7. CHANEL SERIAL STICKERS & AUTHENTICITY CARDS


Ever pondered the meaning behind those numbers on your Chanel bag or accessory? Step back in time and discover the complex and ever changing nature of Chanel’s serial stickers.

Serial stickers and authenticity cards help authenticate a Chanel. But bear in mind they can be copied. So the presence of a serial sticker does not automatically signify authenticity. Likewise a missing serial sticker doesn’t mean the bag is a fake as many vintage bags have worn or missing serial stickers.

IT STARTED BACK IN THE 80S

In 1984 Chanel introduced a system which stamped a unique number for each item on an authenticity card and printed the same number on a internal serial sticker inside the item. Serial stickers identify the bag’s model and year. Bags predating this, do not have stickers. The example below shows the serial number 1740524 on a authenticity card and an image of its matching internal serial sticker.

  • 6 digit codes, signify a bag made some time between 1984 and 1986
  • 7 digit codes signify a bag made sometime between 1986 and 2004
  • 8 digit codes signify a bag made from 2005 onwards

At the time of writing Chanel do not made produce bags with serial numbers beyond 8 digits. If you see a bag with 9 digits or more, it’s a fake. This move was likely due to concerns about emerging illegal fake / replica versions hitting the market as well as a way to keep track of stock. Each Chanel bag or accessory has its own unique serial number. There are never two bags with the same number.

chanel-authenticity-card-matching-serial-number

The authenticity card number should match the internal serial sticker number

Some are here, some are there...

Chanel vary the placement of the internal sticker across models of bags and accessories. Some can be a little tricky to find, so don’t give up too quickly if you can’t find one. On the 2.55 bag, the serial sticker should be found, on the bottom left hand corner. Whereas vanity case’s serial stickers are located inside the internal pouch. On other bag styles you’ll find the serial discretely tucked away inside an internal zipped pocket. Over time there have been many changes to the design of the serial sticker. As you’d expect they have become increasingly sophisticated.

IT’S WORN, IS IT FAKE?

Vintage lovers are often naturally concerned if a serial is worn or missing. It’s worth pointing out that it is common to find authentic second hand bags with worn serial stickers. Serial stickers are literally just that, a sticker. Eventually with use, things rub up against the sticker and slowly they start to degrade. You would expect to see wear on a 20+ year old serial sticker wouldn’t you? I’ve seen plenty of well used / abused newer bags with worn or even missing serial stickers. I know the horror what are people putting in their bags!

Similarly a missing serial sticker doesn’t automatically mean the bag is a fake. Bear in mind serial stickers can be forged. Most fake serials are by comparison poorly made, use the wrong typeface, font, spacing (kerning) and in many cases use the wrong numbering system for the style of bag. This guide below will also help you confirm if your bag is authentic. But don’t rely on serial stickers alone to authenticate your Chanel bag. Learn what to look out for when buying a second-hand Chanel bags with our article How to authenticate a Chanel bag.

Genuine but damaged Chanel stickers

Genuine but damaged Chanel stickers

Please note: Chanel have produced a dazzling variety of bags and accessories over many decades. This is not an exhaustive list of every design variation. These following are just our own observations and as such may be incomplete or incorrect. If you spot other designs or anomalies please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you. A big thank you to friends, acquaintances and family for access to their Chanel serial stickers. PS I’ll try to replace with clearer images as time goes on.

 

PRE 0 SERIES CHANEL SERIAL STICKER

Example: 999750 | 0xxxxxx (6 digit number)

We haven’t come across many of these, so it’s difficult to make many observations. Design looks similar to that used in the 1 series. Much more on those below…

  • Serial numbering used a serif font, 1’s should have feet
  • 0s should have no strikethroughs

Pre 0 series Chanel serial sticker

Pre 0 series Chanel serial sticker

 

0 SERIES CHANEL SERIAL STICKERS 1986 – 1988

The serial number begins with a 0, example: 0738064 (7 digit number)

Our observations:

  • Sticker looks to be constructed from:
    • A cut out background layer displaying CC logos
    • A serial number layer
    • A transparent film covering the whole sticker. Please note in our examples the film covering is often worn.
  • The serial number is sometimes printed on a silvery grey sticker, sometimes on a semi transparent layer
  • The 6 CC logos are more or less positioned in the same place across serial stickers, see examples below. This changes in later series stickers.
  • The CC logo colour sometimes changes
  • Serial numbering used a serif font, 1’s should have feet
  • 0s have no strikethroughs

 04 prefix, serial printed on semi transparent layer

04 prefix, serial printed on semi transparent layer

04 prefix, with green CC logos

04 prefix, with green CC logos

04 prefix, perhaps green CC logos was a theme?

04 prefix, perhaps green CC logos was a theme?

0-series-serial-sticker-classic-flap-bag-1986-1988

05 prefix – serial number printed on silvery grey sticker

05 prefix serial number printed on semi transparent layer

05 prefix serial number printed on semi transparent layer

06 prefix serial stickers

06 prefix serial stickers

07 prefix Chanel serial sticker

07 prefix Chanel serial sticker

08 prefix, serial on silvery grey background

08 prefix, serial on silvery grey background

Chanel changed the direction of the serial sticker below with the 09xxxxx prefix.

09 prefix series sticker switches direction

09 prefix series sticker switches direction

09 prefix serial stickers 1986-1988

09 prefix serial stickers 1986-1988

 

1 SERIES SERIAL STICKERS 1989 – 1991

The serial number begins with a 1, example: 1604414 (7 digit number)

Our observations:

  • Again serial numbering used a serif font, 1’s have feet
  • 0s have no strikethrough
  • Again serial number is sometimes printed on a silvery grey sticker, sometimes on a semi transparent layer.
  • From prefix 14:
    • A different serif font is used, 1’s still have feet, but numbering style is different
    • CC logos appear in random locations. This is a printing technique known as a 1/2 drop repeat.

10 prefix serial printed on a silvery grey layer

10 prefix serial printed on a silvery grey layer

11 prefix Chanel serial sticker printed on semi transparent layer

11 prefix Chanel serial sticker printed on semi transparent layer

 11 prefix serial sticker printed on grey layer

11 prefix serial sticker printed on grey layer

 12 prefix Chanel serial sticker

12 prefix Chanel serial sticker

13 prefix Chanel serial sticker

13 prefix Chanel serial sticker

14 prefix serial sticker

14 prefix serial sticker

15 prefix serial sticker with green cc logos

15 prefix serial sticker with green cc logos

16 prefix serial stickers

16 prefix serial stickers

17 prefix serial

17 prefix serial

17 prefix, serial on semi transparent layer

17 prefix, serial on semi transparent layer 17 prefix, serial on semi transparent layer

17 prefix, serial on semi transparent layer

18 prefix, serial on semi transparent layer

18 prefix, serial on semi transparent layer

19 prefix, serial on semi transparent layer

19 prefix, serial on semi transparent layer


2 SERIES SERIAL STICKERS 1991 – 1994

The serial number begins with a 2, example: 2326056 (7 digit number)

20 – 23 PREFIX

  • Early 2 series stickers look similar to the 1 series sticker
  • Font style: serif, 1’s have feet
  • 0s have no strikethrough
  • The CC logos continue to appear in random locations. This is a printing technique known as a 1/2 drop repeat.

Early series 2 sticker

Early series 2 sticker

23 PREFIX SERIAL STICKER

  • A significant design change. The cut-away logo background layer has gone
  • Font style used same as late 1 series, serif, 1’s have feet
  • 0s have no strikethrough

23 prefix serial sticker

23 prefix serial sticker

24 prefix. Note the variation of Chanel logos.

24 prefix. Note the variation of Chanel logos.

26 prefix Chanel serial sticker

26 prefix Chanel serial sticker

 

27-29 PREFIX STICKERS

  • At some point in the 27 series Chanel switch over to a new sticker design
  • More CC logos appear on a new hologram layer background
  • Serial numbers are printed on a separate textured layer
  • Font style changes, san serif used, 1’s have no feet
  • 0s have strikethrough

 early-27-prefix-serial-sticker

Early 27 prefix serial sticker

 

chanel-serial-stickers-2-series-27-prefix

27 prefix Chanel serial sticker

29-prefix-chanel-serial-stickers-1991-1994

29 prefix chanel serial sticker

 

3 SERIES SERIAL STICKERS 1994 – 1996

The serial number begins with a 3, example: 3074463 (7 digit number)

  • Design style continues in same vein from late 2 series
  • Multiple CC logos appear on a new hologram style layer background
  • Serial numbers are printed on a separate textured layer
  • Font style changes, san serif used, 1’s have no feet
  • 0s have strikethrough

Chanel serial sticker 3 series 1994-1996

Chanel serial sticker 3 series 1994-1996

chanel-serial-stickers-3-series-1994-1996-2

32 prefix serial sticker

33 prefix Chanel serial stickers

33 prefix Chanel serial stickers

34 prefix serial stickers

34 prefix serial stickers

35 prefix serial stickers

35 prefix serial stickers

36 prefix serial stickers

36 prefix serial stickers

37 prefix serial stickers

37 prefix serial stickers

38 prefix serial sticker

38 prefix serial sticker

39 prefix serial sticker

39 prefix serial sticker

 

4 SERIES SERIAL STICKERS 1996 – 1997

The serial number begins with a 4, example: 4720558 (7 digit number)

  • Similar to the 3 series sticker
  • Multiple CC logos on hologram style layer background
  • Serial numbers are printed on a separate textured layer
  • Font style, san serif used, 1’s have no feet
  • 0s have strikethrough

 

41-prefix-chanel-serial-sticker

41 prefix serial stickers

42-prefix-chanel-serial-sticker

 42 prefix serial stickers

43-prefix-serial-stickers-1996-1997

43 prefix serial stickers

44-prefix-serial-sticker-2

44 prefix serial stickers

45-prefix-serial-stickers-1996-1997

45 prefix serial stickers

chanel-serial-stickers-4-series-1996-1997

45 prefix with different cc logo layer colour

46 prefix Chanel serial sticker

46 prefix serial stickers

chanel-serial-stickers-4-series-1996-1997

47 prefix serial stickers

48-prefix-serial-stickers-1996-1997-2

48 prefix serial stickers

 

5 SERIES SERIAL STICKERS 1997 – 1999

The serial number begins with a 5, example:5372933 (7 digit number)

50-51 PREFIX

  • Similar to the 4 series sticker
  • Multiple CC logos on hologram style layer background
  • Serial numbers are printed on a separate textured layer
  • Font style, san serif used, 1’s have no feet (tbc)
  • 0s have strikethrough

52-56 PREFIX

0s have no strikethroughs

53 prefix, thicker font style

53 prefix, thicker font style

57 ONWARDS PREFIX

Significant sticker redesign: serial layer with transparent overlapping layers

  • Sophisticated “x cut” across serial sticker layer to prevent removal without damage
  • Now only 2 Chanel logos appear above the serial number
  • Chanel & CC logo is printed vertically on the left side of the sticker
  • Gold speckles appear on the sticker design
  • Font style, san serif used, 1’s have feet
  • 0s have strikethrough

 

57 prefix serial sticker, Chanel text on left side and gold speckles clearly visible

 57 prefix serial sticker, Chanel text on left side and gold speckles clearly visible

 58 prefix serial sticker, x cut, gold speckles, strikethrough on the Ø clearly visible

58 prefix serial sticker, x cut, gold speckles, strikethrough on the Ø clearly visible

 

6 SERIES SERIAL STICKERS 2000 – 2002

The serial number begins with a 6, example: 6469310 (7 digit number)

  • Similar to late 5 series design
  • Sophisticated “x cut” across sticker to prevent removal without damage
  • 2 Chanel logos appear above the serial number
  • Chanel & CC logo now printed vertically on the right side of the sticker
  • Dark thick band sometimes present on left hand side
  • Gold speckles on the sticker design
  • Font style, san serif used, 1’s have feet
  • 0s have strikethrough

60 prefix chanel serial sticker

60 prefix chanel serial sticker

64 prefix serial sticker, Chanel text clearly visible on right side, dark thick band on left side

 64 prefix serial sticker, Chanel text clearly visible on right side, dark thick band on left side

 

7 SERIES SERIAL STICKERS 2002-2003

The serial number begins with a 7, example: 7130196 (7 digit number)

  • Similar to late 6 series design but now with multiple coloured speckles on sticker
  • Serials now printed on various coloured backgrounds, not just white Use of “x cut” continues
  • 2 Chanel logos appear above the serial number
  • Chanel & CC logo printed vertically on the right side of the sticker
  • Dark thick band sometimes present on left hand side
  • Font style, san serif used, 1’s have feet
  • 0s have strikethrough

 71 prefix chanel serial sticker

 71 prefix chanel serial sticker

73 prefix serial stickers, multiple coloured speckles

 73 prefix serial stickers, multiple coloured speckles

74 prefix serial sticker

74 prefix serial sticker

77 prefix serial sticker

77 prefix serial sticker

79 prefix, serial printed on purple background

79 prefix, serial printed on purple background

 

8 SERIES SERIAL STICKERS 2003 – 2004

The serial number begins with a 8, example: 8176357 (7 digit number)

  • Similar to late 7 series design
  • Multiple coloured speckles appear on sticker
  • Serials printed on various coloured backgrounds, not just white
  • Use of “x cut” continues
  • 2 Chanel logos appear above the serial number
  • Chanel & CC logo printed vertically on the right side of the sticker
  • Dark thick band sometimes present on left hand side
  • Font style, san serif used, 1’s have feet
  • 0s have strikethrough

Chanel serial stickers 8 series 2003 2004

Chanel serial stickers 8 series 2003-2004

84 prefix 2003-2004

84 prefix 2003-2004

 

9 SERIES SERIAL STICKERS 2004 – 2005

The serial number begins with a 9, example: 9369198 (7 digit number)

  • Similar to late 8 series design, but now with two “x cuts” (see series 10 image which is clearer)
  • Serials printed on various coloured backgrounds, not just white
  • Multiple coloured speckles appear on sticker
  • 2 Chanel logos appear above the serial number
  • Chanel & CC logo printed vertically on the right side of the sticker
  • Dark thick band sometimes present on left hand side
  • Font style, san serif used, 1’s have feet
  • 0s have strikethrough

Chanel serial stickers 9 series 2004-2005

Chanel serial stickers 9 series 2004-2005

 

10 SERIES SERIAL STICKERS 2005 – 2006

The serial number begins with a 9, example: 9369198 (8 digit number)

  • Similar to late 9 series design Two “x cuts”
  • Multiple coloured speckles appear on sticker
  • 2 Chanel logos appear above the serial number
  • Chanel & CC logo printed vertically on the right side of the sticker
  • Dark thick band sometimes present on left hand side
  • Font style, san serif used, 1’s have feet
  • 0s have strikethrough

Chanel serial stickers 10 series 2005-2006

Chanel serial stickers 10 series 2005-2006

108 prefix Chanel serial sticker

108 prefix Chanel serial sticker

109 prefix chanel serial sticker

109 prefix chanel serial sticker

 

11 SERIES SERIAL STICKERS 2006 – 2008

The serial number begins with a 10, example: 11465075 (8 digit number)

  • Similar to late 10 series design
  • Two “x cuts”
  • Multiple coloured speckles appear on sticker
  • 2 Chanel logos appear above the serial number
  • Chanel & CC logo printed vertically on the right side of the sticker
  • Dark thick band sometimes present on left hand side
  • Font style, san serif used, 1’s have feet
  • 0s have strikethrough

Chanel serial stickers 11 series 2006-2008

Chanel serial stickers 11 series 2006-2008

 

12 SERIES SERIAL STICKERS 2008-2009

The serial number begins with a 12, example: 12011538 (8 digit number)

  • Similar to late 11 series design Two “x cuts”
  • Multiple coloured speckles appear on sticker
  • 2 Chanel logos appear above the serial number
  • Chanel & CC logo printed vertically on the right side of the sticker
  • Dark thick band sometimes present on left hand side
  • Font style, san serif used, 1’s have feet
  • 0s have strikethrough

 120 prefix chanel sticker

 120 prefix chanel sticker

Chanel serial stickers 12 series 2008-2009

 Chanel serial stickers 12 series 2008-2009

 

13 SERIES SERIAL STICKERS 2009 – 2010

The serial number begins with a 13, example: 13265100 (8 digit number)

  • Similar to late 12 series design
  • Two “x cuts”
  • Multiple coloured speckles appear on sticker
  • 2 Chanel logos appear above the serial number
  • Chanel & CC logo printed vertically on the right side of the sticker
  • Dark thick band sometimes present on left hand side
  • Font style, san serif used, 1’s have feet
  • 0s have strikethrough

132 prefix serial stickers 2009-2010

132 prefix serial stickers 2009-2010

 

14 SERIES SERIAL STICKERS 2010 – 2011

The serial number begins with a 13, example: 14235925 (8 digit number)

  • Similar to late 13 series design
  • Two “x cuts”
  • Multiple coloured speckles appear on sticker
  • 2 Chanel logos appear above the serial number
  • Chanel & CC logo printed vertically on the right side of the sticker
  • Dark thick band sometimes present on left hand side
  • Font style, san serif used, 1’s have feet
  • 0s have strikethrough

Chanel serial stickers 14 series 2010-2011

Chanel serial stickers 14 series 2010-2011

 

15 SERIES SERIAL STICKERS 2011

The serial number begins with a 13, example: 15177748 (8 digit number)

  • Similar to late 14 series design
  • Two “x cuts”
  • Multiple coloured speckles appear on sticker
  • 2 Chanel logos appear above the serial number
  • Chanel & CC logo printed vertically on the right side of the sticker
  • Dark thick band sometimes present on left hand side
  • Font style, san serif used, 1’s have feet
  • 0s have strikethrough

Worn 15 series 2011

Worn 15 series 2011

 

16 SERIES SERIAL STICKERS 2012

The serial number begins with a 13, example: 16669645 (8 digit number)

  • Similar to late 15 series design
  • Two “x cuts”
  • Multiple coloured speckles appear on sticker
  • 2 Chanel logos appear above the serial number
  • Chanel & CC logo printed vertically on the right side of the sticker
  • Dark thick band sometimes present on left hand side
  • Font style, san serif used, 1’s have feet
  • 0s have strikethrough

Chanel serial stickers 16 series 2012

Chanel serial stickers 16 series 2012

 

17 SERIES SERIAL STICKERS 2013

The serial number begins with a 17, example: 17714433 (8 digit number)

  • Similar to late 16 series design
  • Two “x cuts”
  • Multiple coloured speckles appear on sticker
  • 2 Chanel logos appear above the serial number
  • Chanel & CC logo printed vertically on the right side of the sticker
  • Dark thick band sometimes present on left hand side
  • Font style, san serif used, 1’s have feet
  • 0s have strikethrough

177 prefix chanel serial sticker

177 prefix chanel serial sticker

179 prefix serial stickers

179 prefix serial stickers

 

AUTHENTICITY CARDS

The card system was introduced the same time as the serial sticker. The serial number on the card should match the serial number inside the bag. Again it’s worth reflecting that of all the features copying authenticity cards is relatively easy. Chanel have never produced cards with a hologram effect. Authentic cards use thick card, coated with plastic and feel a bit like a credit card.

Take a look at the two authenticity cards below, which one do you think is genuine?

chanel-authenticity-card-fake

chanel-authenticity-card-genuine

The card number 1856492 is genuine. The only difference I can see is the replica card has a grey symbol. Chanel added this symbol legitimately from 2005 onwards. Often people mistake this grey symbol thinking it is a fake card. Cards without a grey symbol were made before 2005. As you can see from the example above you can’t always determine authenticity looking at these cards. 

Phew! I hope you have found this interesting and useful. Most fake Chanel bags are fairly easy to spot especially if you work through the points above. However if you have any concerns it is best to consult a professional authenticator.

 

< BRAND STAMPING / EMBOSSING | > NEXT: CHAIN STRAPS