[GUIDE] All Hermes Symbols and Stamps (100+ Examples)
Every fashion lover speaks of Hermes fashion house with admiration, because owning an iconic bag is a top dream of every stylish woman. Made of fine leather, handcrafted by several artisans, having a simple but recognizable look, available only in limited numbers, these bags are coveted by all the ardent fashionistas.
Unlike many other brands, Hermes doesn't scream about itself by placing huge logos and proving their bags are real. Manufacturers don't add any tags or authenticity cards. All information about bags is contained in special symbols embossed on leather, and that is called a blind stamp. In this article, we will talk about this significant part of every Hermes bag, reveal what kind of info you can get by reading a stamp, and find where these tiny symbols are located.
Let's get started!
What is A Hermes Blind Stamp?
A code or a serial number is a significant element of each high-end bag, as plenty of people want to make sure they aren't buying a counterfeit. To tell an original Hermes bag from a fake one luxury brands, such as Hermes, have designed their own special code. Without adding extra details to the bag, like leather tags (because every single purse is crafted manually, even stitching is handmade), the brand has created its own way to show the age of a bag and to prove it's an authentic item.
Hermes embosses date codes directly on leather. They are called blind stamps.
- An Hermes blind stamp is a heat stamp in the form of a single letter, sometimes surrounded by a shape, which indicates the year of manufacturing.
It is called a blind stamp because it's hidden somewhere inside the bag and are therefore tricky to find. Usually, the fashion house uses letters in alphabetical order, changing them each year. Later versions of the heat stamp also provide information about craftsmen and have additional letters and numbers.
Why is it so important to have this heat stamp on the bags? Well, Hermes has a strict policy about everything concerning their products, for example, only the team that manufactured a purse has a right to repair it. When a bag is sent for repair the experts can easily identify where and when it was made just looking at the heat stamp.
Such a method makes Hermes bags extremely hard to authenticate, if judging by embossing only. So it's better not to rely on it, but also to examine other features. The brand is not issuing any cards, but if a bag is missing a blind stamp it's definitely a fake. Styles of the blind stamp change every year, so let's take a closer look at its history.
Does Hermes have date codes?
Hermes blind stamps are sometimes called date codes as they directly indicate a year of manufacturing. However, the term 'date code' is mostly used when discussing Louis Vuitton date codes, or other brands that use some kind of codes consisting of letters and digits on their bags.
Do all Hermes bags have blind stamps?
Actually, no. Only leather items from Hermes have blind stamps. For instance, fabric handbags don't have any stamps and instead have a special tag.
Where To Find A Hermes Blind Stamp?
An obvious question that comes to everyone's mind: where do I find this hidden stamp? Hermes keeps changing the location of their blind stamp, and it can be different depending on the model of the bag and the year. One detail that never changes is that it's made on leather items only! That's totally fine to see heat stamp in various places when examining different bags, there are no strict rules for that.
You can look for the blind stamp on the following parts of a Hermes bag:
- Behind a plaque.
- Inside the bag (on the top of the side panel).
- On the reverse side of the closure straps.
- Inside the exterior pocket.
How to Find a Stamp on Hermes Birkin
Use our visual guidance to find the date stamp on your Hermes Birkin bag.
On pre-2015 handbags the blind stamp is located on one of the sangles, or the two narrow leather pieces that are connected by the front lock.
On newer Birkin bags, it's a little more complicated. Generally, you should search for the date code on the inside, on the top of the left side.
It's worth noting, however, that stamps might fade with time. If your bag doesn't seen to have a stamp inside, that doesn't necessarily mean it's counterfeit.
A Comprehensive Guide to Dating Your Hermès Bag
One of the key steps in determining the age of your Hermès bag or authenticating it (mind that it's not the only one!) is finding the blind stamp. Hermès blind stamps (sometimes referred to as date stamps) provide valuable information about the year in which the bag or any other leather item was produced.
Overall, we can highlight the five distinct Hermes eras and the corresponding date stamp formats.
Stage 1: No Stamps (1922-1944)
During the first era, which started with the establishment of the Hermès leather goods department in 1922 and lasted until 1944, Hermès bags did not have any stamps. The introduction of the date stamp system marked the following era.
Stage 2: A One-Letter Blind Stamp (1945-1970)
The second era started in 1945 and saw the introduction of the blind stamps, which consisted of a single letter. This system ran through the entire alphabet and concluded in 1970 after twenty-five years. At that time, most stamps contained just one letter without any other Hermes symbols beside them.
Twenty-five years later the first era came to an end, and Hermes started to think about how to continue the stamping system.
Stage 3: A Letter in a Circle Stamp (1971-1996)
In the third era, Hermes decided to stick to the same letter system, with one modification. They added a circle around the letter. Bags produced between 1971 and 1996 can be identified by the combination of the letter and the surrounding circle shape, although closer to the end of this era, Hermes started to add other symbols next to the letter itself.
Therefore, if you see an encircled letter you can undoubtedly say that a bag was made before 1996. It was the last time when all the letters of the Latin alphabet were used in their correct order without interruptions.
Stage 4: A Letter in a Square Stamp (1997-2014)
The fourth era followed a similar format to the previous two, but this time the enclosed circle was replaced with a perfect square. Bags created between 1997 and 2014 feature a date code with a letter and a surrounding square shape. These bags might only show one circled letter, but it's not surprising to see other symbols close to the blind stamp.
Following traditions in 1997, the design was changed, letters then appeared in a perfect square. This stage ended in 2014 with letter R being the last. After that period, the fashion house invented a brand new way to show their date code.
Stage 5: Streamlined Blind Stamp System (2015-Present)
In the fifth and final era, Hermès adopted a streamlined Blind Stamp system with a date code starting from 2015 onwards. Bags created during this time exhibit a stamp in the format of "L LL 123 LL." The first letter represents the Date Stamp, while the subsequent letters and numbers indicate the Craftsman Stamps. Unlike previous eras, the letters in the Date Stamp are unaccompanied by other stamps from craftsmen who create the bag.
In 2015 Hermes started to add special craftsmen combination placing it next to the date code. Until now, it looks like a line made of letters and numbers, where the initial letter means the year of production and everything else is a code of manufacturers (called craftsmen stamp). Letters again are plain and not surrounded by any shape.
Another interesting feature of this period is that Hermes decided to be unpredictable to impede counterfeiters from copying their codes beforehand. Once they have revolutionized their date stamp system, Hermes didn't start from the beginning of the alphabet, nor did they continue with the next letter after 2014. They have started to mix the letters from the beginning and from the end of the alphabet to be unpredictable.
This was made to get rid of counterfeits, who were ready to flood the market with fake Hermes bags. Skipping S in 2015 and later B in 2018 was a very clever move by the fashion house.
Hermes Date Stamps List By Year: Chart
|2014||R square stamp|
|2013||Q square stamp|
|2012||P square stamp|
|2011||O square stamp|
|2010||N square stamp|
|2009||M square stamp|
|2008||L square stamp|
|2007||K square stamp|
|2006||J square stamp|
|2005||I square stamp|
|2004||H square stamp|
|2003||G square stamp|
|2002||F square stamp|
|2001||E square stamp|
|2000||D square stamp|
|1999||C square stamp|
|1998||B square stamp|
|1997||A square stamp|
|1996||Z circle stamp|
|1995||Y circle stamp||
|1994||X circle stamp|
|1993||W circle stamp|
|1992||V circle stamp|
|1991||U circle stamp|
|1990||T circle stamp|
|1989||S circle stamp|
|1988||R circle stamp|
|1987||Q circle stamp|
|1986||P circle stamp|
|1985||O circle stamp|
|1984||N circle stamp|
|1983||M circle stamp|
|1982||L circle stamp|
|1981||K circle stamp|
|1980||J circle stamp|
|1979||I circle stamp|
|1978||H circle stamp|
|1977||G circle stamp|
|1976||F circle stamp|
|1975||E circle stamp|
|1974||D circle stamp|
|1973||C circle stamp|
|1972||B circle stamp|
|1971||A circle stamp|
|1970||Vintage Z stamp|
|1969||Vintage Y stamp|
|1968||Vintage X stamp|
|1967||Vintage W stamp|
|1966||Vintage V stamp|
|1965||Vintage U stamp|
|1964||Vintage T stamp|
|1963||Vintage S stamp|
|1962||Vintage R stamp|
|1961||Vintage Q stamp|
|1960||Vintage P stamp|
|1959||Vintage O stamp|
|1958||Vintage N stamp|
|1957||Vintage M stamp|
|1956||Vintage L stamp|
|1955||Vintage K stamp|
|1954||Vintage J stamp|
|1953||Vintage I stamp|
|1952||Vintage H stamp|
|1951||Vintage G stamp|
|1950||Vintage F stamp|
|1949||Vintage E stamp|
|1948||Vintage D stamp|
|1947||Vintage C stamp|
|1946||Vintage B stamp|
|1945||Vintage A stamp|
If besides the history of Hermes blind stamps you want to know more about the Hermes fashion house, check our Hermes 101: Everything You Need To Know About Your Favorite Handbag Designer.
Want to upgrade your authentication skills and learn other features to pay attention to while buying a Hermes bag, take a look at our guide on how to spot a fake Birkin.
Need to Authenticate an Hermes Bag?
Keep in mind that the blind stamp alone is not enough to authenticate a Hermes purse. There are many other features that matter. If you plan to buy a pre-loved high-end bag, the best decision is to let a professional take a closer look at the item.
If you need to authenticate an Hermes bag, please order one of the three types of authentication: