Unlocking the world of Hermès, a realm of unparalleled luxury and timeless elegance, begins with the assurance of authenticity. As the pinnacle of luxury handbags, Hermès has captivated the hearts of fashion connoisseurs worldwide. Yet, with the increasing prevalence of counterfeit products, it has become vital for discerning collectors and enthusiasts to possess the knowledge and skills to authenticate an Hermès bag. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricate details and iconic features that distinguish a genuine Hermès bag from its imitations. Equip yourself with the expertise to confidently navigate the realm of Hermès, ensuring that each precious bag in your collection is a true masterpiece.
Checking the Blind Stamp
The blind stamp consists of two elements: a date stamp and a craftsman stamp. The date stamp indicates the year of manufacture and is represented by an alphabetical character. The date stamp is sometimes accompanied by a craftsman stamp, which is represented by a variety of shapes, letters and/or numbers.
If the blind stamp consists of the date stamp without a craftsman stamp, it means that the bag was made from either 1945 to 1970, or from late 2014 onwards. In late 2014, Hermès went back to the model of excluding craftsman stamps on their blind stamps.
If there is a circle craftsman stamp surrounding the date stamp, it shows that the bag was made from 1971 to 1996.
Consistently, if the date stamp is surrounded by a square craftsman stamp, it would mean that the bag was made from 1997 to early 2014.
Each distinct shape has a specific range of time period assigned to it and allows for differentiation between classic models.
The metal hardware on authentic Hermès bags are always plated or finished in a genuine precious metal, typically palladium or gold. On rare bags, you might find brushed gold, rose gold or ruthenium finishes. The hardware on new bags are sealed in plastic. The plaques, or hardware on the sangles of Birkin and Kelly bags are engraved with “HERMÈS-PARIS”.
On gold plated bags, there is a small box after the “PARIS” with tiny writing inside that requires a loupe, a small magnifying glass to read. This box is not present on palladium-plated bags. The font and spacing of this engraving may vary, but counterfeit bags cannot achieve the same lettering as authentic Hermès bags.
The rest of the hardware can also be indicate if a bag is authentic or not. For example, on authentic Birkin and Kelly bags, the feet are secure and cannot rotate or come off. Similarly, the toggle and back plate should also be secure, and the toggle should turn without any resistance.
Finally, the rivets that hold the hardware in place are squared at the top, which is almost impossible to replicate on fake Hermès bags.
Hermès will always stick to using high quality metal hardware that will be visibly heavier than the cheap hardware used in replicated items. If the hardware on your bag seems to be too light, your bag might not be as authentic as you thought it to be.
The original gold plated hardware would feel solid and obviously denser than the cheap alternatives used by replica factories. If the hardware on your bag seems to be too light, your bag might not be as authentic as you thought it to be. The original gold plated hardware would feel solid and obviously denser than the cheap alternatives used by replica factories.
It is always good to inspect the hardware components by holding the bag and feeling the weight of the bag before purchasing it.
Watch Out for the Fonts
Fonts are usually hard to replicate as there are many guidelines to follow through and replica factories tend to look over the guidelines, thus creating a great distinction between the fonts.
In most cases, the unauthentic models usually have rounder and smaller letters as compared to the authentic items with larger and square-like letters which is signature look for Hermès fonts.
Clochette, Cadenas and Keys
Authentic Birkin and Kelly Hermès bags include a clochette, cadenas and keys. The cadenas is engraved with “HERMÈS” on the bottom, matching the other hardware on the bag. The number on the cadenas should also match with the number engraved on the accompanying keys, as they resemble a full set. The keys should be attached with a leather string and fit neatly inside the leather clochette.
On an unauthentic Hermès bag, the cadenas and key may not match the bag’s hardware and will feel lighter in weight as compared to an authentic Hermès’ cadenas and keys. Often, fake Birkin and Kelly bags have keys that do not have a perfect fit with the clochette.
Every original Hermès bag is handmade and hand-stitched individually. Due to the handcrafting, the stitching will not be perfectly symmetrical over the entire bag. All Hermès bags are differently unique in their own ways.
Hermès stitching typically have a slight upward slant and while stitches are singular, there may be some double stitches, notably on the clochette and back of the bag where handles are attached.
Hermès artisans finish the stitching inside the bag under the flap. Imperfections may be present on the bags but that can be the precise indicator that your bags are indeed authentic.
In comparison, fake Hermès bags are typically machine-stitched and have uniformly straight and small stitches. Even hand-stitched counterfeit Hermès bags lack the pattern typical of an authentic bag. If you spot machine perfect stitching, it is more than likely that the bag is fake.
To sum it all up, the ability to authenticate an Hermès bag is an invaluable skill that allows you to confidently navigate the world of luxury handbags. By understanding the meticulous craftsmanship, iconic features, and subtle nuances unique to Hermès, you become a vigilant guardian of authenticity. With each genuine Hermès bag in your collection, you possess not just a timeless fashion statement, but a piece of artistry and heritage. Remember to trust your instincts, thoroughly examine the details, and seek expert guidance when needed. By honing your authentication skills, you can ensure that your Hermès collection remains a treasure trove of authenticity and enduring beauty for years to come.
Here at EcoRing Singapore, our experienced appraisers have dealt with a wide variety of items from various luxury brands. From Prada handbags, to Hermès bag charms, all luxury items are carefully examined before being bought in and sold.
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