LOUIS VUITTON AUTHENTICITY

Beginning in the early 1980s Louis Vuitton began stamping the handbags and accessories they produced.  These stamps are called date stamps and, depending on when the item was made, can tell us what country the item was produced in as well as the year, down to the week.

The stamps, excluding some produced in the early ‘80s, come with a combination of both numbers and letters.  The two letters either at the beginning or end of the stamp represent the country of production.  Louis Vuitton produces their items in six different countries: France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and the US.  Each factory location has its own unique combination of letters that they use in the date stamp.  Matching the letters to the country is one way of the ways the authenticators at ASC check that the item being sold is an original. 

From the early 1980s-1990 the numbers on the date stamps represented the month and year the item was produced.  In the early 1980s the stamps only consisted of three or four numbers and did not have letters to represent the country.  On these stamps the first two numbers represent the year, and the last one or two represent the month.  For example a code that reads 8311 means that the bag was produced in November, 1983.  Starting in the early and ending in the late 1980s, the stamps began using letters.  Initially the letters came after the numbers but that changed in the late ‘80s when the letters were moved to be in front of the numbers.  The two letters at either the front or end of the code represented the country of manufacture.

From 1990-2006 the codes still represented the country, month and year of production but they are just read differently.  The first and third number represented the month and the second and fourth number represented the year.  For example the stamp “SD0964” reads as being produced in June, 1994 in France. 

Starting in 2007 and until now, the numbers are read to represent the week and year the item was made.  The first and third numbers now represent the week made.  For example the stamp “SD0269” reads as being produced in the sixth week of the year, or second week of February in 2009.

Date stamps can be stamped on leather tabs inside the bag, or stamped on the interior.  Some are easier to spot and find then others.  They can be especially difficult to read when they are stamped on LV’s suede like alcantara lining since this material wears more easily and the code can essentially rub off.  Although ASC authenticators do consider the date stamp when looking at LV pieces, the presence of the date stamp does not necessarily mean that the item is authentic.   

 

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