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How to authenticate a Chanel bag

Iconic Chanel handbags are very sought after and thus often counterfeited. Before buying a second hand Chanel bag there are clues to be on the lookout for and here are some of them:

The Interlocking CC Logo

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.

Quilting

With a new Chanel handbag the stitching should keep a consistent diamond pattern. The stitching should line up. Check if the quilt stitching on flap and pocket match the body. On a genuine Chanel, the quilt stitching should line up precisely on the front flap and back pocket. However the leather can stretch over time so it is not unusual for authentic vintage bags stitching to not line up perfectly if the bag is a little worn.

Stiching

Quality designer bags have a high stitch count. This ensures durability and helps maintain the bag’s original shape .The stitching on a Chanel bag should almost look like a smooth line. There should be at least ten stitches per inch. A low stitch count also causes the quilted effect to look swollen whereas the authentic Chanel which has a high stitch count has a flatter less swollen look to it.

Leather

Always check the quality of the leather. Chanel handbags are typically created with soft-to-the-touch lambskin or pebbled caviar leather, but they also come in other fabrics like denim or tweed. Lambskin leather should feel silky soft and appear visibly smooth. Caviar leather more durable, less likely to scratch and mark, is made from pebbled calf leather and has a characteristic bubbly appearance, and you should feel raised dimples when touching the leather.

Hologram stickers and authenticity cards

From 1984 onwards Chanel stamped a unique number for each bag on an authenticity card and printed the same number on a serial sticker inside the bag. Serial stickers identify the bag’s model and year while bags predating this do not have stickers. Serial stickers and authenticity cards help authenticate a Chanel bag. However they can be copied so the presence of a serial sticker does not automatically mean authenticity and equally a missing serial sticker doesn’t mean the bag is a fake as many vintage bags have worn or missing serial stickers. As a guideline 6 digit codes indicate a bag made some time between 1984 and 1986, 7 digit codes indicate a bag made between 1986 and 2004 and 8 digit codes indicate a bag made from 2005 onwards.

Hardware

For CC hardware, examine the lock to make sure the right C passes over the left at the top and the left C passes over the right at the bottom. On the back of the lock, it should say Chanel on the left and Paris on the right, typically with flathead screws. The hardware on the bag usually matches so everything should be silver or gold-tone depending on the bag. The inside zipper should also be consistent with the age of the handbag.

CC locks stamping marks

CC locks sometimes have a stamping mark. Not all bags have these markings and Chanel moved the position and style of these markings over the years. If the lock has a marking this means the bag is made in France. If you check the inside of your bag you should find the stamping Made in France. If the lock has no marking, then the bag is made in Italy.

Chanel brand stamping

Also check the colour of the stamping in the bag. Chanel stamp their logo and print text such as Made in France and Made in Italy inside their bags. 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. Also note that the width of the C should also match the width of the horizontal gap between the two Cs in the logo.