July 07, 2022
THE SELLIER BIBLE TO AUTHENTICATING A CHANEL CLASSIC FLAP. DON’T BE FOOLED BY THE FAKES!
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CHANEL BAG IS AUTHENTIC?
With more counterfeit bags hitting the resale market, now is the time to educate ourselves. The act of authenticating requires years of training and practice, but we at Sellier feel it's essential to share our knowledge and expertise… If we can save you from getting ripped off or buying fake, we consider that a job well done.
STUDY OUR CHANEL BIBLE - AUTHENTICATING A REAL CHANEL BAG
There are very unique ways of authenticating, but here are our top tips and tricks to look out for.
*Please note however Chanel has been around for over 100 years, so there may be differences and variations between the design, model and origin of the pieces. We, therefore, always recommend you purchase directly from Chanel or trusted, credible companies who can guarantee the origin like Sellier! Browse our real Chanel bags.
THE BLACK CHANEL CLASSIC FLAP
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN THE STITCHING?
- An authentic bag should (hopefully) have flawless stitches – no loose threads, bumps or irregularities. However, in our experience, even the genuine bags sometimes have imperfections from use or age.
- The quilting should be precisely aligned and symmetrical throughout the bag.
- The number of stitches per diamond-quilted panel should be between 8 - 11, depending on the year the bag was made. The older the bag, the less stitches, while the newer pieces have slightly more. So get counting!
- If your Black Chanel classic flap is made from stiffer leather, such as Caviar leather, it should feature a stitched edge for more structure. However, if you buy a coloured caviar leather piece often it will feature a non-stitched edge.
- For softer bags made from Lambskin leather, the bag will most likely have a non-stitched edge that gives a fresher, younger look and feel. However, on a lot of vintage models, the lambskin did have a stitched edge - as vintage bags were designed with a more formal look and feel in mind.
ANYTHING I CAN LOOK FOR ON THE TURN STYLE LOCK?
- Firstly the CC logo should be interlocking in a specific way. The right hand C should overlap at the top, and the left hand C should overlap at the bottom.
- Chanel often has a clear stamp on the top of the turn lock. However, the location of the stamp changes. With the long existence of Chanel, you would, of course, expect to find different variations of the stamp. As you can see in the example above, the stamp changes location, as well as the symbol within. Therefore, you can’t rely solely on this technique for authenticating. See variations above - or shop the variations.
- Open the flap and inspect the back of the CC lock; look for flathead (—) screws in the lock plate. If you see 'X' screws, the bag is fake!
IS THE CHAIN A GOOD WAY TO SPOT A FAKE?
Yes - it is an excellent way to detect a fake.
- The Chain should feel heavy and substantial in your hands.
- The chain design was inspired by the keychains carried by the nuns at the orphanage - Coco Chanel attended. It's become a defining feature and must be of the highest quality.
ANY TELL, TELL SIGNS OF A FAKE ON THE INSIDE?
- Take a look at the flap - The Chanel stamp should sit 1.5cm below the quilted C.
- The width of the Cs and the gap between them remains consistent at 0.9cm. The overall width of the logo is 3.3cm.
- What does the inside zipper say? Chanel uses a few variations depending on the model: Lampo, the DMC, the YKK, the eclair zipper, the triple 'C' in a circle, or even an unmarked zipper on very old bags.
- If you see "Made in Paris", you may be thinking you've got the real thing… but unfortunately not. Chanel uses ONLY "France" and "Italy" for its made-in stamping.
- Finally, the CC's logo should perfectly overlap everywhere they are featured in/or on the bag.
IS THE SERIAL NUMBER SIGNIFICANT? HOW CAN YOU TELL IF IT'S A GENUINE CHANEL SERIAL NUMBER?
Of course! It's one of the best ways to detect a fake.
- A real serial sticker will be white with a clear plastic covering, have two CC logos above the text, and show 'X' lines cut into the plastic.
- If your bag is vintage and made between 1984 - 1986, it should have a 6-digit number. Between 1986 - 2004, it should have a 7-digit number. From 2005 to 2021, it should be an 8-digit number. Since 2021 Chanel have done away with the serial stickers. You will still find them on small leather goods but for the bigger pieces, they have been replaced with RFID chips.
- The cut lines are to prevent the sticker from being removed without damage. However, even those have been replicated lately, so it's essential to know your fonts! At Sellier, our authentication team keep a catalogue of the correct fonts for every year as we find that even the super fakes often get these wrong. Screenshot some of the most popular fake serial numbers to look out for.
As always, the team are here for any questions you have! Send us a DM, visit our website or pop down to see us in Knightsbridge or Monaco. Who knows, we may just have your dream Chanel!