What You Need to Know About Serial Numbers for Chanel Bags in 2019

What You Need to Know About Serial Numbers for Chanel Bags in 2019

Chanel’s Classic Flap bag is synonymous with iconic fashion. The bag debuted in the mid-1980s, shortly after legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld joined the brand. With its stately interlocking “CC” turn and close mechanism, clean lines, and fine woven leather straps, the bag was instantaneously popular. 

However, with the growing popularity of the bag came growing concerns about counterfeiting. In order to curtail frauds, Chanel started creating serial numbers for their handbags and accessories starting in 1986. A sign of authenticity, the serial numbers are attached to the interior of a genuine Chanel bag and indicate the year of manufacture. 

(Note: each number is unique to the specific bag and no number is repeated in the Chanel system). 

At the same time, Chanel also started issuing authenticity cards that also displayed the corresponding serial number for each item. Although the cards have changed slightly over the years, they’ve always been black plastic with a gold border and text in white.

If you’re interested to learn more about the authenticity of your favorite, here’s your guide to finding an authentic Chanel bag, from the vintage 1980’s handbags to 2019.

1. The Origin of the Chanel Serial Numbers

The first Chanel serial numbers were printed on white stickers that subtly displayed the iconic interlocking “CC” logo. These early numbers are 7 digits long and printed on a cut-out that is placed on the left side of the white sticker with a slightly opaque film covering the entire sticker. 

In the 1990s, the serial number stickers started to evolve and featured a bolder logo design on the stickers. In this new form, the serial numbers and logos are darker and stand out more.

2. Chanel Serial Numbers Evolve

By the late 1990s, during the time of the serial numbers beginning with the digit 5, Chanel increased their anticounterfeiting efforts by incorporating additional features to the stickers.

In this evolved form, the whiter stickers are now covered with a clear film featuring blue and gold glitter. The serial numbers are printed on holographic stickers in two layers. The bottom layer has the numbers plus an incised “x” mark, making it impossible to remove without destroying the sticker.

The new stickers also contain a vertical gray line running down the left margin and a line that repeats “CHANEL”. There’s also a vertical line of the interlocking “CC” logos running down the right margin.


3. A Chanel Serial Number Chart

If you’re curious about the production year of your piece, you can use the following Chanel serial number chart to help you determine its age:

0xxxxxx 1986-1988

1xxxxxx 1989-1991

2xxxxxx 1991-1994

3xxxxxx 1994-1996

4xxxxxx 1996-1997

5xxxxxx 1997-1999

6xxxxxx 2000-2002

7xxxxxx 2002-2003

8xxxxxx 2003-2004

9xxxxxx 2004-2005

10xxxxxx 2006-2006

11xxxxxx 2008-2008

12xxxxxx 2008-2009

13xxxxxx 2009-2010

14xxxxxx 2011

15xxxxxx 2011-2012

16xxxxxx 2012

17xxxxxx 2012-2013

18xxxxxx 2013-2014

19xxxxxx 2014

20xxxxxx 2014-2015

21xxxxxx 2015-2016

22xxxxxx 2016

23xxxxxx 2016-2017

24xxxxxx 2017-2018

25xxxxxx 2018-2019

26xxxxxx 2019-Present

*Note: although all genuine Chanel items made after 1986 were produced with serial stickers and authenticity cards, these identifying markers can be damaged, removed, or swapped with a counterfeit. So, it’s good to be smart about spotting a potential fake. (See our recent post on “How to Spot Fake Designer Bags in 2019: 7 Smart Tips”)

Did you find this guide helpful? Tell us - what year was your favorite Chanel bag manufactured?

And check out this Chanel Signature Tweed & Lambskin Flap Handbag for 30% off!

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