Since the early 1980s, up until March 2021, Louis Vuitton has included date codes with their bags, small leather goods, and most accessories. These are not considered serial numbers and are not used for the purpose of verifying authenticity. Rather, these are date codes consisting of letters and numbers (or in the case of older bags, simply numbers) that identify the date and location the bag was manufactured. Date codes for hard-sided pieces; however, such as trunks or structured suitcases, typically include more than four digits. The letters in the date code correspond to the country in which the bag was made and the numbers correspond the date. Refer to the handy guide below to help you decipher what your bag’s date code means. This can be particularly helpful when considering purchasing a vintage or used Louis Vuitton bag. Please note, the following is a handbag date code guide, and the information provided below may vary for jewelry pieces, and hardware accessories.
Note that unlike brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton does not include (and has not historically included) authenticity cards with its handbags.
The presence of a date code has traditionally not guaranteed a handbag's authenticity, as counterfeiters are known to simply include date stamps in their fakes. At the same time, if your bag is missing a date code, don’t panic; the absence of a date code does not necessarily mean that the bag is not authentic. As of March 1st, 2021, these have been removed, in favor of microchips embedded discreetly in your LV products. Additionally, on some older models, date code tabs could have fallen off from excessive wear or cleaning, or faded out if debossed into the Alcantara micro-suede fabric.
For models predating the new microchips, Louis Vuitton presents a host of usual options for the context of how the code is presented. These tricks should help you to both locate, and partially authenticate your Louis Vuitton handbags.
- All date codes are typically located within the interior of a bag or small leather good.
- They are directly embossed into the fabric, or they can be embossed or printed—depending on the factory and model—on a rectangular leather tab sewn into an interior seam (this is the most common method).
- Some older models do have the date codes embossed on or somewhere near the handles (i.e. Sac d’Epaule).
- The leather used for the tab will also match the leather trim used for the bag itself. For example, a Monogram coated canvas bag will have a Vachetta tab, whereas a Damier Ebene coated canvas bag will have a brown PVC coated leather tab.
- Usually found inside inside a pocket, either located inside the bag or at the exterior of the bag, the tag will always be sewn into a seam.
- For embossed date codes, they will most likely either be found near the top edge of the bag or near the seam of an interior pocket. Also, for certain models, such as the Speedy, the date code can usually be found embossed on a riveted leather tab underneath the loose interior pocket.
- When printed in lieu of embossed, the method is usually foil stamping. Similar to embossing, the codes are pressed into the material, but with a sheet of colored foil while applying heat
Finally, it be sure to check to see if the country indicated by the two letter factory code (listed below) in your date code matches the "made in" country stamped on the bag. If, for example, your date code includes the letters BC (signifying Italy), yet the bag is stamped "Made in France", it is a sign of a fake.
A0, A1, A2, AA, AAS (Special Order), AH, AN, AR, AS, BA, BJ, BU, CO, CT, CX, DR, DT, DU, ET, FL (also USA), LA (also USA), LM (also Spain), LW, MB, MI, ML, MM, NO, RA, RI, SA (also Italy), SD (also USA), SF, SK, SL, SN, SP, SR, TA, TH, TJ, TN, TR, TS, TY, VI, VX
BC (also Spain), BO, CE, FH (also USA), FO, FP, MA, NZ, OB, PL, RC, RE, SA (also France), TB, TD
BC (also Italy), CA, LO, LB, LM (also France), LW, GI, UB
FC, FH (also Italy), FL (also France), LA (also France), OS, SD (also France), TX
Year manufactured: 2021 - present
Features: As of March 1st 2021, all Louis Vuitton bags or small leather goods manufactured no longer include the LVMH tried and true, physical date codes. In lieu of their hot stamped or debased date codes, microchips have been introduced by the brand primarily to stop counterfeits and help with repairs. LV has been integrating the embedded and non-visible microchips into their items, to be scanned at Louis Vuitton boutiques. Held on a private blockchain accessible only to LVMH, the chips do not reveal any personal information, nor do they compromise the privacy of the customer whatsoever. These chips are encrypted with basic information, such as the product name, materials used, etc, and cannot be copied or modified.
Year manufactured: 2007 - 2021
Features: Two letters followed by four digits. The first two letters represent the factory location. The first and third numbers represent the week of the year, and the second and forth numbers represent the year. For example, date code SD1132 indicates that the bag was made in France or the US in the 13th week (March) of 2012.
Year manufactured: 1990-2006
Features: Two letters followed by four digits. The first two letters represent the factory location. The first and third numbers represent the month and the second and forth numbers represent the year. For example, “AR1004” would indicate that the bag was made in France in October of 2004.
Year manufactured: Early to late 1980s
Features: In the mid-1980s, Louis Vuitton changed their date codes system that would now include letters representing the factory location each bag was manufactured in. Usually three or four digits followed were followed by two letters. In the late 1980s, two letters followed by three or four digits. The first two numbers represent the year, the next number(s) represent(s) the month and the letters represent the country. For example, "FC884" would indicate that the bag was made in the USA in April of 1988.
Year manufactured: Early 1980s
Features: Three or four numbers, no letters. The first two numbers represent the year and the last number(s) represent the month. For example, 823 indicates that the bag was made in March of 1982.
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*Note: Louis Vuitton is an evolving brand, and as such, the above information is not final and absolute, and can change at any moment. This guide is meant for entertainment purposes only. We highly encourage you to get your handbags assessed by professionals, and to only purchase secondhand Louis Vuitton handbags from vendors who provide an authenticity guarantee.
Love that Bag is not affiliated with the Louis Vuitton brands. We guarantee these to be authentic Louis Vuitton handbags represented above. Louis Vuitton is a registered trademark of Louis Vuitton.