Sitting at the top of every handbag lover’s wish list is an authentic Chanel handbag. Known for their impeccable quality, for the innovative blend of function and style, and for the intricate details which give each collection its own selling point, the Chanel brand is well deserving of its 100+ year presence on the luxury market – and it all started with the foresight of a woman who decided she wanted more from her accessories.
Chanel is now one of the most celebrated brands in the accessories market, with bags, jewellery, perfumes, and more all available glistening in the glory of the brand’s unique logo and incredible story. Of course, as is so often the case, with such success comes the risk of fraudulent products making their way onto the market – marking a growing need for buyers to understand the value of Chanel’s date stamp.
So, what is the date stamp and what do you need to know as an investment buyer interested in owning your own Chanel?
What are date stamps for Chanel bags?
The presence of a date stamp is arguably the easiest way to tell whether or not a Chanel bag is genuine. Also known as the serial number, this is a stamp which is found inside the bag with the location varying depending on the size and model of the bag.
From 2021 onwards, Chanel transitioned from date stamps to a chip system – which does much the same in terms of authentication.
The serial numbers used by Chanel on their authentic bags were first introduced in 1986, with numbers starting with 0 – rising in simple increments of 1 to showcase exactly where every bag fits in the history of the brand’s bag release.
Over time, these serial numbers were adjusted and changed according to the release of different collections and the time period. Numbers which start with a 1 dictate that the bag was made and released between 1989 and 1991. Bags with a number 2 at the start of the serial number indicate that the bag was made between 1991 and 1994; and so on, as years passing represents a change in the serial number.
Any bag that was made after the middle of 2005 has 8 digits because the first number in the code, which dictates the year in the aforementioned increments, has reached double digits.
Why did Chanel change their date stamp serial numbers?
When the serial number entered the 13 series range, more collections were being released and more bags were being produced. What this meant for Chanel is that a single number for every new bag produced was no longer enough – the brand had to have multiple serial numbers for every year.
Chanel changed their system of authentication mainly because of the huge rise in production that came with the release of new collections and the vast market of buyers keen to get their hands on a Chanel bag. In understanding that every single Chanel bag has a unique serial number, keeping up with the formulation of creating and counting new numbers for every individual product meant that something needed to change – else the numbers would grow uncontrollably long.
Another reason why Chanel changed their method of producing and showcasing the serial number was to help in the war against counterfeit and fake products. As the copies got better, Chanel had to change their method of working in order to keep up and stay ahead of the fraudsters.
What do the codes on the new Chanel chips mean?
The microchip codes came about in 2021 in Chanel bags and within the products of other large luxury designer brands, as a new and innovative response to fake products upsetting the marketplace. These chips can be read by the Chanel system and are linked with a random serial number which allows Chanel to read the bag as an authentic piece from their collection.
This means that Chanel bags that are sold today no longer come with the black serial number card, but instead are linked electronically to the microchip system.
Do all Chanel bags have Chanel chips?
Only the newest bags produced after 2021 have the microchip system rather than a black serial number card and hologram. Crucially, there is no crossover – bags either have one or the other, but never both.
If your Chanel bag has a chip, this will be located on the inside flap of the bag.
How to tell if my Chanel bag is fake?
A fake Chanel bag may have no serial number at all, or it may have one which does not follow the standard formula as set out by Chanel. The general aesthetic of a non-genuine hologram is a cheaper version of the real thing.
The other clear way of telling whether a Chanel bag is fake or not is to see whether it comes with a chip or a certificate. If it comes with both then it is 100% fake, and if the model and its age do not correlate with its supposed authentication chip or number then you can also be certain that it is a fake.
Where can I get my Chanel bag authenticated?
Whether you already own a Chanel bag or are looking to buy it as an investment, the best way to ensure that any Chanel bag is authentic is via a formal authentication from a reputable company like Love Luxury.
For more information and advice on how to find an authentic Chanel bag to add to your collection, visit our store in London or get in touch directly.