Chanel Authenticity Summary

The Vintage Contessa's guide to a Chanel bag's authenticity. A must-read for all fashionistas!

Chanel Authentication Summary*

This summary was written by The Vintage Contessa drawing from 30 plus years of personal and professional experience purveying and selling Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci and other designer handbags and accessories.  The overall summary includes extensive internet research and professional consultation with industry experts.  This document should be used as a reference however is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate. The Vintage Contessa guarantees authenticity of all of our handbags and accessories, however this document alone will not assure authentication from any other source. As with any industry, there are exceptions to every rule and guideline modifications.  Recommendations, modifications or changes are highly encouraged. Please email Info@thevintagecontessa.com.

Chanel Authentication*

  • Leather
    • Lambskin is a smooth and beautiful leather yet will show small dents, scratches, fading and loss of structure at times
    • Caviar leather is much more forgiving and easier to maintain with its dimples in the leather, you are not as likely to see scratching and marks.
    • The lines of a Chanel bag are clean and symmetrical with other lines on the bag.
    • Superior craftsmanship is shown in each bag. Inconsistencies should be a red flag regarding authenticity.
    • The quilting pattern or stitching on every bag is symmetrical. The stitching creating the quilting is equitable and symmetrical on each side of the bag. If a stitch ends in one place on one side of the bag, the stitch will end in the same place on the opposing side of the bag.
    • The thickness of the quilting is consistent from one bag to the next.
    • Most shoulder straps for the double flap bags have leather intertwined with the chain.
    • The Mademoiselle style is strictly a chain or a chain on both sides of leather strip at the top of the straps to add comfort to the shoulder.
    • Types of Leather
      • Lambskin Leather
      • Caviar Leather

Authentic Chanel

Fake Chanel

  • Sizes and Shapes
    • Sizes include and are not limited to:
      • Classic Flap
      • Classic Double Flap
      • Jumbo
      • Re-issue 2.55
    • The "2.55" most accurately refers to Chanel's initial design with a mademoiselle lock and chain straps with no interwoven leather. This was re-released in 2005 as the Reissue. However, the term "2.55" is now loosely used to refer to all flap bags.* 
    • Chanel classic flap retail prices
      • Approximate Retail Prices as of February 1, 2012: 
        Medium/Large - $4400
        Jumbo - $4900
        Maxi - $5300 **
      • Approximate Retail Prices as of June 2011: 
        Mini Mini or "New Mini" - $1900 7" x 2" x 2.5"
        Mini - $2200, 6.5" x 5" x 2.5"
        Small - $3700, 9" x 5.5" x 2"
        Medium / Large - $3900 10" x 6" x 2.5"
        Jumbo - $4300 12" x 8" x 3" 
        Maxi - $4700 13" x 9" x 4"
    • The inside of the first flap should be smooth without wrinkles in the leather.

Authentic Chanel

Fake Chanel
  • Stitching
    • On Lambskin Leather the perimeter of the flap does not have any stitching.
    • Stitching is used on side of the flap only on Chanel Caviar leather.

Authentic Chanel

Fake Chanel

  • Pockets and Detailing
    • The outside edges of the back pocket lines up with the center of the grommet holes on the shoulder straps.
    • The diamond quilting on the pocket of a Chanel lines up perfectly with the stitching on the bag.
    • The top edge of the pocket is in the shape of soft wave, not a flat curve.
Authentic Chanel

Fake Chanel

Stamp and Logo
  • Inside the second flap there is the interlocking CC logo. This particular fake Chanel has too skinny C’s compared to the authentic one.
Authentic Chanel

Fake Chanel

  • The interlocking C’s are consistent every time. The interlocking C’s are supposed to be raised a bit but not excessively.
Authentic Chanel

Fake Chanel
    • The interior Chanel stamp has an R with a circle around it at the end of the name. Most stamps are in gold. However, a stamp does not guarantee authenticity.
  • Hardware
    • The hardware is designed in both a gold tone and silver tone; however the majority of the bags are in a gold tone.
  • Tags and Authenticity Papers
    • The serial numbers appear on the tag on the interior of the bag. Most of the time the tag is near the bottom inside back flap however it may appear in different areas.
    • The serial number on the tag should match the serial number on the authenticity card, however this alone does not guarantee the bag is authentic.
    • The notation on the tag varies depending upon the year.


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