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Authenticating Louis Vuitton Handbags

Founded in 1854, Louis Vuitton is an insanely famous brand which also makes it the most counterfeited designer label in the world. Initially popular for their revolutionised travel gear, the brand has since come a long way with their different lines of bags and accessories. With the rise of online shopping and pre-owned marketplaces, one needs to be very wary of not falling prey to someone selling them a fake Louis Vuitton handbag. At Luxity, we authenticate hundreds of Louis Vuitton handbags every month, so we thought we’d share a few tips on how you can protect yourself from a scammer.

1) Check the Stitching on Your Louis Vuitton Bag

Check Stitching LV Bag The “newer” Louis Vuitton handbags, like the Alma, Neverfull and Speedy will always have exactly 5 stitches going across the handle tab areas. LV makes use of a linen thread that is strengthened with beeswax, this assists in ensuring that the thickness and colour of the threads remain consistent.

2) Look at The Stamping on The Handbag

The Louis Vuitton stamp can be a very important indicator of whether a bag is fake or not. There are specific features of an LV stamp that you should be on the lookout for.

An original stamp should display the following:

-    The tail on the original LV stamp is always very short. -    The O’s are very round and look bigger than the L. -    The T’s almost touch each other. -    Lettering is thin and crisp. All the fake Louis Vuitton stamps seen below have apparent mistakes like the size of the O, oval O’s instead of round O’s, the width of the imprint and the space between the T’s. Original stamping of Louis Vuitton handbag Fake fake louis vuitton stamping

3) Check the date codes or microchips

If your Louis Vuitton handbag was made between the early 1980s and March 2021, your bags will be stamped with a manufacturer code. These  include two letters for the location where it was made, and four numbers to indicate when it was made. All authentic Louis Vuitton date codes will match the “Made in (country)” heat stamp.

Countries and their date codes:

  • made in France- A0, A1, A2, AA, AAS, AH, AN, AR, AS, BA, BJ, BU, DR, DU, CO, CT, ET, FL, LW, MB, MI, NO, RA, RI, SD, SF, SL, SN, SP, SR, TJ, TH, TR, TS, VI, VX
  • made in Italy- BC, BO, CE, FO, MA, RC, RE, SA, TD
  • made in Spain- CA, GI, LO, LB, LM, LW
  • made in U.S.A.- FC, FH, FL, LA, OS, SD
  • made in Switzerland- DI, FA
  • made in Germany- LP
However, it is important to remember to not judge the authenticity of a Louis Vuitton handbag purely based on the date code. An LV date code does not work the same way as a serial code used to authenticate a Chanel handbag. Some authentic Louis Vuitton handbags may have date codes that are either illegible or have disappeared over time. Furthermore, many fake bags possess a date code tab like the Alma seen below. However, the leather and typeface do not match up as authentic. date codes louis Vuitton

Microchips

If your handbag was manufactured after March 2021 and you cannot find a date code, do not worry (yet). Louis Vuitton now uses microchips embedded into the lining or pockets of the bag. In size, these microchips are millimetre-by-millimetre and just as thin, making it hard to detect. However, these can be scanned through the fabric to verify the authenticity of the bag. ALSO SEE: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LOUIS VUITTON MICROCHIPS

4) Familiarise Yourself with Louis Vuitton styles

It’s always a good idea to check whether the bag you’re about to buy was ever made by Louis Vuitton in the first place. This may sound obvious, but many counterfeiters may try to sell you a Louis Vuitton bag that was never even designed by the brand. It is quite easy to do a search on Louis Vuitton handbags by colour and material if you may not know or remember the name.

5) Take a Look at the Handbag's Hardware

There has been little variation in Louis Vuitton’s hardware since its inception. All Louis Vuitton bags manufactured since 1991 make use of its heritage gold brass hardware with the “LV” logo. Most modern Louis Vuitton bags do not have YKK or branded zippers. However, certain Louis Vuitton shoe models may have branded YKK zippers. Furthermore, all Louis Vuitton hardware tarnishes similarly – Verdigris (green pigment) may appear on older bags. The authentic zipper on the left and counterfeit zipper on the right. hardware of louis vuitton handbag

6) Check the Louis Vuitton materials

From Louis Vuitton’s famous Damier to Monogram to Multicolour, all Louis Vuitton canvasses have distinct characteristics to ensure authenticity. However, there are a few characteristics that remain consistent: Every exterior panel should be symmetrical and centred; for example, the flowers in Monogram should “meet” at the seam and so should the squares on the Damier.

 Monogram Canvas:

Louis Vuitton makes use of one continuous piece of leather that wraps around from the front to back with a seam on the bottom. That’s why bags like a Speedy and Keepall will have an upside-down LV symbol on the backside. With the Monogram canvas, the symbols should be light gold-tan - and not a greenish-tan. Fake Louis Vuitton handbags generally have the Monogram colour wrong.

 Damier Canvas:

The Damier Ebene and Azur canvas should be matte and not shiny. However, several Damier Graphite styles have a light sheen with a smooth finish.

 Multicolour Canvas:

louis Vuitton materials The Louis Vuitton logos on an authentic Multicolour canvas follow a particular pattern. For example: Louis Vuitton Black Multicolour Canvas LV logo order: Row 1: fuchsia, white, green Row 2: dark yellow, dark pink, dark purple Row 3: light blue, dark blue, chartreuse (yellow-green)  Louis Vuitton White Multicoloremul Canvas LV logo order: Row 1: fuchsia, black, green Row 2: dark purple, dark yellow, dark pink Row 3: dark blue, chartreuse, light blue

7) Take Note of The Smell

Authentic Louis Vuitton Handbag smell An authentic Louis Vuitton bag will smell clean and may have a slight leather odour while replica Louis Vuitton’s may smell like chemicals or plastic. Even if an LV bag carries some other smells from use, it’ll never smell like chemicals.

8) Check the Price of the Louis Vuitton Handbag

The Price of Louis Vuitton in South Africa Be wary when shopping on places like Gumtree or eBay. If the price seems like it’s too good to be true then it probably is! Always try to do a little research on the market value of the bag you’re after. An R2,000 Speedy may seem like a great deal, but then it’s also most likely fake, so make sure! The above tips give a general overview of authenticating Louis Vuitton handbags, but it won’t always be enough to authenticate ALL Louis Vuitton. When purchasing Louis Vuitton, it’s always best to go with a trusted source. Finding out the retail prices may be difficult without visiting a store so we put together a guide on Louis Vuitton Prices in South Africa.  Not everyone wants to splurge on a brand-new LV or wants to get their hands on a bag that was a limited edition… and that’s where we at Luxity come to the rescue! All Louis Vuitton items sold by us go through a strict in-house authentication process so you can rest assured that your new beauty is 100% authentic and protected by our authenticity guarantee!
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