Spotting counterfeit or replica Coach bags is difficult. Unfortunately there are no hard and fast rules that apply across the board. One myth is that all authentic Coach bags will have a creed patch with a number on it. This is simply not true. Many of the accessories that Coach makes have no creed or story patch, and as you read in the earlier article, some creed patches didn't have style numbers on them. It's pretty safe to assume that most, if not all, of your totes and larger bags will have a creed patch in them. Swingpacks, wristlets and smaller accessory type bags most likely will not. However, once again, this is not across the board because some of the smaller demi bags will have the creed patch inside. The bottom line is, the presence or lack of a creed patch is NOT an indicator of an authentic or replica bag. Concentrating on the presence of a creed patch in the bag, one now has to know what the numbers and letters stand for. Thjis was also covered in the last article .
There are known fake numbers, much too numerous to list here, if you google you will find several resources that list a large percentage of them. You'll never remember them all, so I'll give you some of the more common clues in creed patch numbers to keep in mind.
Any Coach item that has only 5 or fewer digits in the serial number, and / or is missing the “No” in front of the number, is almost 100 percent certain of being fake. If the creed also says “Made in Korea” it's fake, NO EXCEPTIONS. Every Coach made in or after 1994 will always have at least three digits in the first half of the number including a one or two-number year code in the center position. If there’s just a letter and a number, or only 2 letters and no number, the item is FAKE - no exceptions.
Serial numbers beginning with the letters N thru Z are not valid Coach numbers and are almost always fake. There are a few very rare exceptions for "N" so ask an expert.
A prefix of 3 LETTERS is always fake. Bags made in 2000 will have a 0 so make sure that's what it is and not an O
This is only scratching the surface of counterfeit serial numbers. The counterfeiters have also gotten good at using an authentic serial number, but on a completely different style bag. You can google your style numbers to see if the bags match the one you're questioning, but again, that's not a foolproof method because it might be a popularly replicated bag. And not finding a bag that matches doesn't necessarily mean it's fake either.
One hard and fast rule is that Signature style handbags will not have signature C pattern linings. Coach bags with signature patterns on the outside should have a solid interior lining or a Coach lozenge logo lining, not a C pattern lining. Exceptions to this rule are 2 styles of the signature "wave" patterns that also have a signature C lining. It should be noted that vintage Coach bags did not have linings.
I think that's enough info to get you started. As you can probably see, it's not easy authenticating bags. It takes a lot of time, a lot of knowledge and good resources to fall back on when you need an "expert" to authenticate your bag. One great resource is The Purse Forum the gals there are a wealth of knowledge and expertise.
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