Hermès Authentication

Logo stamp

The logo stamp on the inside of any Hermès should read “Hermès Paris Made in France”. This logo is featured in a delicate and neat font that is not affected by the texture of the leather. The logo stamp is always embossed on the material using a method called heat stamping. Many fakes will feature stamps that have been printed or pressed on very deep into the leather. The fonts have changed over the years, so don’t panic if yours is different from another Hermès you’ve seen. In most recent years, the fonts have become very thin. The logo should be properly centered without being uneven, lopsided, too big and blocky or crooked in any way. The logo is a stamp on the bag that reads “Hermès Paris Made in France”. This logo is featured in a delicate and neat font that is not affected by the texture of the leather.

Stitching

Hermès handbags are hand-crafted by professional artisans. Every Hermès bag is handmade and hand stitched, such that the sew lines should be flawless on an authentic bag. No loose threads and should still be neatly done by hand. A Hermès bag has the signature saddle stitching that is customary to their handbags. You will notice the saddle stitching on the base of the handles is a double-stitch on a real Hermès.

You would expect a luxury item such as a Hermès to have completely flawless stitching; this is not the case. Although each bag is crafted by professional artisans and are perfect in appearance, subtle signs of imperfections in the stitching demonstrate that it is made by the hand and not by a machine. The stitching on the inside of the bag is made with just as much care as the outside of the bag.

Lastly, you will notice the saddle stitching on the base of the handles is a double-stitch on a real Hermès. Some fakes will not have this double-stitching which would be a dead giveaway, however, really good counterfeit products may include this detailed feature.

Handles/Bag Shape

The shape of the bag and the handles are an excellent indicator of whether the bag is authentic or fake. When standing, the bag should be neat and pronounced without any slouching or bulging in places. The same applies to the handles which should stand straight up and down. There may be cases where someone has stored their Birkin or Kelly in an incorrect manner, causing a bend in the handles. However, when holding the bag, you will be able to tell immediately if it is genuine. Also, fake Hermes bags can sometimes have misshapen or rounded handles.

Hardware

Every piece of hardware on a Hermès bag will have unique details which can help authenticate the bag. Authentic hardware on Hermès bags are always a genuine precious metal, usually either palladium or plated gold. On rare bags you might find brushed gold, silver, brushed silver, or ruthenium finishes. The hardware should never show too much wear or peeling, but slight tarnishing is possible over time with extended use and wear. On a Birkin or Kelly bag, the hardware on the front straps where the lock would sit are engraved with “Hermès-Paris” and evenly spaced font directly under the rectangle opening for the lock. Gold-plated hardware will have a hallmark on the left of the Hermès-Paris stamp. Non-gold hardware plates will not have this hallmark stamp. Feel the weight of the lock, keys, studs, and other pieces of hardware on the bag. If they feel light and cheap this should act as a red flag. Hermès hardware will not tarnish and is heavy!

Padlock and Key

Birkin and Kelly Hermès bags come with a padlock and key. The padlock would have a Hermès engraving on the bottom like the other hardware on the bag. The number on the lock corresponds to the number engraved on the accompanying keys. The key should sit neatly inside the leather clochette attached to the same leather strap as the padlock and be totally concealed when not in use. The clochette on a real Hermès bag should be made of one piece of leather folded in half and stitched, not two pieces. On a fake, the key will be sticking out of the bottom of the clochette ever so slightly and will not entirely fit in fully concealed.

Toggle

The toggle on a Hermès Birkin is another way of testing the authenticity of the bag. Genuine toggles should have a smooth turn when you twist them, similar to the movement of a watch. Toggles fitted on fake or counterfeit handbags tend to tarnish, be much lighter in weight and feel grainy like sand when they are turned. Some may even be stiff when turning. If you feel string resistance when twisting the toggle on the bag, this is a red flag.

Zippers

Hermès make all their own zippers which feature the Hermès name. Counterfeiters can also produce zips with “Hermès” on them. So, there are some other ways to distinguish an authentic Hermès zip over a fake. Authentic Hermès zip pulls should not flop down or hang down at a 90 degree angle from the zip line. It should remain parallel to the zipper at all times. The high-quality design, created to lock the zipper pull in a parallel position. If the zipper pull is hanging, this should alert you to a potential counterfeit.

Date Stamp

Each Hermès will have a unique date stamp with a letter accompanied by either a circle, a square, or no shape depending on the year it was made. The stamp will also feature the artisan’s ID and an indicator of exotic skins if applicable. You can find the date stamp in one of two places, behind the strap on the front of a Birkin or in the inside of the bag on the right hand side of newer models. A fake date stamp would be very deep in the leather and the cut of the leather trim isn’t as neat as on a real Birkin.

Lining/Interior

Many of these bags are lined with chevre leather, which is a goatskin that is grained and not smooth. There are Hermès Birkin and Kelly bags that feature other material as the interior or lining, but the material is always quality and, in most cases, made from a similar leather to the exterior. Another way to ensure the authenticity of the lining or interior is to verify the color scheme on the Hermes website.

Measurements

Birkin and Kelly bags have a number associated with the handbag such as a ‘Kelly 35’ or ‘Birkin 40’ bag. This number relates to the exact measurement of the base of the bag. By simply measuring the length of the base of the bag you should get that exact number in centimeters. A knock-off may say it’s a ‘Kelly 35’ bag, but if the length of the base does not measure to exactly 35 centimeters, it’s a fake. It is also useful to note what sizes Kelly or Birkin bags do not come in. If the bag states ‘Birkin 55’ or ‘Kelly 20’ you will know they are fake because Hermès does not offer bags in those sizes.

Authenticity Card

Hermès does not issue authenticity cards with their bags. They never have and never will. Fake Hermès Birkin and Kelly bags come with orange plastic cards that read “Hermès” If the bag comes with one of these cards, it is most definitely a fake.

Dust Bag

Hermès Birkin or Kelly bags come with a dust bag and color of the dust bag is always light beige or orange with a dark brown Hermès logo. The color of the dust bag will vary depending on the year. Vintage dust bags are a tan velour, newer dust bags are orange cotton flannel, and post-2007 dust bags are a beige and light brown Herringbone Toile. Fake dust bags often come in grey color with a burgundy colored stamp. Another point of note is that the drawstring on the dust bag is also brown and should be made of 100% cotton. The Hermès logo on the dust bag for Birkin or Kelly bags should be set in either one or two rings, depending on when the dust cover was made.

Price

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A Hermes bag listed for a price that seems too low is probably a fake. Authentic Hermes bags can cost around $10,000 to the most exotic at around $150,000 on the secondary market. There are many fake Hermes bags on the market which are priced at a couple of thousand dollars and are of a very high quality. However, think to yourself why someone would sell a genuine Hermes at such a low price when they could get many times more for it.

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