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HIGHLIGHT

April 24, 2015

By Jody Hume

ASK GRAHAM: WHEN WAS MY CHANEL BAG MADE?

Chanel bags SHOP CHANEL HANDBAGS
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Graham Wetzbarger

In our Ask Graham series, Senior Director of Authentication Graham Wetzbarger shares his in-depth knowledge on designer handbags, telling real from faux and more. Have a question? Email ask@therealreal.com!
Q: I have a Chanel Timeless Flap Bag and I’m wondering if there’s a way to tell just by looking at the bag when it was made?
A: That’s a great question! While the latest Chanel bags are highly coveted, they’re one of few brands whose earlier era designs remain classic throughout the ages. For bags like the Timeless Flap that have been in production for many seasons, it’s nice to know exactly when your bag was made, and there is a simple way to tell. Every Chanel bag has a hologram code on a tag located in the interior lining, which should match up with the bag’s authenticity card.
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This number also corresponds to the year or years in which the bag was produced. In the chart below, you can see which series match up to which years.

Chanel Bag Serial Number Dates

Also, if your Chanel bag still has its original tags, you can see the collection and year indicated by numbers and letters like 04A (Autumn 2004), 10P (Spring 2010), 10C (Cruise 2010), or 00V (for items produced year-round).
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Chanel Timeless CC WOC Bag, hologram code 8217179, from the S/S 2003 collection

For bags like the Timeless Flap which are always in production, these numbers are the way to identify when yours was produced. Of course, certain other styles are well-known for being from a particular season’s runway collection. Especially beginning in the 2000s, we start associating bags with seasons as Karl Lagerfeld’s collections got ever more themed. Whether it’s the Paris-Moscou collection, Paris-Bombay, or Paris-Byzance, these iconic pieces are always coveted. Checking the hologram serial number is a great way to determine that these bags are authentic — the leading numbers of the bag’s hologram serial number should correspond to the year of the runway show it was in.