Quick Overview of Louis Vuitton Authentication & Date Codes

Louis Vuitton Authenticity

The news of Louis Vuitton's most recent price increase sent shockwaves through the fashion industry and beyond as shoppers and stores alike were left holding the pricier than ever Speedy bag. And now that the dust has settled a bit, and the speculation has been confirmed, many people are wondering what’s next. 

And while the prices still aren’t anywhere near Hermes or Chanel, price increases as high as 37% for some of the most-wanted bags (like the Pochette Accessories) does make many question the future of luxury brands and the impact on the industry. Does this mean we’ll see a rise of the super fakes (extremely good counterfeit bags) or will consumers turn to slightly lesser expensive brands?


One thing’s for sure, Louis Vuitton was a trailblazer in creating designs that made it more difficult for counterfeiters to replicate his bags, trunks, and small leather goods. In 1888, due to the sudden popularity of Louis Vuitton’s trunks, copycats and counterfeiters started to replicate his designs, so he created a beige- and brown-stripe canvas to protect his brand and dissuade fakes. Later as the plagiarism worsened, he was once again forced to create a new design, and in 1888 the Damier pattern was born.

When Louis Vuitton passed in 1892, the brand was passed on to his son, Georges Vuitton, who wanted to expand the company globally to become world renowned. In 1896, Georges created the iconic monogram canvas which was designed in a brownish hue with Louis Vuitton’s initials, diamonds, circles and flowers and printed on coated canvas in tribute to his late father.


We work with experts who have years of experience authenticating Louis Vuitton bags. And if you buy a Louis Vuitton bag from YOLO Luxury Consignment, you’ve got immediate access to some of the industry’s best and most trusted authenticators, but sometimes you need to do a quick check yourself, and one of the quickest and easiest ways to check to see if your bag is real, or just a really good fake, is by comparing the bag’s date codes to our handy chart below.

But first, let’s quickly look at other telltale signs.


All authentic LV bags have a heat stamp that can help with authentication. They used to say “Louis Vuitton Paris” but since the bags are made in many different countries, you might find Italy, America, Spain, and other countries listed there too. On a real LV bag, the L is a lot smaller than the O and the Ts almost look like the touch.


The number of stitches should always mirror one another on the symmetrical parts of the bag and experts are skilled at counting the stitches and using that as a way to tell you if it’s a real bag. Also, the stitching on a monogram bag is always a little on the yellow on the trim and brown on the leather. Always make sure the stitches are straight and even too.

Louis Vuitton Hardware
Always check the hardware, such as the zippers, the zipper pulls, the LV hardware on bags like the Twist, and the D-shaped hardware on the front of the inside pocket on the Neverfull.

Louis Vuitton Leather
Closely examine the leather strips that run along the bag and the handles. Made of Vachetta leather, over time these straps and strips will start to darken and turn into a golden-brown shade. If the leather hasn’t darkened over time, it’s a good indication that the bag is a fake.

Louis Vuitton Date Codes

Since the early 1980s, up until March 2021, Louis Vuitton has included date codes with their bags, small leather goods, and most accessories. Bags created March 1st, 2021, onward now have microchips. These date codes consist of letters and numbers that identify the date and location the bag was manufactured. The letters in the date code correspond to the country in which the bag was made, and the numbers correspond to the date.

Before 1982 Louis Vuitton did not use date codes before 1982.
1982 – Mid 1980s Louis Vuitton began using 3- or 4-digit codes to show the year and month in which the product was made. The first two numbers show the year, and the last two numbers show the month.
Mid – Late 1980s Louis Vuitton began using letters in the date codes which represent the factory. The first two numbers show the year, and the last two numbers show the month, followed by the country.
1990 – 2006 LV moved the country code letters to the front of the date code. The first and third number indicates the month, and the second and fourth represent the year.
2007 – February 2021 Now the week is represented instead of the month of manufacturing. And after the country code letters, the first and third number indicate the week, and the second and fourth numbers indicate the year.

France: A0, A1, A2, AA, AAS (Special Order), AH, AN, AR, AS, BA, BE, BJ, BU, DR, DU, CO, CT, ET, FL, LM (2019 onwards), LA (2019 onwards) LW, MB, MI, NO, RA, RI, SA, SD, SF, SL, SN, SP, SR, TJ, TH, TR, TS, TY, VI, VX
Germany: LP
Italy: BC, BO, CE, FO, MA, PL, RC, RE, SA, TB, TD, NZ
Spain: BC (2015 onwards), CA, JJ (mostly straps), LO, LB, LM, LW, GI, UB
Switzerland: DI, FA

Content and images for this blog post have been referenced from LePrix.

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