Guide to the Hermès special symbol prints


If you have a Hermès handbag, you surely wonder what those little symbols are? Certainly, the Hermès special symbols carry a whole meaning that can help you complete the authentication of your Hermès handbag. These markings provide an understanding about the materials composing the bags, and they can also tell valuable information about them.

When it comes to details and authenticity, the French brand takes pride in creating perfect ways to identify its products as genuine creations, alerting its buyers about any other counterfeits that try to copy the brand’s precise details.

The Hermès special symbols work as a tool to help you identify if your bag is authentic, and they allow you to know exactly what materials your bag is made of. Next, we will show you each of the Hermès special symbols, their location and their meaning, so you can always be alert and examine them if you purchase an exotic skin bag.

  1. What are Hermès special symbols?
  2. Where are Hermès special symbols located?
  3. Which are the Hermès special symbols?
    1. Alligator Mississippiensis (☐)
    2. Crocodile Porosus (^)
    3. Crocodile Niloticus (··)
    4. Varanus Niloticus Lizard (-)
    5. Varanus Salvator Lizard (=)
    6. Horseshoe HSS Custom Handbag
    7. Shooting Star
    8. Sale (S)
  4. Artisan’s special symbols

What are Hermès special symbols?


As we mentioned above, the Hermès special symbols are an authentication system created by the brand to identify the materials in which a bag was made in, they are only reserved for exotic skin handbags, as they are rare and difficult to find, so they must be branded to assess that they are indeed made of natural and genuine materials.

Aside from the common use for special symbols, there are also other symbols that are printed or stamped on the Hermès handbags that refer to the purpose of creation of specific bags, as well as special statuses that they hold.

When it comes to authentication, Hermès also creates other measurements to identify its handbags as genuine, such as the famous date stamps or blind stamps. To learn more about them, follow this link.

Where are the Hermès special symbols located?


All of the Hermès special symbols are printed next to the main printing used to authenticate the Hermès bags. The print reads: “Hermès – Paris – Made in France” and it is located exactly under the closing flap of the Birkin, Kelly and Constance bags, a few millimeters below que top stitches.

The special symbols corresponding to the types of exotic skins are printed to the right of the “Hermès – Paris – Made in France” print, specifically aligned with the “Hermès – Paris” words. On the other hand, the symbols referring to the handbag’s status or that indicate any special information, are printed to the left of the original print.

It must be noted that like the central print, the special symbols are made of the same color as the hardware throughout the handbag, which means that if the bag has gold hardware, the print and symbol will be printed with a golden hue. If a bag has a type of hardware and the print is a different color, it is definitely a fake.

Which are the Hermès special symbols?

Currently there are as many Hermès special symbols as exotic skins available, with the exception of the ostrich skin, and there are also more symbols referring to the handbag’s status. Here we want to give you a detailed guide of each of them, so you can identify them on your handbags.

Alligator Mississippiensis (☐)


The Alligator Mississippiensis skin is one of the most coveted from the Hermès brand, characterized for its wide squared scales with a consecutive pattern. This impressive skin can be found on matte and shiny versions. Both of the Alligator Mississippiensis variations are marked with a symbol of a square (☐) next to the Hermès

Crocodile Porosus (^)


A very attractive exotic pattern, the Crocodile Porosus skin is a signature valuable choice amongst collectors. Distinctive for its impressive, very small squared scales with little pores on them, it is definitely a worthy spectacle to witness. This skin comes in the matte and shiny variations, and both feature a perfect printed symbol representing a caret (^).

Crocodile Niloticus (··)


Very similar to its counterpart, the Crocodile Niloticus skin is easily recognized for slightly bigger squared scales and the lack of the pore at the center. This amazing skin is also available in shiny and matte versions, and it is marked with the symbol of two dots (··), representing its authenticity and mesmerizing beauty.

Varanus Niloticus Lizard (-)


The exotic characteristic of the Varanus Niloticus Lizard skin makes it a favorite and a very valuable luxurious skin. Characterized for its small rounded consecutive scales, the Niloticus Lizard can be found in shiny and matte variations, and it is printed with the symbol of a dash (-) next to the Hermès original printing.

Varanus Salvator Lizard (=)


Maybe one of the most exotic skins offered by the Hermès brand, the Varanus Salvator Lizard is a distinctive lizard pattern, showcasing small rounded scales with natural dark brown color and small beige rings all over the surface. This skin has a very interesting treatment, as the brand leaves it as natural as possible, retaining its original color and pattern, dyed only on very rare occasions. This exotic beauty is marked with a printed equal sign (=) to identify it.

Horseshoe HSS Custom Handbag


Hermès extends a unique and exclusive opportunity to its most dedicated clientele: the chance to personalize their very own handbag. Special orders, also known as HSS (Hermès Horseshoe), are tailor-made creations designed to cater to the customer’s preferences in terms of color, leather, and hardware combinations. These bespoke Hermès bags come in various versions, with some even featuring striking combinations of up to three different colors.

To distinguish these exceptional pieces, Hermès marks them with a distinctive horseshoe symbol. The horseshoe emblem is discreetly placed to the left of the Hermès brand name, closer to the word “Hermès” in the label. This unique marking denotes the handcrafted luxury and individuality of each special order, reflecting the brand’s commitment to delivering personalized excellence to its most valued clients.

Shooting Star


Hermès shooting star-marked handbags are exceptionally uncommon and unique pieces within the brand’s offerings. These bags were exclusively crafted for individual Hermès artisans for their personal use, making them a rare find.

What sets these handbags apart is their distinctive label arrangement, with the words “Hermès” and “Paris” appearing on the same row, followed by “Made in France,” and finally, the shooting star symbol positioned precisely below them. This exclusive marking emphasizes the personalized nature of these Hermès creations, reserved solely for the brand’s skilled craftsmen.

Sale (S)


The enigmatic “S” symbol adorning select Hermès items has remained a source of intrigue among luxury resellers and aficionados. Though widely believed to indicate a discounted purchase, the exact meaning of this symbol has never been officially confirmed by Hermès. Adding to the mystery, the stamp is also bestowed upon Hermès employees, even those who aren’t craftsmen, and may include an additional line of letters or numbers, depending on the specific product.

It’s important to note that the “S” symbol differs from the standard “Hermès – Paris – Made in France” print, as it is stamped into the leather instead, similarly to the date stamps. This distinct marking only deepens the mystique surrounding its significance within the world of Hermès.

Artisan’s special symbols


Hermès artisans, like skilled artists, undergo extensive training to create their renowned luxury products. Much like artists signing their work, these craftsmen leave their distinct marks on each piece, which can take the form of Omega symbols, stars, numbers, and additional letters. These symbols are typically found near the date code and serve the crucial purpose of identifying the specific craftsman responsible for crafting the item. This system helps streamline future repair processes by providing a clear point of contact.

Traditionally, these craftsman symbols were prevalent when date stamps were located on the closure strap of Birkin and Kelly handbags. However, with the evolution of the brand, the date stamps have been relocated to the inside left upper corner of the bags. Consequently, the craftsman symbols have become less common and have been largely replaced by letters that identify the workshop where the craftsman was based.

So, now you know the meaning of the Hermès special symbols?

Now that you have been informed of the different special symbols printed on the Hermès handbags, you can identify yours and be alert to any inconsistencies or scams that may arise online.

To avoid any scams and loss of your investment, we encourage you to only buy from trustworthy sources, such as The Birkin’s and Kelly’s House, a reputable online store that offers you authentic, brand-new Hermès handbags without waiting lists and trouble.

Let us be your link to the beauty of Hermès exclusive handbags, and obtain the one you’re looking for with just one click. Browse our store and find your perfect Hermès bag!

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