A GUIDE TO HERMÈS BIRKIN BAG AUTHENTICATION

No handbag has been counterfeited more times than the Hermès Birkin bag.On the market, they can be difficult for a novice to recognize. Hermès’ branding and craftsmanship evolve over the years, making it hard to keep tabs on the growing database of house identifiers. And with every Hermès bag hand-produced, each one is suspect to its own little idiosyncrasies.There’s a theory that many counterfeiters will always intentionally leave a discrepancy, in order to maintain the value of the originals. Whether that’s true or not, there are many subtle codes that betray a poser, even despite its efforts to fit in.

BODY

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– The authentic Hermès Birkin bag can stand upright on its own.

– The handles shouldn’t collapse.

– The clochette will feel substantial, and be crafted from one piece of leather, not two. Its shape will remain quite flat, even with keys placed inside.

– The colour of the leather will correspond to an Hermès colour chart. Hermès have a finite number of shades produced in their tanneries, and a variation from these indicates a fake.

– On inspection of fakes in person, the colour can sometimes feel like a layer sitting atop the leather, like paint. An authentic will have the dye fully imbued into its leather.

STITCHING

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– Stitching will never be crooked or misaligned, yet be mindful that too-perfect stitching can betray machine work as opposed to hand craftsmanship (fake alert).

– Authentic Birkins have a very slight contour indented above the seaming of the top edge of the bag.

– Stitching on the dust bag should have narrow margins.

HEAT STAMP

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– The “Hermès Paris Made in France” logo stamp can be found centered at the top edge of the bag, very close to the stitching.

– Counterfeiters sometimes place the stamp too low.

– They can also miss the grave accent on the second “e” of “Hermès”, or misuse an acute, circumflex or macron accent in its place.

– The Hermès heat stamp is always in a natural, gold or silver colour to correspond to its hardware.

– It is not embossed into the leather. Its textural effect is closer to printing.

– The text is perfectly centered, evenly spaced and lined.

– Each letter is fully formed, not speckled, even on a heavily grained leather.

BLIND STAMP

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– The date of production is indicated by the blind stamp, which features a letter of the alphabet to represent a year. Letters without a shape correspond to the years 1945-70. Letters encased in a circle are circa 1971-96. A square represents 1997 onward. Note that 2015 is stamped with the letter T without an enclosing square, and 2016 editions have an X without a square.

– A code formed of numbers and/or letters is pressed near the blind stamp to indicate its atelier.

– The blind stamp is intended to be a very subtle marking. Many counterfeiters emboss too hard, creating a heavy stamp.

– Note that some Hermès Birkin bags don’t have a blind stamp. Hermès readily accept Birkin bags for servicing without blind stamps.