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How To Authenticate a Louis Vuitton Handbag

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How To Authenticate a Louis Vuitton Handbag
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Louis Vuitton handbags (excluding luggage and rare limited edition pieces) do not have serial numbers. Rather, LV handbags have "date codes" stamped either on interior tags or directly on the interior linings. These date codes simply serve to identify the manufacturing location and date for the handbag and not to verify its authenticity. With the exception of early handbags (early 1980s and older), date codes can be found on all LV handbags as well as other items made by the luxury brand (i.e. sunglasses).

Most date codes are a combination of letters and numbers. The letters indicated the country in which the item was made while the numbers indicate the month/year of the production date. The format of the date codes are as follows:

  • Prior to early 1980s. No date codes.
  • Early 1980s. Three or four numbers with the first two numbers representing the year and last number(s) representing the month – i.e. "836" would indicate a manufacturing date of June, 1983.
  • Early to late 1980s. Three or four numbers followed by two letters with the first two numbers representing the year, the next number(s) representing the month and the last two letters representing the country (see right sidebar for factory location codes) – i.e. "874VX" would indicate a manufacturing date of May, 1987 and factory location in France. In the late 1980s, the letters representing the factory location came before the three or four numbers representing the manufacturing date.
  • 1990 to 2006. Two letters followed by four numbers with the first two letters representing the factory location, the first and third numbers representing the month and the second and forth numbers representing the year. For example, “VI1025” would indicate a factory location in France and a manufacturing date of December, 2005.
  • 2007 and newer. Two letters followed by four numbers with the first two letters representing the factory location, the first and third numbers representing the week of the year, and the second and forth numbers representing the year. For example, “VI1025” would indicate a factory location of France and a manufacturing date of the 12 week (or March) of 2005 (see picture).

Note that the fact that an item has a date code does not guarantee that it's authentic since many counterfeit items have date codes. A valid and properly stamped date code is just one many parameters that are checked to guarantee the authenticity of a Louis Vuitton handbag.

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