Date and Authenticity Codes

Louis Vuitton

Contrary to popular belief, Louis Vuitton handbags (excluding luggage and rare limited edition pieces) do not have serial numbers. Rather, Louis Vuitton handbags have "date codes" stamped either on interior tags or directly on the interior linings. These date codes simply serve to identify the manufacturing location and date for a Louis Vuitton handbag, not to verify it's authenticity. With the exception of early handbags (early 1980s and older), date codes can be found on all Louis Vuitton handbags and other items made by the luxury brand (e.g. sunglasses).

Most date codes are a combination of letters and numbers. The letters indicated the country in which the item was made while the numbers indicate the month/year of the production date. The format of the date codes are as follows:

  • Prior to early 1980s. No date codes.

  • Early 1980s. Three or four numbers with the first two numbers representing the year and last number(s) representing the month. E.g. "836" would indicate a manufacturing date of June, 1983.

  • Early to late 1980s. Three or four numbers followed by two letters with the first two numbers representing the year, the next number(s) representing the month and the last two letters representing the country (see right sidebar for factory location codes). E.g. "874VX" would indicate a manufacturing date of May, 1987 and factory location in France. Late in the 1980s, the letters representing the factory location came before the three or four numbers representing the manufacturing date.

  • 1990 to 2006. Two letters followed by four numbers with the first two letters representing the factory location, the first and third numbers representing the month and the second and forth numbers representing the year. For example, “VI1025” would indicate a factory location in France and a manufacturing date of December, 2005.

  • 2007 and newer. Two letters followed by four numbers with the first two letters representing the factory location, the first and third numbers representing the week of the year, and the second and forth numbers representing the year. For example, “SD2057” would indicate a factory location of USA and a manufacturing date of the 25 week (or May) of 2007

Keep in mind that the fact that an item has a date code does not guarantee that it's authentic since many counterfeit items have date codes. A valid and properly stamped date code is just one of many parameters that are checked to guarantee the authenticity of a Louis Vuitton handbag.

Date code for Louis Vuitton handbag

Date code embossed on tag inside a Louis Vuitton handbag.

Louis Vuitton Factory Location Codes

France A0, A1, A2, AA, AAS (Special Order), AH, AN, AR, AS, BA, BJ, BU, DR, DU, CO, CT, ET, FL, LW, MB, MI, NO, RA, RI, SD, SF, SL, SN, SP, SR, TH, TR, TS, VI, VX
Germany LP
Italy BC, BO, CE, FO, MA, RC, RE, SA, TD
Spain CA, LO, LB, LM, LW, GI
Switzerland DI, FA
USA FC, FH, LA, OS, SD, FL

 

 Authentic Handbags with No Date Code?

Authentic Louis Vuitton handbags with alcantara linings may have date codes that are very hard to read or have disappeared altogether. This is sometimes the case for older bags or if the bags have had their linings cleaned.

Chanel

Authentic Chanel handbags from the mid 1980s on come with authenticity cards embossed with a serial number (pictured on right). The serial number matches the serial number appearing on a sticker placed somewhere within the handbag’s interior lining. The serial number sticker has Chanel logos and was protected by a clear tape with hologram security feature from approximately 2000-on. The sticker, Chanel logo, and hologram design varied with the manufacturing date:

Serial Number Year Manufactured Style of Numbers Style of Serial Number Sticker Picture of Serial Number Sticker
14XXXXXX 2011 0's have strikethroughs. 1's have small serifs (feet). Eight digit serial number printed on white sticker covered with clear tape with two Chanel logos."X" cut-lines prevent sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on rightright side of the sticker. Dark line appears on left side of sticker. Gold speckles appear throughout sticker.
13XXXXXX 2009 to 2010 0's have strikethroughs. 1's have small serifs (feet). Eight digit serial number printed on white sticker covered with clear tape with two Chanel logos."X" cut-lines prevent sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on rightright side of the sticker. Dark line appears on left side of sticker. Gold speckles appear throughout sticker.
12XXXXXX 2008 to 2009 0's have strikethroughs. 1's have small serifs (feet). Eight digit serial number printed on white sticker covered with clear tape with two Chanel logos."X" cut-lines prevent sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on rightright side of the sticker. Dark line appears on left side of sticker. Gold speckles appear throughout sticker.
11XXXXXX 2006 to 2008 0's have strikethroughs. 1's have small serifs (feet). Eight digit serial number printed on white sticker covered with clear tape with two Chanel logos."X" cut-lines prevent sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on rightright side of the sticker. Dark line appears on left side of sticker. Gold speckles appear throughout sticker.
10XXXXXX 2005 to 2006 0's have strikethroughs. 1's have small serifs (feet). Eight digit serial number printed on white sticker covered with clear tape with two Chanel logos."X" cut-lines prevent sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on rightright side of the sticker. Dark line appears on left side of sticker. Gold speckles appear throughout sticker.
9XXXXXX 2004 to 2005 0's have strikethroughs. 1's have small serifs (feet). Seven digit serial number printed on white sticker covered with clear tape with two Chanel logos."X" cut-lines prevent sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on rightright side of the sticker. Dark line appears on left side of sticker. Gold speckles appear throughout sticker.
8XXXXXX 2003 to 2004 0's have strikethroughs. 1's have small serifs (feet). Seven digit serial number printed on white sticker covered with clear tape with two Chanel logos."X" cut-lines prevent sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on rightright side of the sticker. Dark line appears on left side of sticker. Gold speckles appear throughout sticker.
7XXXXXX 2002 to 2003 0's have strikethroughs. 1's have small serifs (feet). Seven digit serial number printed on white sticker covered with clear tape with two Chanel logos."X" cut-lines prevent sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on rightright side of the sticker. Dark line appears on left side of sticker. Gold speckles appear throughout sticker.
6XXXXXX 2000 to 2002 0's have strikethroughs. 1's have small serifs (feet). Seven digit serial number printed on white sticker covered with clear tape with two Chanel logos."X" cut-lines prevent sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on rightright side of the sticker. Dark line appears on left side of sticker. Gold speckles appear throughout sticker.
5XXXXXX 1997 to 1999 0's have strikethroughs up to 51XXXXX. 0's have no strikethroughs
from 52XXXXX to 56XXXXX. 0's have strikethroughs from 57XXXXX on. 1's have small serifs (feet) from 57XXXXX on.
Seven digit serial number printed on white sticker covered with clear tape with two Chanel logos from 57XXXXX on."X" cut-lines prevent sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on rightright side of the sticker. Dark line appears on left side of sticker. Gold speckles appear throughout sticker.
4XXXXXX 1996 to 1997 0's have strikethroughs. 1's are sans-serifs (no feet). Seven digit serial number printed on white sticker with Chanel logos. Opaque film covers sticker.
3XXXXXX 1994 to 1996 0's have strikethroughs. 1's are sans-serifs (no feet). Seven digit serial number printed on white sticker with Chanel logos. Opaque film covers sticker. 
2XXXXXX 1991 to 1994 0's have no strikethroughs up to 27XXXXXX. 1's have serifs (feet). Seven digit serial number printed on white sticker with Chanel logos. Opaque film covers sticker. 
1XXXXXX 1989 to 1991 0's have no strikethroughs. 1's have serifs (feet). Seven digit serial number printed on white sticker with Chanel logos and left-sided cutout. Opaque film covers sticker. 
0XXXXXX 1986 to 1988 0's have no strikethroughs. 1's have serifs (feet). Seven digit serial number printed on white sticker with Chanel logos and left-sided cutout. Opaque film covers sticker. Note that early serial numbers (starting with a 1 or 2) did not have a leading "0". Therefore, these were six-digit serial numbers. Also, the sticker was larger than the stickers produced later in the series.  

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