Top 10 things to look out for when authenticating a Chanel bag

#1     The CC logo

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The right C should overlap on top, and left C should overlap on the bottom. If it’s the other way around, it’s a fake. The width of the C should also match the width of the horizontal gap between the two Cs. If the bag you are looking at has a CC on the inside, it should feel soft and not as if there is a card board inside.


 

#2     Turn style lock

2.55 double flap classic Chanel bag cc crossing c logo hardware

The lock on the authentic bag is much flatter in shape and wider in font type whereas the lock on the fake bag is thinner in font type and bulky, rounder in shape.

The double C lock is the most recognisable designs on the 2.55. This iconic lock was designed by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel. The lock designed by Chanel herself is very different from Karl Lagerfeld’s lock as it is rectangular in shape and has no Chanel logo stamping. The double C lock is also referred to as the mademoiselle lock as Chanel never married. (Source: Lollipuff.com)


 

#3     Hardware

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This will differ with year and style, but on the classic flap, the snap button and the back of the turnlock closure should be engraved with CHANEL PARIS. On the other side of the turnstyle lock, the backplate (left picture) should have flat head screws. On the left it should say Chanel, and on the right it should say Paris. (Source: extrapetite.com)

Screws: This is another quick and powerful tool for detecting counterfeit Chanel. The screw test. Above are three types of screws you might find on a Chanel item. B and C are ok, but A (Philips head)  is not. Chanel never uses Philips head screws to fasten metal hardware. This example is of a Philips head screw and is generally not be found on a Chanel handbag. This might be something that can be seen in lower class counterfeits whereas a higher quality Chanel fake might still be able to have this detail correct. (Image: authenticationfiles.com)

Chanel Zippers: Chanel has utilized several different zipper manufactures throughout the years, and each specific zipper brand will generally map to a specific time frame, model or style. The zipper manufacturers utilized have always been high quailty producers, and as such, the zipper mechansims found on authentic Chanel should always be high quality. Below are Lampo zippers which Chanel uses however they also use other zipper brands like YKK. Scroll below to learn more thanks to Vintage Heirloom‘s comprehensive guide:

Other logo stamps that may be found on Chanel zippers are:

Company ‘DMC’ zipper pull with a rounded double ‘C’ pull tag

Quite common on the early 80’s style look for a circle with three ‘C’s inside the circle

OPTI DMC: Another common zipper pull found on bags from the 1990s.

Lampo zippers are synonymous with vintage Chanel bags and are often found on the late 70s to early 80s bags. Lampo is an Italian company and has been make accessory zips since 1887.
Sometimes you can find ‘LAMPO’ engraved on the main zipper pull. Interestingly you can find Lampo zips not only on vintage Chanel bags but also on vintage Louis Vuitton and sometimes Gucci and YSL bags.

Lampo 2: Sometimes you can tell a Lampo zip by its zipper pull it has a ‘bulbous’ shape, sometimes it may say ‘L’’ for Lampo on the reverse side sometimes its left blank with no ‘L’ stamping.

Reverse side of a ‘Lampo’ zip with initial ‘L’

Eclair zip on a vintage Chanel.

Early EP style zip with a rounded double ‘C’ pull tag. EP zipper pulls are still being used on present day ‘modern’ Chanel bags.

Modern EP Zipper. Example of a ‘modern’ day EP zipper as seen here on a authentic 2.55 caviar classic bag from the 2005 collection. This style of EP zipper is usually found on authentic 2.55 classic such as black, biege, white caviar and lambskin flap bags. The zipper pull usually have a thin leather pull tab please note that the leather pull tab should match the main bag base, i.e if the bag is caviar skin the leather pull tab should be caviar skin too!


 

#4     Quilting

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Always check if the quilt stitching on flap and pocket match the body. On an authentic Chanel, the quilt stitching should line up neatly on the front flap and back pocket. On the back pocket, it is not one continuous stitch that runs from the purse onto the pocket. The pocket and purse are two distinct pieces that were stitched separately, and joined via a stitch along the outside perimeter of the pocket. Sometimes, vintage bags might have quilting that does not line up between flap and body as well as pocket and back. However, we’ve also seen top grade fakes that manage to get the quilting to line up. Our advice is to buy directly from the Chanel boutique or go with reputable department stores or reputable consignment stores. (Source: extrapetite.com)


 

#5     Stitching

The photo of the left shows a fake Chanel and the right photo shows an authentic Chanel. A low stitch count causes the quilted effect to be puffy whereas the authentic Chanel which has a high stitch count doesn’t end up puffy. Notice how the fake bag on left has thinner ‘diamond’ quilt stitching? The ones on real Chanel are much squarer. The turn lock on the fake bag is also as big as the leather bit that secures the bag and the leather around the turn lock also puffs up. On the authentic bag on the right, the turn lock has good spacing around it and leather around it does not puff up.

More on stitching:

The quilted stitch design was designed by Coco Chanel to resemble the quilted jackets of horse jockeys back then. There should be at least ten stitches PER inch. Anything under that is simply not authentic. (Photo: thehautecookie.com)


 

#6     Lining

Here are some pictures of the lining of FAKE Chanel bags below:

This CC is simply messy. A dead giveaway. See how the CC is too raised and puffy as if filled with something hard.

 

Just look at how the lining is bubbling and collapsing. This should not happen with authentic bags.


 

#7     Chanel stamping

Check the colour of the stamping in the bag. If the hardware is Silver, the stamping in the bag should also be silver. If the hardware is gold, the stamping should also be in gold. An authentic Chanel bag never has mismatched hardware and stamping. (Source: thehautecookie.com)


 

#8     Chain straps

Check the chain and see if the part where the chain breaks is clearly visible. In authentic Chanel bags with chain leather straps, that part where the chain breaks should be well hidden. In a lot of bags made before 2008 there is no stitching in the leather interwoven in the chain at all. If there is stitching on the interwoven leather in the chains of the bags you see now, it will only be on one side like above. By the way, Coco Chanel came from an orphanage, and her caretakers wore chains around their waists which held their keys. That is the meaning behind the chain. In the 80s when Karl Lagerfeld took over, he added a leather strap interwoven in between the chains. (Source: thehautecookie.com)


 

#9     Authenticity Card

The “card system” was introduced the same time as the serial sticker. There should be absolutely no rainbowy “hologram” type effect. It is made out of plastic and feels just like a credit card just like PRADA cards. As you see above, the serial number on the bag, and the number on the authenticity card, always match. It always comes with a small 2×2 creme envelop with info on the bag. Now, if a bag doesn’t come with a card, don’t dismiss it as fake as the previous owner could have genuinely lost it. But do look out for other signs of authenticity.


 

#10     Serial sticker

Serial stickers were first introduced in 1984 and continue to be used today.  As mentioned, numbers on serial stickers should match numbers on the authenticity card. Bags made before this time, don’t  have stickers.

  • 6 digit codes-bag was made some time between 1984 and 1986.
  • 7 digit codes- handbag was made between 1986 and 2004.
  • 8 digit codes have been used since 2005 until TODAY.
  • 8 digits is the max amount of digits you should see on a Serial Number.

Anything over 8 digits is not authentic.

 

Year manufactured: 2016-up

Chanel serial tag 2016 and up.

Chanel serial sticker 2016 and up.

Serial Number: 22XXXXXX
Style of Numbers: 0’s have strikethroughs. 1’s have small serifs (feet).
Style of Serial Number Sticker: Eight digit serial number printed on white sticker covered with clear tape with two Chanel logos.”X” cut-lines prevent sticker from being removed without damage. “CHANEL” appears on right side of the sticker. Dark line appears on left side of sticker. Gold speckles appear throughout sticker.

 

Year manufactured: 2015 to 2016

Chanel serial sticker 2015 - 2016.

Chanel serial sticker 2015 – 2016.

Serial Number: 21XXXXXX
Style of Numbers: 0’s have strikethroughs. 1’s have small serifs (feet).
Style of Serial Number Sticker: Eight digit serial number printed on white sticker covered with clear tape with two Chanel logos.”X” cut-lines prevent sticker from being removed without damage. “CHANEL” appears on right side of the sticker. Dark line appears on left side of sticker. Gold speckles appear throughout sticker.

 

Year manufactured: 2014 to 2015

Chanel serial sticker 2014 - 2015.

Chanel serial sticker 2014 – 2015.

Serial Number: 20XXXXXX
Style of Numbers: 0’s have strikethroughs. 1’s have small serifs (feet).
Style of Serial Number Sticker: Eight digit serial number printed on white sticker covered with clear tape with two Chanel logos.”X” cut-lines prevent sticker from being removed without damage. “CHANEL” appears on right side of the sticker. Dark line appears on left side of sticker. Gold speckles appear throughout sticker.

 

Year manufactured: 2014

Chanel serial sticker 2014.

Chanel serial sticker 2014.

Serial Number: 19XXXXXX
Style of Numbers: 0’s have strikethroughs. 1’s have small serifs (feet).
Style of Serial Number Sticker: Eight digit serial number printed on white sticker covered with clear tape with two Chanel logos.”X” cut-lines prevent sticker from being removed without damage. “CHANEL” appears on right side of the sticker. Dark line appears on left side of sticker. Gold speckles appear throughout sticker.

 

Year manufactured: 2013 to 2014

Chanel serial sticker 2013 - 2014.

Chanel serial sticker 2013 – 2014.

Serial Number: 18XXXXXX
Style of Numbers: 0’s have strikethroughs. 1’s have small serifs (feet).
Style of Serial Number Sticker: Eight digit serial number printed on white sticker covered with clear tape with two Chanel logos.”X” cut-lines prevent sticker from being removed without damage. “CHANEL” appears on rightright side of the sticker. Dark line appears on left side of sticker. Gold speckles appear throughout sticker.