A Complete Authentication Guide To Chanel Serial Numbers

Buying a high-end designer bag is the ultimate dream of every handbag lover. Not only it's a wonderful way to praise yourself for your achievements, a luxury bag is also, generally, a good investment. Especially if it is crafted by the iconic Chanel house. 

In previous Chanel Authenticity Guides, we've already discussed Chanel leathers, how important it is to check stitching and logo, pay attention to fonts and zippers, examine leather and locks. Now it's time to learn more about one of the most significant authentication criteria, the serial number. Every fashion house has its unique characteristics of serial numbers or date codes that can vary depending on the time the piece was manufactured. In this article, we take a closer look at Chanel serial numbers and learn how to purchase an authentic handbags in the ocean of fakes.

This article will present everything you need to know but were afraid to ask regarding how to find, read and check Chanel serial numbers. Learning the basic information about serial numbers is essential for everyone who wants to purchase a real high-end handbag from Chanel.

 

What Is a Chanel Serial Number / Code?

Authenticating Chanel has become a complicated task. If previously manufacturers of copycat items just copied the general idea of a Chanel purse, as their plants were growing and developing, they've started to pay more and more attention to tiniest details. As a result, the replicas has become too similar to authentic items and posed a threat to the brand itself. Chanel introduced serial numbers because they needed to differentiate the real purses from the copycats.

As a response to the evolving counterfeiting industry, in 1986 Chanel introduced serial numbers. Since then, every purse or accessory, such as wallet, coin purse, or cardholder, contained a sticker with a unique serial number. To prevent copying their items, the Chanel fashion house was changing digits every year and updating the sticker appearance.

If you would like to know more about the history of the Chanel fashion house and what changes have been introduced through the years, read our ultimate Chanel bags guide

A Chanel serial number is a special code showing the year when a purse was crafted. You can find out when you Chanel handbag was made by checking Chanel serial number here for free.

Unlike other luxury brands, such as Louis Vuitton or Dior, Chanel doesn't make a heat embossing on a leather tag. Its serial number is always a white sticker containing digits and some other features.

Here are some characteristics of authentic Chanel serial numbers:

  • All bags and accessories have their own unique code, there cannot be two identical combinations.
  • Serial numbers contain only digits (there are no letters, no dashes, no dots). 
  • A sticker with code is always attached to a leather tag (not printed on it, not embossed).
  • Looking at the first digits you can tell the year of manufacturing (or a period) and understand which collection this bag belongs to.
  • It's totally normal to see different styles of Chanel stickers, as the brand continued to add more features to save their products from being counterfeited.
  • The first digits of the Chanel serial number indicate the year of manufacturing, starting from 0 (from 1986 to 1988) to 31 (crafted in 2021).
  • Modern codes have 8 digits, until 2005 there were 7-digit combinations.
  • Hologram covers are fragile and peel off easily. If a secondhand bag is missing some part of the serial, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's a fake Chanel purse. Nevertheless, it's a red flag and such items should undergo a thorough examination.

 

What Is Chanel Series?

When you hear someone referring to Chanel series, typically this means the first two digits of the serial number. As serial numbers were growing chronologically, a lower series with 7-digit number, for instance 5672345, means that the item was released quite long ago, and a higher series with 8 digits, for instance 315647383, means that the item is only a few years old.

 

Chanel Bag Serial Number Location: Where is The Serial Number on a Chanel Bag

Many brands emboss their codes on a leather tag using a heat stamp. Chanel artisans work hard to make every bag unique and that's why they craft every label with the same care as the purse itself. There are no other kinds of serial numbers inside bags except for a white sticker, typical for Chanel.

If your handbag has a serial number, then it's definitely located inside the purse. Let's see where serial numbers are located on mot popular Chanel handbags and accessories.

Chanel Classic Flap serial number location

Chanel Classic flap serial number location where to find

To find a serial number in a Chanel Classic flap, open the purse and look for the sticker inside the purse closer to the bottom. It should be there, on the front part. As flaps have a leather inside, it looks like a sticker glued to the leather.

 

Chanel Reissue flap serial number location

Chanel Reissue flap serial number location where to find

Similarly to the Classic flap, the Reissue serial number is located inside the purse on the front part of the purse, close to the bottom corner.

 

Chanel Boy serial number location

Chanel Boy flap serial number location where to find

Unlike Classic Flap and Reissue, Chanel Boy has a fabric lining. To attach a serial number securely, Chanel has designed a separate leather tag sewn to the lining. The serial number is attached to this piece leather.

 

Chanel wallet serial number location

Chanel wallet serial number location where to find

To find a serial number inside a Chanel wallet, just check thoroughly all of its compartments. A serial number is usually located closer to the top so that it's clearly visible. On smaller wallets it might be hard to take a picture as a compartment is really tiny.

  

Chanel Serial Numbers Lookup Chart

chanel serial number lookup chart

How not to get lost in all this information? Different styles of labels, year codes, counting digits, and checking everything might be quite difficult for an untrained eye. We are here to help you. Let's go through the evolution of Chanel serial numbers. 

 

First stage, vintage Chanel serial numbers: 1986-1991 

vintage chanel serial numbers

First Chanel bags with serial numbers were manufactured in 1986. They contained a 6 digit serial number starting with a 1 or 2 that was attached with a sticker to the inside of the purse.

After a few years, Chanel probably realized that, for one, they will need more figures and added 0 at the beginning of the serial. Next, they added an opaque film that covered sticker.

The sticker became larger than the stickers produced later in the series.

The very first serial codes were printed on stickers of white color and had a cutout on the left. Initial digits used in these years were 0 and 1. Stickers were protected with a light-proof film cover.

This type of stickers wear off and are often not readable due to age. As the glue also falls apart with time, vintage Chanel handbags may often not show the serial, but have glue signs that indicate the previous serial number location.

 

Second stage: 1991-1997

At the beginning of the 90s, the fashion house started to print codes using a different background. It was still white, but the background had Chanel logos all over it. Initial digits are ranging from 2 to 5 with minor changes in fonts.

The opaque film cover was replaced with a transparent hologram with two encircled logos in 1997 (all codes starting with 57). Cut-lines shaped like letter X were added at the same time to save the label from being torn without ruining it. Gold speckles throughout the sticker were also introduced during this period.

 

Third stage: 1997-2021

chanel serial number guide

In 2000 new stickers were introduced. The fashion house has not changed them since the start of a new century. The number is printed on a white background covered with a hologram with two golden Chanel logos above the number. The cut-lines have become an important part of each sticker, and are still preventing serial numbers from being stolen and put on a counterfeit.

Fonts haven't been updated since 2000. Every 0 has a strikethrough, each 1 has a serif (often called 'feet'). Initial digits started with 6 and now have reached 29 in 2019-2020. Each clear tape has two significant features: a line of the brand name 'Chanel' in capital letters that is repeated on its right side and dark lines on the left.

 

Fourth stage: 2021-onwards

chanel chip metallic plaque

As of April, 2021, Chanel replaced outdated serial numbers with a metallic plaque made of the same material as purse's hardware, that has a combination of letters and digits on it. The new 'codes' have 7 symbols.

Why did Chanel do it? To answer that question, let's get back to why Chanel introduced serial numbers in the first place. The brand did it to prevent counterfeiting. With mirror replicas being astonishingly close to the original handbags as well as other brands switching to RFID chips, Chanel had to implement new measures that respond to the challenges of the new era.

The new metallic plaque allows to do two things:

1) Chanel can seamlessly retrieve information about the purchase even if the authentication card is lost and / or serial number damaged.

2) It's securely attached to the bag itself, which makes it impossible to remove the plaque without damaging the leather.

The last Chanel serial number series is known to be 31xxxxxx.

 

Chanel Serial Numbers List & Release Years

The table below represents how Chanel serial numbers and the item's release years are connected.

To read the serial number correctly and define the exact year of manufacturing your purse, use the chart below. It contains all initial digits Chanel has been using starting mid-80s. Alternatively, please refer to our free Chanel serial number online checker.

 

Chanel serial numbers release year & series

Serial number

Year

chanel 31 series release year 2021 31XXXXXX 2021 The Chanel 31 series is known to be the last one before metallic authentication  plates were introduced in 2021. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
chanel 30 series
30XXXXXX Late 2020-2021 The Chanel 30 series items were released in late 2020 and early 2021. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
0_29 chanel 29 series authentication serial number release year

29XXXXXX

2019 (winter) Chanel 29 series items were part of the winter collection in 2019. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
chanel 28 series release year 2019

28XXXXXX

2019 (fall) Chanel 28 series items were part of the fall collection in 2019. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
0_27 chanel 27 series authentication serial number release year

27XXXXXX

2019 (spring) Chanel 27 series items were part of the spring collection in 2019. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
0_26 chanel 26 series authentication serial number release year

26XXXXXX

2019 (winter and spring)

Chanel 26 series items were part of the winter and spring collections in 2019. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
0_25 chanel 25 series authentication serial number release year

25XXXXXX

2018-2019

Chanel 25 series items were manufactured from 2018 to early 2019. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
0_24 chanel 23 series authentication serial number release year

24XXXXXX

2017-2018

Chanel 24 series bags were manufactured from 2017 to first half of 2018. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
0_23 chanel 23 series authentication serial number release year

23XXXXXX

2016-2017

Chanel 23 series items were manufactured from late 2016 to first half of 2017. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
 chanel 22 series authentication serial number release year

22XXXXXX

2016

Chanel 22 series bags were manufactured during 2016. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial
chanel 21 series authentication serial number release year

21XXXXXX

2015-2016

Chanel 21 series items were manufactured from mid- and late 2015 to early 2016. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
chanel 20 series authentication serial number release year

20XXXXXX

2014-2015

Chanel 20 series items were manufactured from late 2014 to early 2015. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
0_19 chanel 19 series authentication serial number release year

19XXXXXX

2014

Chanel 19 series bags were produced in mid-2014. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
0_18 chanel 18 series authentication serial number release year

18XXXXXX

2013-2014

Chanel 18 series bags were produced in the late 2013 and early 2014. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
0_17 chanel 17 series authentication serial number release year

17XXXXXX

Mid 2012-2013

Chanel 17 series bags were in production from mid-2012 to early 2013. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
Chanel 16 series release year

16XXXXXX

2012

Chanel 16 series bags were manufactured in the middle of 2012. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
0_15 chanel 15 series authentication serial number release year

15XXXXXX

Late 2011-Early 2012

Chanel 15 series bags were manufactured in the late 2011 and early 2012. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
0_14 chanel authentication serial number release year

14XXXXXX

2011

Chanel 14 series bags were manufactured in 2011. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
0_13 chanel authentication serial number release year

13XXXXXX

2009-2010

Chanel 13 series bags were manufactured in 2009 and 2010. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
0_12 chanel authentication serial number release year

12XXXXXX

2008-2009

Chanel 12 series bags were manufactured in 2008 and early 2009. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
0_11 chanel authentication release year

11XXXXXX

2006-2008

Chanel 11 series were manufactured between 2006 and 2008. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
chanel authentication serial numbers release year 10

10XXXXXX

2005-2006

Chanel 10 series were manufactured between 2005 and 2006. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial. 10 series sticker was also the first to hit 8 digits.
0_9 chanel authentication release year serial number

9XXXXXX

2004-2005

Chanel 9 series were manufactured between 2004 and 2005. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
0_8 chanel authentication release year serial number

8XXXXXX

2003-2004

Chanel 8 series were manufactured in the second part of 2003 and early 2004. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
0_7 chanel authentication serial numbers 7

7XXXXXX

2002-2003

Chanel 7 series were manufactured in 2002 and 2003. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.

chanel authentication serial numbers 6 series

6XXXXXX

2000-2002

Chanel 6 series were manufactured between 2000 and 2002. It was a typical Chanel sticker with a dark line on the left, a CHANEL line on the right, centered 'X'-cut lines and gold speckles all over the serial.
chanel authentication serial numbers 5
chanel authentication serial numbers 5 1

5XXXXXX

1997-1999

Chanel 5 series were manufactured in 1997-1999.  Chanel changed 5 series visuals about 3 times. First, they used the same font as in 4 series. Then they tried a different font. Next, when the items count hit 57 and just before the turn on the century, they introduced a sticker with X-cut lines and gold speckles  that Chanel is known for nowadays.
chanel authentication serial numbers 4

4XXXXXX

1996-1997

Chanel 4 series were manufactured from 1996 to 1997. Visually, these serials were the same as in series 2 and 3.
chanel authentication serial numbers 3

3XXXXXX

1994-1996

Chanel 3 series were produced from 1994 to 1996. Visually, they were similar to late 2 series, with a serial printed on a separate material and glued to the main white tag.
chanel authentication series release year vintage 2
chanel authentication series release year vintage 2

2XXXXXX

1991-1994

Chanel 2 series handbags were manufactured between 1991 and 1994. The serials have changed their appearance during these years. The serial can either be printed on a separate tag or on the main white sticker with CC logos background.
0_1 chanel authentication release year serial number

1XXXXXX

1989-1991

Chanel 1 series bags were produced from 1980 to 1991. Basically, they looked just as late 0 series codes.
chanel 0 series release year 19860 chanel authentication release year serial number

0XXXXXX

1986-1988

First Chanel handbags with serial numbers were manufactured in 1986 and contained a six-digit serial number printed on white sticker. Then Chanel added a cutout from the left side along with the 0 in the beginning. The serials contained 7 digits since then.

 

Will Chanel Store Authenticate a Bag?

No. Chanel employees are not allowed to render opinions on authenticity of used Chanel purses. It's partly due to the fact that the French company is not interested at all in secondhand market. Their position is quite straightforward: if you want a Chanel bag, go to Chanel store and purchase it.

Thus, Chanel doesn't offer any type of in-house authentication services. At Bagaholic we offer Chanel Bag authentication services.

 

How to Verify Chanel Serial Number

Contrary to popular misconception, a serial number in a bag does not indicate that the handbag is authentic. Counterfeit Chanel items also have serial numbers.

So how do you verify a Chanel serial number then? Is there an online database with all the serial numbers, in which you can check if a serial matches the actual item?

In fact, Chanel is the only one who could potentially compile and maintain such database. However, French luxury brand does not offer this option. Therefore, there is no way to officially check Chanel serial number.

 

 

 

Chanel Serial Numbers and Authenticity Cards

At the same time when date codes were invented the fashion house started making authenticity cards. The unique code on a sticker is always corresponding with the one on the card. They also went through some changes within the years, but the style remained the same.

It's a thick black card of rectangular shape with rounded edges (remind of a credit card and is also not easy to bend). Text is white on both sides and digits of the code are embossed in gold. All letters are visible and clear, no blurring, no uneven edges, no blending with the background. Each card has a golden frame. On fake cards, golden parts are easily peeled off, it can be done with just a nail or coin (like a lottery ticket). A silver circular symbol was added to the right top on the backside in 2005.

If you want more tips on how to spot a fake Chanel bag, check our article on authenticating a Chanel Mini Square or watch our YouTube video.


Want to learn more about luxury item authentication? Check out our article on Louis Vuitton date codes - it provides over 500+ real examples.

With a growing number of counterfeits, every bagaholic should authenticate a bag before purchase, so that an expert checks every single detail of the purse to confirm its authenticity.

With regular minor changes and a tendency for the hologram to peel off, it's really hard to authenticate a Chanel bag yourself. Whenever you have even a slight doubt, it's better to order an expert authentication.

We can help you with this! At Bagaholic, we provide authentication for a $10 fee. If you need to authenticate a Chanel item, please order one of the three types of authentication:

Verbal Authentication $20

  • good when you need a certificate for any reason,

Certificate of Authenticity $40

  • good when you need a certificate for any reason, either to sell the bag with the peace of mind or to return a fake bag to the seller if you purchased a fake
  • includes a permanent certificate on lvbagaholic.com

Certificate of Authenticity with a thorough explanation $75

  • good when you need a certificate and you need to know why the bag is authentic/not authentic for any reason, either to sell the bag with the peace of mind or return a fake bag to the seller if you purchased a fake.
  • includes a permanent certificate on lvbagaholic.com
  • includes an explanation of why the item is fake (detailed pictures and comparisons with an authentic bag, more than 10 pics included)

PLEASE CHOOSE ONE OF THE OPTIONS BELOW

 

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