Why check a date stamp?
Purchasing a genuine Hermes bag is a process which can be difficult – there are a lot of inauthentic bags out there, and the people making those bags are always looking at ways to deceive prospective buyers. Hermes is unusual in that they do not issue certificates of authentication, unlike other leading brands like Chanel. The Hermes use of date stamps is one way to help ensure that the bag you buy is genuine – it should not be used as the only method, but an understanding of how the date stamp works will help you. It is always advisable to use an experienced and trusted reseller of Hermes handbags – Lilac Blue London has years of experience in identifying genuine bags and is always happy to help.
What is the date Stamp and where is it found?
Each bag is marked with a date or blind stamp which are codes embedded in the leather indicating both the year of manufacture and the identity of the artisan who created the bag. Between 1945 and 1971 it was just the letter on its own but from 1971 to 2014 the letters were enclosed either in a circle or a square. These stamps were always located on the back of the closure strap but they can now be found close to the back flap, on the left side.
Stamps denoting exotic leathers
In addition to the date stamp, there are additional symbols to indicate different leathers, for example alligator is an empty square, porosus crocodile is ˄ , nilocitus crocodile is •• , and lizard is —. If you are buying a Special Order bag this will be shown by a Horseshoe stamp next to the Hermes logo on the inside – hence the description HSS on some Special Order bags.
Examples of where to find the date stamp
A pre 2015 Birkin show the location of the stamp on the reverse of the closure strap.
A 2018 Birkin with the stamp now on the inside of the bag.
The exotic skin symbols:
Alligator, Nilo Croc & Lizard
Horseshoe Stamp denoting a Special Order Bag
Hermes date stamps since 1945:
|No Shape||Circle||Square||No Square & inside flap|
|1945 A||1971 A||1997 A||2015 T|
|1946 B||1972 B||1998 B||2016 X|
|1947 C||1973 C||1999 C||2017 A|
|1948 D||1974 D||2000 D||2018 C|
|1949 E||1975 E||2001 E|
|1950 F||1976 F||2002 F|
|1951 G||1977 G||2003 G|
|1952 H||1978 H||2004 H|
|1953 I||1979 I||2005 I|
|1954 J||1980 J||2006 J|
|1955 K||1981 K||2007 K|
|1956 L||1982 L||2008 L|
|1957 M||1983 M||2009 M|
|1958 N||1984 N||2010 N|
|1959 O||1985 O||2011 O|
|1960 P||1986 P||2012 P|
|1961 Q||1987 Q||2013 Q|
|1962 R||1988 R||2014 R|
|1963 S||1989 S|
|1964 T||1990 T|
|1965 U||1991 U|
|1966 V||1992 V|
|1967 W||1993 W|
|1968 X||1994 X|
|1969 Y||1995 Y|
|1970 Z||1996 Z|
If you require any help in understanding the Hermes date stamp, or would like some advice on authenticating a bag, then please get in touch with Lilac Blue London either via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: +44 (0)845 224 8876.
images from Lilac Blue London, Bagsnob, Portero & Bags of Luxury