware.

Screws and Back Plate

A good indication that your bag is fake is the type of screws used on the back of the turn lock. A real Boy Bag will never use a Phillips head screw. Chanel typical uses Allen screws or flathead screws. Stamping marks vary according to when the bag was made and the style of the bag. Some CC locks have a stamping mark whereas others have no mark at all, so even if your bag doesn’t feature a stamp don’t fret! If the lock has a stamp it means it was made in France whereas if it doesn’t feature a stamp it means it was made in Italy. The real giveaway is the stamping mark on the back plate. If you open the bag and look at the back of the turnstile lock you will see the back plate. Chanel attaches this using flat screws only alongside a clear font with even spacing. Replicas may use different types of screws and various other styles of lettering and font on the back plate.

CC lock

One of the most famous and recognizable features on Chanel bags is the CC lock. The original 2.55 lock is rectangular without any logo or Chanel stamping. Chanel makes bags with both styles of locks so if your back features the rectangular lock it may still be authentic. The CC lock can feature either raised or flat finishes with the right C overlapping the left C at the top and the left C overlapping the right C at the bottom. Replica locks generally feature minor mistakes such as the shape of the Cs, the placement of additional metal above the lock, and even the style of the interlocking Cs.
The lock stem itself is another feature worth checking. Authentic lock stems are made from 24K gold and even when used for a lengthy period of time will still maintain its condition. Replicas, however, are generally plated with gold which will peel off after use. Also inspect the press studs for quality and feel. Genuine press studs will also maintain their appearance after use, whereas replicas will peel and fade quick.

Check the Serial Numbers/Date Codes:

If the bag has an authenticity card, skip it. It could very well be fake, here are ways to tell if it’s a real Chanel-issued card, but for counterfeiters it is much easier to make a convincing card than the handbag itself. Look inside the bag for a sticker with the serial number. Chanel started using date codes in 1984. Since then, every bag comes with a sticker containing a serial number as well as a corresponding authenticity card. Date code stickers can usually be found on the inside lining and will vary depending on the year the bag was made. Date codes on newer bags will have a clear sticker with gold speckles placed over the number. Authenticity cards have a gold border. The border of a fake card can be unevenly placed on the card and have a holographic / rainbow reflection. Some authenticity cards will have a white circle in the top right hand corner. This indicates that the bag was made after 2005.

In terms of the actual serial number, there are a few important things to note: The first number of a date code will indicate which year the bag was made in starting in 1984 with 0. Date codes starting with single digit numbers are seven digits long while date codes starting at 10 and up are eight digits long. The year the bag was made is determined by the amount of digits in the serial number, and the first digit(s) in that serial number. If your bag has 8 digits, it was produced between late 2005-current. For 8 digit serial numbers, the year is determined by the first two digits (i.e. 24XXXXXX corresponds to late 2017-early 2018). If your bag has a 7 digit serial number, the year of production is determined by the first digit (i.e. 6XXXXXX corresponds to 2000-2002.) If the serial number on a bag does not follow the Chanel formula or has more than 8 digits or less than 7, it is most certainly a fake. The chart’s most current year is 2019, but for bags made in 2020 onward, simply add one to the first two digits (i.e. a bag with code 27XXXXXX will be a 2020 model).

Over time, date code stickers can become detached from the bag and authenticity cards can be lost, so don’t worry if either are missing. A nine-digit serial number is a clear indication of a fake. Of course, the Chanel formula is readily available information, so advanced counterfeiters could create a serial number that fits the table above. You need to examine the serial number sticker more carefully: it will never be a plain, boring sticker that looks out of place. Authentic Chanel serial number stickers will contain a combination of CC logo markings, an ‘X’ shape cut into the tape to prevent removal without damage, and little reflective speckles in the tape.

Authenticity Card

Not all authenticity cards are genuine! A quick way to see if the authenticity card is genuine is to see how many numbers make up the code. If the bag was made between 1984 and 1986 it will feature 6 digits, if it was made between 1986 and 2004 it will feature 7 digits, and if it was made from 2005 onwards it will feature 8 digits. Currently Chanel do not issue authenticity cards with 9 digits or more.

Zippers

Zippers are easily overlooked, but be sure to inspect it carefully as the zipper often has many telltale signs of authenticity. There are a variety of zippers used on genuine Chanel bags. Chanel uses different kinds of zippers depending on the bag, the EP zipper which generally features a pull tag made of leather, but the most notable types are Lampo (zipper which is always used on metal teeth), the OPTI DMC, the YKK, the eclair zipper, the triple ‘C’ in a circle and an unmarked zipper for very vintage Chanel bags.

Measurements

The width of a genuine Chanel logo is 3.3cm. The position of the embossed Chanel logo is another feature worth checking. It should sit one and a half centimeters below the quilted C with the width of the Cs and the gap between them remaining consistent at 0.9cm. The brand stamp is another way to confirm the authenticity of a Chanel bag. Check the font and quality of the stamp. Many replicas use a thinner font and rush the branding so that it sits on the leather rather than being embossed into it.

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