10 Easy Steps to Authenticate Any Chanel Bag
Chanel bag is a dream of any fashionista and a proof of good, exquisite taste. However, being able to distinguish a truly authentic bag from a perfect replica is also a challenging experience. Now do you know if you have the real thing or not?
There are many pre-loved Chanel bags really worth investing in, but you should pay attention to some details. There are millions of Chanel replicas manufactured, so sometimes it’s not easy to understand the difference at first glance.
Here are some easy tips on how to be sure that your future Chanel purse is 100% authentic.
More on Chanel Authentication:
1. Check Leather and Structure
There are several ways to identify an authentic Chanel bag. First, check the price tag. If it says "Chanel" and has a serial number, then it's probably genuine. Second, look at the stitching. It should be done with a special machine that makes a distinctive pattern. Third, look at the leather. You'll see a signature logo embossed into the leather. Finally, take a close look at the hardware. Look for the initials C.C., which stands for Coco Chanel, the designer who made the original bags.
If you have an opportunity to see the bag in real life, first look at it carefully and touch the item outside and inside to check the materials. Evaluate the bag's general condition, touch the leather and even try to smell it. Chanel usually uses lambskin which is very soft. Generally, copy bags tend to be made of hard leather, which can be easily felt at first touch. Another type of leather Chanel manufactures its bags from is caviar calfskin, it has a bubbly appearance and is very textured which accounts for its durability.
Another important thing is the structure. As Chanel uses the best materials, the bag keeps its structure perfectly. If you bend it, it returns back to its shape very fast and if you place it on the table, it will stand up straight.
2. Quilting and Stitching
The stitching on a bag is an important part of its design. It gives the bag structure and shape. If the stitching is uneven, it will make the bag appear cheap.
Don't forget to inspect the quilting. It should always be consistent and the diamond pattern should stay the same throughout the bag even with the flap closed. If the model you are looking at has a back pocket, examine it carefully, the pattern of the pocket should line perfectly with that of the bag itself.
Chanel is famous for its excellent and meticulous craftsmanship so they pay attention to every little detail, including stitches. Genuine Chanel bags feature a very high stitch count - 10 or more per edge of the diamond quilting. That helps maintain the sturdy shape we discussed above. The stitches should also be flawless with no loose threads as you are buying an item of a legendary quality!
3. Examine the Hardware (CC Lock)
Now let's get into more details. Look at the most important part – the CC lock.
The Chanel logo consists of two interlocking Cs. The first C represents the founder of the company, Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel. The second C symbolizes her son, Karl Lagerfeld, who took over as head designer after his mother died in 1971.
Make sure that the right C-letter overlaps on top, while the left C-letter overlaps on the bottom. If it is not the case, it is clearly a fake. Moreover, the lock should be centered perfectly, with the width of each C being equal as well as matching the width of the gap between them. Check that the Cs have flat edges.
Another important element you should pay attention to is the backside of the lock. In a real Chanel piece, you will see a plate with flat head screws, with “CHANEL” embossed on the left side and “PARIS” - on the right side. Don't panic if there is no such embossing. It just means that the bag was manufactured in Italy.
If the bag passed the lock test, inspect the zipper. The zippers differ depending on the year of manufacture. The most commonly used types of zippers are Lampo, the DMC, the YKK, the eclair zipper, the triple 'C' in a circle, and a zipper with no mark for vintage Chanel bags.
5. Chain Strap
If you take a better look at this part of the bag, you can spot a fake pretty fast. First of all, the metal chains are always of good quality, not scratched or damaged in some way. The hardware is clean and elegant. The second thing to pay attention to is the leather inside the chain. It should not be double-layered and have no crooked untidy lines.
Lining is another important element to check the authenticity of a Chanel bag. Lining in a real bag lies flat with no bumps or bubbles. You can perform a simple test: try to pull the lining out of the bag. In an authentic piece, it won't be an easy thing to do, while in a fake one it can be baggy and loose and easily pulled out.
7. Check the Stamping
The tag is the name of the bag maker, usually written in gold lettering on the inside of the flap. It also includes the year the bag was made and the initials of the designer who designed it.
Stamping is also important in understanding the quality of a luxury item. Normally, stamping should match the color of the hardware. The logo should be embossed, not just printed as it is the case in many replicas. The width of a genuine Chanel logo is 3.3cm (1.3 inches). "Made in France" or "Made in Italy" can be located either under the logo or on the opposite inside wall of the bag. However, keep in mind - this last feature is true only for pieces with caviar skin.
8. Serial Number
Having a look at the serial number is a sure way to authenticate your bag. The serial number indicates the year when the bag was manufactured. Chanel started putting stickers with serial numbers in their bags since 1984. The number of digits, as well as the style of the serial number, have changed through the years.
Be aware that a Chanel serial number consists maximum of eight digits. If there are more, you should double-check or turn to an authentication service. Use our Chanel serial number checker to find out if it's legit.
If you need to authenticate a Chanel item, please order one of the three types of authentication:
9. Authenticity Card
And last but not least is the little black card.
Chanel authenticity cards were introduced at the same time as serial numbers. There are several important features to take into account while inspecting it.
Here's what your card should have:
#1 | With Serial Number
Check that the number on the card is the same as the serial number inside the bag. The information should match; however, it is not enough. These cards can be replicated as well.
#2 | No Hologram Effect
Authentic card never has any shiny, rainbow effect. This is a true sign that the card is fake. Chanel manufacturers use high-quality materials for cards as well, so any type of mistakes, hologram effects, bad printing, etc. are absolutely impossible.
#3 | Not Easily Bent
Authentic card is not easy to bend, as it is made from firm plastic. In fact, it should be as sturdy as a standard credit card.
10. Dust Bag
If you have inspected everything described above, the last thing to check is the dust bag. Of course, if the bag has one, as this feature can be missing in pre-loved bags. The bad quality of a dust bag can make you realize that the bag is not authentic. Manufacturers pay attention to everything, that’s why dust bags look pretty good. The material should be of very good quality, the words “CHANEL” will be bright and clear as well as perfectly centered. Pay attention to the font - it should always be the classic Chanel font.
Where To Buy Authentic Pre-Loved Chanel Bags?
If you would like to buy an authentic pre-owned Chanel bag, check out our stock at Bagaholic!
And if you can't decide which Chanel bag to buy first, check our article on the top 3 most iconic Chanel bags.
Always check the quality and the condition of the bag you are about to purchase. But it is always better to order professional designer bag authentication, so you can be sure your new baby is 100% real.