There is no single way to tell if a Chanel bag is real fully. To tell if a Chanel bag is real, you have to examine the following features holistically:
- The Leather
- The Stitching/Lining
- The Quilting Pattern
- The Brand Stamp or Logos
- Authenticity Cards
- The CC Lock
- The Chain Straps
- The Bag’s Shape
- The Back of the Lock
- The Zippers
Some counterfeiters are very good, if you don’t examine the Chanel bag holistically, you can be deceived. And that is painful. Nobody wants to spend a fortune purchasing an item that doesn’t match its value.
10 Ways to Tell if a Chanel Bag is Real
Below are proven ways and also double as the features of a Chanel bag to help you tell if a Chanel bag is real.
- Examine the Leather
- Examine the Stitching/Lining
- Examine the Quilting Pattern
- Examining the Brand Stamp or Logos
- Examine the CC Lock
- Authenticity Cards
- Examine the Back of the Lock
- Check out the Bag’s Shape
- Examine the Chain Straps
- Examine the Zippers
Examine the Leather
The first and obvious authentication to carry out is examining the leather. Chanel bags use choice leather for their exterior. One of them is the “lambskin leather” that has an even smooth appearance and feels soft when touched.
Due to the superiority of the quality of the lambskin leather bag, which is extremely soft when touched, you can easily pick out a fake Chanel bag. When you examine the bag and feel the leather to be rough and tough, there are chances that they are fake.
Another exotic leather that Chanel uses for its bags is “caviar skin that is made from pebbled calf leather.” This particular leather is more durable than the lambskin and used in more superior Chanel bags. Also, it has a sparkling appearance and it is very soft when touched.
So anytime you run your hands over a Chanel bag, and it is rough and uneven, or you see some scratches on it, just know that the Chanel bag isn’t a real one.
Examine the Stitching/Lining
Examining the stitching and lining of the Chanel bag is a good premise for authentication, as Chanel uses a lot of stitches in maintaining the bag’s original shape. A real Chanel bag has up to eleven stitches per panel (panel refers to the distance of one side of the diamond shape). However, if the numbers of stitches are low, it is probably a fake Chanel bag.
Also, in a genuine Chanel bag, the lining lies flat against the material without any visible loose, bumps, or unevenness. However, in most fake Chanel bags, due to the inferior nature of leather they use, the lining crease easily and look a bit loose. So a major indicator of a real Chanel bag is that the lining is smooth without any visible form of loose or unevenness.
Examine the Quilting Pattern
The quilting pattern is another good indicator to know whether a Chanel bag is real or fake. To check the quilting pattern, the best place is the back of the bag where the pocket lies. In a real Chanel bag, the stitching maintains the consistent diamond pattern which is lined up perfectly.
However, when purchasing a pre-loved Chanel bag, it is possible that you see wear (stretching of the leather) that has led the lines to appear to be slightly out of place. This is a strong indicator that the Chanel bag is a real one.
Examining the Brand Stamp or Logos
This is another indicator to tell if a Chanel bag is real. Examine the font and quality of the brand stamp on the bag. In real Chanel bags, the front is thicker and is embossed into it.
The positioning of the carved Chanel logo is another great indicator. In a real Chanel bag, the logo sits one and a half centimetres below the quilted C with the width of the C. There is a gap between them which always remain consistent at 0.9cm. The width of a Chanel logo is 3.3cm. Anything more or less than this suggests that the Chanel bag is fake.
Examine the CC Lock
One of the most famous foundational features of the Chanel bags is the CC lock which serves as a good indicator to tell if a Chanel bag is real.
In a real Chanel bag, the 2.55 lock is rectangular and comes without any logo or Chanel stamping. The bags feature both styles of locks. The CC lock feature is designed to be either raised or flat finishes with the right C overlapping the left C located at the top and the left C overlapping the right C located at the bottom. Also, additional metal is placed above the lock.
Also, the lock stem is another feature you should check out. In a real Chanel bag, the lock stems are made from 24K gold which remains durable over the years. Most fake bags have the lock stem plated with inferior gold that peels up after use.
The press studs are another aspect that provides additional evidence of whether a Chanel bag is real or not. Authentic press studs are durable and maintain their shape after, unlike in the fake Chanel bags where their peels feel or fade out.
Please do note that not all authenticity cards are genuine. One of the reliable ways to check for the authenticity of the card is to check how many numbers make up the code. If the bag was made between 1984 and 1986 it will feature 6 digits. If it was made between 1986 and 2004 it will feature 7 digits, while If it is from 2005 onwards it features 8 digits. Chanel bags don’t issue digits above 8, anything more than 8 is fake. Ensure the digits correspond to the time the bag was made.
Examine the Back of the Lock
This can be a confusing indicator to tell whether a Chanel bag is real, but if you can understand it, it will be perfect. Some of the CC locks have stamps, while some don’t have them – it is okay to have and not to have. This is so that you won’t see a Chanel bag without a stamp and begin to fret.
The Stamping varies to where and the style of the bag. If the lock on your bag has a stamp, it indicates that the bag was made in France while Chanel bags made in Italy doesn’t feature a stamp. Examining the stamp will help you attest to whether a marketer is saying the truth or not.
Check out the Bag’s Shape
To tell if a Chanel bag is real, you can observe the bag’s shape. A real Chanel bag has a more square shape against the poorly constructed, boxy, and rounded shape of the fake Chanel bags.
Examine the Chain Straps
One of the top signature features of the Chanel bag is the famous chain and leather straps. In contemporary Chanel bags, the leather straps fold back on themselves and are stitched through each link. While in the vintage Chanel bags, the leather isn’t threaded through the link.
Examine the Zippers
Chanel bags use a variety of zippers, which include:
- Lampo zipper
- The DMC zipper
- EP zipper
- The éclair zipper
- The YKK zipper
- The three Cs in a circle zipper,
- The OPTI DMC zipper,
- No mark zipper (mostly used on vintage Chanel bags).
Do All Chanel Bags Have A Serial Number?
In 1984, Chanel started using date codes and it is still in use up to now. Every Chanel bag comes with an authenticity card and a sticker containing a serial number. However, some vintage Chanel bags may come without a card or sticker bearing the serial number.
Are All Chanel Bags Stamped?
Yes, all Chanel bags are stamped (the brand name Chanel) on the lining. In a real Chanel bag, the color of the brand stamp perfectly matches the color of the bag’s exterior.
If you aren’t good at observing a bag, you can consult a credible authenticator to authenticate the bag before purchasing it. Also, buy your Chanel bags from only approved stores to greatly minimize the chance of you being deceived.