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How To Distinguish Between an Original Chanel Handbag and a Fake, Replicated, Counterfeited One?

How to distinguish between an original Chanel handbag and a fake, replicated, counterfeited one? How to buy a coveted original Chanel bag with absolute certainty in a ocean of counterfeited products?

The Luxcollector’s manual on how to tell an original Chanel handbag from its many fakes.

Today Chanel is the most iconic brand among fashionistas in the world. Chanel's legendary classic handbag is undoubtedly an investment in style.

The classic Chanel handbag appeared on sale in February 1955 from where it derived its name Chanel 2.55. The handbag came with a “mademoiselle” rectangular clasp and was produced in this form until the mid 80s, when Karl Lagerfeld - a young promising designer - was invited to work at the Chanel fashion house. He updated the version of the classic handbag and came up with a new clasp “two crossed letters CC”, which later became the legendary logo and emblem of the Fashion House.

Chanel mini square flap bag

The legendary accessory is the result of the hard work of the unsurpassed masters of the Fashion House. The technology for creating handbags has not changed for decades. The production process of one handbag takes an average of 18 working hours, which corresponds to 3 working days.


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An original Chanel bag is characterized by its high price. The prices of classic Chanel bags are increasing every year and over the last 7 years their prices have risen by 70%, which pushes various forgers to produce innumerable replicas, fakes, imitations and counterfeits.
Chanel price since 1955 graphic


The classic 2.55 or classic Flap bag has exceeded €5000 and has gone from €4800 to €5150 - an average increase of 7 %. In 2018 the prices of Chanel bags increased 3 times.

How not to get taken for a ride and still get the coveted handbag without a surprise?

The absolute safest thing is to contact the Chanel boutique in your city where you don't run the risk of being confronted with a fake. But... Not everyone can afford to make a purchase due to the high cost of Chanel products.

The only opportunity is to look out for pre-owed, pre-loved handbags.

Remember that no one will give you a Chanel handbag for free, but there are many who want to update their wardrobe and here you can purchase the treasured handbag at a nice price.

Today in the region of 3-4,000 euros you can find an excellent alternative to a new handbag, saving up to 2,000-3,000 euros, depending on the size - medium, jumbo, or maxi.

It is important to find a bag in excellent condition with an original kit.
Today many shops are selling second-hand bags. You can come across reliable websites that sell used bags and guarantee bag authentication where you can find your dream bag.

Today there are a great number of fakes of the highest level whose high quality at first glance seems to be beyond doubt. The most iconic handbag is carefully studied by counterfeiters, and the quality and quantity of fakes is growing every year.
But still, having studied our manual, you can discard a falsified product. Follow our tips in order to distinguish a falsified product from an original one. Please follow our tips and you can purchase a pre-loved product securely.

LuxCollector will dwell in great detail on all the points that can help you when checking your purse for authenticity. There are many signs you may immediately notice if you deal with a fake product. For example, the fonts, the color of the stamp-emblem, the mismatch of the quilted pattern, the mismatch of the serial number on the bag and the card or the holographic effect on the card. In this case, run away from such a seller with such a handbag, cross it out immediately and do not listen to the fables about the origin of the handbag. Do not let yourself be fooled. The rest of the peculiarities are very hard to notice with a non-professional eye, especially if you have never held an original handbag in your hands. We will dwell on all these points in detail with examples.

Stock up with a ruler and patience, carefully read our tips, measure, count, and compare the materials.

Let’s begin. A manual of 10 steps how to distinguish a fake from an original as far as the classic line of Chanel handbags is concerned.

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1. Material

The original classic Chanel handbag is made of exclusively premium quality materials with a quilted diamond pattern, “trapuntata” as the Italians call it.

A classic leather handbag should be made of either smooth Lambskin leather or Caviar leather with a matelassé effect. 

Caviar Leather is characterized by a more matte shine and less gloss. The leather is thicker and more resilient. Please note that in fakes this leather can smell bad and have an unnatural plastic shine.

Lambskin leather - the bag feels smooth and is  shiny and velvety.

A) The diamond firmware drawing has been elaborated by the fashion house to the smallest detail. It’s almost a piece of jewelry. That’s why all diamonds are clearly even, an ideal holistic pattern on the entire surface of leather with no asymmetries.

Do pay special attention to the handbag in a closed form. The diamonds (rhombuses) of the upper flap must match perfectly with the lower part and the back pocket.

B) The diamonds in classic bags always have odd numbers.

The diamonds must be aligned and every diamond is equilateral.

For those who haven’t seen an original handbag with its highest quality of leather, it is very difficult to distinguish between an original and a fake. Here the stitch line comes to your aid. We will consider the stitches and measure the length of the line.


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2. Stitches

Pay special attention to the seams.

A) In classic dark handbags, Chanel never uses a light, contrast thread. This is not valid for the fashion house.

B) The general rule of the quilted Chanel pattern for every 2.54 cm inch is 9 stitches. The stitches are even and are made by sewing machines, so the controllers strictly monitor the quality of each stitch, which cannot be said about imitations.

If a seam is 2.5 cm long and has fewer than 9 stitches in it, this is a sure sign of a fake.

Please take a measuring tape and measure it. 2.54 cm should contain 9 stitches or more. It is important to understand that a diamond itself can be more or less 2.54 cm long and the number of stitches in a diamond itself changes.

For example, in a Chanel mini flap square bag one diamond is 2.45 cm by 2.45 cm and in each there are 9 stitches.

A smaller diamond is 2.35 cm, and as in the Chanel classic quilted Urban Spirit Backpack the number of stitches is 8 stitches.

In a Chanel medium flap bag or in Chanel 2.55, each diamond should have 10 or more stitches.

A Chanel jumbo flap bag has at least 11 stitches in each diamond. Chanel Maxi flap: each diamond must have at least 12 stitches, since the diamond itself increases in size up to 3 cm.

The sewing machines of the Chanel fashion house are specially programmed and a different, smaller number of stitches in 2.54 cm is a clear sign of a fake.

3. The famous “double CC" clasp. Swivel mechanism, turnlock logo latch

A) Please pay attention to how the letters are located on the latch logo. The C on the right at the top of the logo covers the C on the left, and at the bottom the right C is hidden under the left C. It is not otherwise!

If you notice that the right or left letter C completely overlaps the other letter, stay away from such a handbag.

B) Swivel mechanism - the CC logo is located exactly in the center of the bag.

C) The rotary mechanism or a turnlock fastener, as it is called, is made in the form of a double letter CC in the middle of which there is a rotary mechanism, which when opening and closing gives a characteristic click. Hence the latch.

D) The logo of the double letter CC is made of high-quality expensive metal - palladium - with a coating of 24k gold or other metal. The logo has a clear shape of the letters CC without streaks in the bends. The metal is carefully sanded.

Fakes have rough stamping with poor polishing. The letters can have rounded edges, are poorly printed and there are streaks of material.

E) The edges of the letters are flat, even and carefully sanded in an original bag.
F) Open a handbag and study the fastener from its internal side.
The inscription of Chanel is always on the left.
The inscription of Paris is always on the right.
G) The thickness of the letter C at its ends, and at the intersection with the other C should be the same, as in a single C in no case is thinner !!!
Sometimes on the latch emblem you can find a miniature brand name with the information about the country where it was manufactured. 

4. Label with a serial number.

The serial code or hologram was introduced by the Chanel Fashion House in the 80s and is an authenticity code.
The code is usually located inside the bag in the lower left corner.
The sticker is attached in 2 ways:
directly to the leather inside the bag
or applied to the leather tag sewn into the seam.

Until 1999, the label was not covered with a transparent film.
Since 1999, the design of the label has not changed much; the small white sticker with the number is covered with a larger transparent sticker with gold holographic splashes and 2 Chanel emblems on the label.
A) The number on the label is always less than 9 digits - to be precise - 7 or 8. If there are more numbers, this is 100% a fake.
B) The serial year of the bag is encrypted in the serial number.
Up to 9XXXXXX the hologram number contained 7 digits, but starting from 10XXXXXX the hologram number contains 8 digits.
Subtract 4 from the first digit of the number and get the year when the handbag was manufactured.
9XXXXXX-4 = 2005
10XXXXXX-4x = 2006
11XXXXXX-4x = 2007
12XXXXXX-4x = 2008
13XXXXXX-4x = 2009 and so on
Older vintage 5XXXXXX handbag numbers need to be studied carefully. There, the spelling of the digit 0 changes, depending on the second digit of the number.
B) Pay attention to fake, non-existent serial numbers posted on the Internet.
Just enter it in the search engine and compare with the number on your purse.

D) On the label, the line chanel @ chanel @ chanel @ chanel is always on the right.
E) The serial numbers are always written in “Serif”
F) The numbers themselves are black.
G) 2 Chanel emblems in a white circle have a hologram effect.
H) There are gold spots on all stickers.
I) An X-cut line is on all stickers.
Thanks to the X-cut line the sticker is self-destructible in case someone wants to remove it.
Please note that a white sticker with a number may turn yellow over the years. This does not indicate the dubious origin of the handbag, however.

It sometimes happens that the serial number in the purse comes off and the card is lost over time. In this case, no authentication bureau will undertake to claim whether this is an original handbag.
In such rare cases, we resort to handbag authentication through Entrupy. The handbag should be delivered to one of the Entrupy offices, where handbags are checked on their patented micro scanner. Only such guaranteed control and a written certificate can protect against forgery. Link: Entrupy.com

J) The serial number of a bag must always match the serial number of the plastic card.

K) In number 0, always with a slash, with the exception of some numbers starting with 5xxxxxxx.
A 1 with short serifs above and below.


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5. The card

An important element for determining originality was introduced in 1986 - a black plastic card which in weight is equal to the weight of a credit card. On the card, a number is embossed in gold and a gold stripe along the edge of the card is embossed. 1 or 2 white circles can be applied at the top of the card.
A) The number on the card must always correspond to the serial number on the label inside the bag.
B) The number on the card cannot have more than 8 digits.
C) Swipe the card with your fingernail - all the numbers and the golden bar will cling to it, since this is not just a color application.
D) The strip along the edge never has any holographic effect. Rainbow overflows on the card will instantly give away a fake.

E) A white sticker is applied with paint, and not embossed, like the numbers and the golden stripe, then this cannot be touched by a fingernail. 

6. Metallic stamping

The inscription Chanel is inside the bag on the flap or inside under the pocket and it can be located in 2 versions.
1. Chanel is written on the cover, Made in France / Italy on the opposite side of the lining.
2. Made on one side inside the bag.
A) In the bags made from Lambskin there can be 2 options for the location of the inscription, whereas in the bags made from Vitello Caviar there is one single option Made in France / Italy - all on one side.
B) The color of the metallized embossing is the same as the color of the hardware clasp, chain and rings. The name of the printed brand always corresponds to the color of the finishes.
C) In classic Chanel bags with a double lid, on the back of the lid two crossed CCs are embroidered. The overlay of these two CCs is the same as in the emblem clasp. At the top of C, the right one overlaps the C on the left, and in the lower part of C, the right goes under the C on the left. The washed letters are slightly puffy, and not flat as in fakes. And the distance that forms at the intersection of these CCs is always equal to the width of the letter C itself.

D) Chanel embossing is located exactly in the middle at a distance of 1.5 cm from the embroidered CCs from the bottom.

7. Lining.

The Interior of a classic Chanel bag with a single compartment with a double pocket is snug against the inside of the bag.
A) In classic black bags two colors of lining leather are used - black and burgundy.
B) The lining does not come off the bag nor does it form air sacks, but fits snugly on the bag.

lining, interior chanel classic handbag

8. The chain.

The legendary chain in classic flap Chanel bags has a two-link structure with an interwoven black leather strap. The 2.55 and reissue models have only one chain.

The chain is made from expensive palladium metal and in the case when the accessories are yellow, it is coated with 24k gold. The color of the accessories of an original Chanel handbag is not flashy gold, but more of restrained gold.

A) As accessories are expensive, the chain is heavily compared to a fake because counterfeiters save on expensive hardware.
B) The links are filled with a tight leather strap, and there is practically no space between the leather and the chain.
C) The links are tightly aligned.
D) The links in fakes can be with defects, such as metal leaks, badly polished and finished with no precision.

iconic chain of Chanel classic flap bag chain chanel

9. Dust bag

In the 80s and early 90s, the dust bag for storing Chanel bags was white. Later it turned black, made of fairly hard cotton with a white Chanel inscription. The inscription of Chanel is centered. It comes in a saturated white color which does not fade. Over the past couple of years, a white soft boot has appeared with a pattern of a lady in a hat and the signature of Karl Lagerfeld.

dust bag chanel new dust bag Chanel

10. The zip on the inside pocket.

A) On the inside pocket in a fake bag, the most common zipper slider is used. At first glance, you will not notice this; study the photos for comparison.

B) The leather on the zip is thicker in an original bag.

11. Chanel uses zips of either YKK, EPI or with its own Chanel logo.

 Andris Stern


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