Chanel Authentication

From the mid of 1980s on, Authentic Chanel handbags come with authenticity cards embossed with a serial number (as seen on right) - The serial number on the authenticity card matches the one appearing on a sticker placed somewhere within the handbag's interior lining. Chanel logos can be found on the serial number sticker and was protected by a clear tape with hologram security feature from 2000 on. The manufacturing date shows variation of the sticker, Chanel logo and hologram design (view below).


Note that serial number stickers may become detached from handbags over time. Often, authentication cards also become lost. Hence, Chanel handbags missing these items may still be authentic.

 Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
22XXXXXX 2016 above 0's with strikethroughs. Serif type font for 1's.

White sticker secured with clear tape printed with 8 digit serial number with 2 Chanel logos. Cut-lines in "X" shape prevents sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on right side of it, while dark line appears on the left side and gold dots can be seen throughout.

 

 Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
21XXXXXX 2015 - 2016 0's with strikethroughs. Serif type font for 1's. White sticker secured with clear tape printed with 8 digit serial number with 2 Chanel logos. Cut-lines in "X" shape prevents sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on right side of it, while dark line appears on the left side and gold dots can be seen throughout.

 

 Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
20XXXXXX 2014 - 2015 0's with strikethroughs. Serif type font for 1's. White sticker secured with clear tape printed with 8 digit serial number with 2 Chanel logos. Cut-lines in "X" shape prevents sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on right side of it, while dark line appears on the left side and gold dots can be seen throughout.

 

 Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
19XXXXXX 2014 0's with strikethroughs. Serif type font for 1's. White sticker secured with clear tape printed with 8 digit serial number with 2 Chanel logos. Cut-lines in "X" shape prevents sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on right side of it, while dark line appears on the left side and gold dots can be seen throughout.

 

 

 Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
18XXXXXX 2013 - 2014 0's with strikethroughs. Serif type font for 1's. White sticker secured with clear tape printed with 8 digit serial number with 2 Chanel logos. Cut-lines in "X" shape prevents sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on right side of it, while dark line appears on the left side and gold dots can be seen throughout.

 

 Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
17XXXXXX 2012 - 2013 0's with strikethroughs. Serif type font for 1's. White sticker secured with clear tape printed with 8 digit serial number with 2 Chanel logos. Cut-lines in "X" shape prevents sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on right side of it, while dark line appears on the left side and gold dots can be seen throughout.

 

 Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
16XXXXXX 2012 0's with strikethroughs. Serif type font for 1's. White sticker secured with clear tape printed with 8 digit serial number with 2 Chanel logos. Cut-lines in "X" shape prevents sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on right side of it, while dark line appears on the left side and gold dots can be seen throughout.

 

 Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
15XXXXXX 2011 0's with strikethroughs. Serif type font for 1's. White sticker secured with clear tape printed with 8 digit serial number with 2 Chanel logos. Cut-lines in "X" shape prevents sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on right side of it, while dark line appears on the left side and gold dots can be seen throughout.

 

 Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
14XXXXXX 2010 - 2011 0's with strikethroughs. Serif type font for 1's. White sticker secured with clear tape printed with 8 digit serial number with 2 Chanel logos. Cut-lines in "X" shape prevents sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on right side of it, while dark line appears on the left side and gold dots can be seen throughout.

 

 Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
13XXXXXX 2009 - 2010 0's with strikethroughs. Serif type font for 1's. White sticker secured with clear tape printed with 8 digit serial number with 2 Chanel logos. Cut-lines in "X" shape prevents sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on right side of it, while dark line appears on the left side and gold dots can be seen throughout.

 

 Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
12XXXXXX 2008 - 2009 0's with strikethroughs. Serif type font for 1's. White sticker secured with clear tape printed with 8 digit serial number with 2 Chanel logos. Cut-lines in "X" shape prevents sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on right side of it, while dark line appears on the left side and gold dots can be seen throughout.

 

 Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
11XXXXXX 2006 - 2008 0's with strikethroughs. Serif type font for 1's. White sticker secured with clear tape printed with 8 digit serial number with 2 Chanel logos. Cut-lines in "X" shape prevents sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on right side of it, while dark line appears on the left side and gold dots can be seen throughout.

 

 Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
10XXXXXX 2005 - 2006 0's with strikethroughs. Serif type font for 1's. White sticker secured with clear tape printed with 8 digit serial number with 2 Chanel logos. Cut-lines in "X" shape prevents sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on right side of it, while dark line appears on the left side and gold dots can be seen throughout.

 

Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
9XXXXXX 2004 - 2005 0's with strikethroughs. Serif type font for 1's. White sticker secured with clear tape printed with 7 digit serial number with 2 Chanel logos. Cut-lines in "X" shape prevents sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on right side of it, while dark line appears on the left side and gold dots can be seen throughout.

 

 Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
8XXXXXX 2003 - 2004 0's with strikethroughs. Serif type font for 1's. White sticker secured with clear tape printed with 7 digit serial number with 2 Chanel logos. Cut-lines in "X" shape prevents sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on right side of it, while dark line appears on the left side and gold dots can be seen throughout.

 

Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
7XXXXXX 2002 - 2003 0's with strikethroughs. Serif type font for 1's. White sticker secured with clear tape printed with 7 digit serial number with 2 Chanel logos. Cut-lines in "X" shape prevents sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on right side of it, while dark line appears on the left side and gold dots can be seen throughout.

 

Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
6XXXXXX 2000 - 2002 0's with strikethroughs. Serif type font for 1's. White sticker secured with clear tape printed with 7 digit serial number with 2 Chanel logos. Cut-lines in "X" shape prevents sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on right side of it, while dark line appears on the left side and gold dots can be seen throughout.

 

Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
5XXXXXX 1997 - 1999 0's with strikethroughs up to 51XXXXX. 0's without strikethroughs from 52XXXXX to 56XXXXX. 0's with strikethroughs from 57XXXXX on. Serif type font for 1's from 57XXXXX on. White sticker secured with clear tape printed with 7 digit serial number with 2 Chanel logos from 57XXXXX on. Cut-lines in "X" shape prevents sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on right side of it, while dark line appears on the left side and gold dots can be seen throughout.

 

Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
4XXXXXX 1996 - 1997 0's with strikethroughs. San serif type font for 1's. White sticker printed with 7 digit serial number with Chanel logos and secured with opaque film.

 

 Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
3XXXXXX 1994 - 1996 0's with strikethroughs. San serif type font for 1's. White sticker printed with digit serial number with Chanel logos and secured with opaque film.

 

Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
2XXXXXX 1991 - 1994 0's with strikethroughs up to 27XXXXXX. San serif type font for 1's. White sticker printed with digit serial number with Chanel logos and secured with opaque film.

 

Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
1XXXXXX 1989 - 1991 0's without strikethroughs. Serif type font for 1's. White sticker printed with 7 digit serial number with Chanel logos, left-sided cutout and secured with opaque film. 

 

Serial No. Manufacturing Year No. Styles Serial No. Styles
0XXXXXX 1986 - 1988 0's without strikethroughs. Serif type font for 1's. White sticker (larger than the ones produced later) printed with 7 digit serial number with Chanel logos, left-sided cutout and secured with opaque film. Note that early serial numbers (starting with a 1 or 2) did not have a leading "0". Therefore, these were 6 digit serial numbers.

                                       Leather                                    

 

Most of the Chanel bags available are made out of lambskin leather, which would feel soft to the touch and have a visibly smooth appearance. The superior and grand quality used by the Chanel brand should be easy to distinguish from the counterfeits especially from the feel and appearance. If the bag inspected happens to be a lambskin leather bag, make sure it feels extremely soft to the touch.

Another popular leather that’s mostly used by Chanel is caviar skin, which is a type of material made out of pebbled calf leather. This type of leather has a more bubbly appearance, and easier to differentiate from the counterfeit as it is more textured to the touch. This leather is less likely to scratch and mark which makes it more durable than the lambskin leather. When feeling Chanel’s caviar leather bags, it should feel like running your hands through raised dimples.

 

Quilting

 

Chanel bags’ quilting pattern is synonymous and can be one of the top indicator of whether the bag is authentic or fake. A great place to check the quilting is from the back of the bag, where the pocket lies as the stitching should maintain a consistent diamond pattern throughout, lined up perfectly. However, if you were to purchase a pre-loved Chanel bag, it is highly possible that the stretching or the wear of the leather has les the lines to become slightly out of place, therefore this is only a valid indicator if purchasing a brand new Chanel bag.

 

Count the Stitching/Lining

Besides the quilting technique, Chanel bag’s use a certain number of stitches to keep maintain the original shape of each designs. A genuine Chanel bag will feature up to eleven stitches per panel (that is the distance between one side of the diamond shape). If inspected closely enough, counterfeit bags usually will feature a lower number of stitches per panel.

Lining is another feature which varies between the real and counterfeits. Lining on a genuine Chanel bag lies flat against the material perfectly without any visible bumps or lumps whatsoever. Counterfeit bags usually made mistakes on this detail as their bags are made from inferior leather which can crease easily and even be a little loose. 

CC Lock

 

The CC lock is one of the most famous and recognizable features on Chanel bags as it has been used for generations. The original 2.55 lock is rectangular without any logo or Chanel stamping. Chanel produce bags with both styles of locks, therefore if the bag 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 at the top, and the left C overlapping the right at the bottom. Counterfeits usually gets these wrong, from the shape of the Cs, the placement of additional metal above the lock, to the style/way the Cs interlock.

Another feature worth checking is the lock stem. Authentic Chanel lock stems are made from 24k gold and even when used for a lengthy period of time, it will still maintain its condition. Counterfeits, however, are generally plated with gold which would peel after use. The press studs should be worth inspecting too in terms of quality and feel. Genuine press studs will also maintain their appearance after use, whereas counterfeits will fade and peel.

 

Back of the lock

Stamping marks on Chanel bags vary according to the styles and when the bags were made. Some CC locks have a stamping mark whereas others don’t, therefore, even if a bag doesn’t feature a stamp, it doesn’t mean that it’s not authentic! If the lock has a stamp, it means it was made in France, whereas the ones that doesn’t was made in Italy. The real knockers are the stamping mark on the back of each plate. If you open a Chanel bag and look at the back of the turnstile lock, you will be able to see the back plate. These back plates were attached using flat head screws only alongside the clear font with clean and even spacing. Counterfeit  bags may use different type of screws and various other styles of lettering and font on the back plate, so keep an eye out!

Branding/Logos

The Chanel brand stamp could also indicate the authenticity of the bag as well. From the font and quality of the stamp, counterfeits would usually use thinner fonts and rush the branding which ended up “sitting” on the leather rather than being embossed into it. The position of the embossed Chanel logo is also another feature that’s worth to take a close look on. 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 0.9 cm. The width of the whole authentic Chanel logo isat 3.3 cm.

Chain Straps

One of the famous and frequently used feature of Chanel bags are the chain and leather straps. Vintage Chanel bags will feature a link without the leather threaded through it whereas counterfeit straps often don’t have a link without the leather threaded through it. However, contemporary and newer Chanel bags feature leather straps folded back on themselves and stitched through each link, there fore, it is crucial to inspect the detail up close.

Bag’s Shape/Silhouette

Counterfeit Chanel bags are usually constructed poorly with a boxy shaped silhouette in comparison to authentic Chanel bags. Look out for rounded corners on counterfeits compared to the more square shaped of the authentic bags. This is a sign that the bag wasn’t being turned out properly and of poor quality material used on the bag.

Zippers

There is a wide range variety of zippers used on Chanel bags. These zippers include the lampo zipper, which is always used on metal teeth. Then there’s the EP zipper, which generally features a pull tag made out of leather, and then the three Cs in a circle zipper, the OPTI DMC zipper, the éclair zipper, the DMC zipper, the YKK zipper, as well as the zipper with no marks (which is usually found on vintage and older version of Chanel bags).

Now that you know how to authenticate the real from the fake, we hope this could help you in Chanel shopping in the future :)