How to tell if a Birkin bag is real?

hermes-birkin-bag-new-in-box

The Birkin handbag rises as the most sought-after and coveted handbag in the world, and amongst the Hermès creations, it is surely the most recognized and famous of them all. With a revaluation score of 500%, this accessory is the favorite for luxury investors and fashionistas alike.

With such fame and acclamation, the Birkin bag is also an easy prey to thousands of counterfeiters worldwide, malicious people that are looking for a profit in an easy way. These experts mimic the perfect appearance of a Birkin handbag and sell it as such, causing losses of thousands of euros to its buyers.

This is why it is increasingly important to demonstrate the authenticity of the luxury bags you buy from non official sources. At The Birkin’s and Kelly’s House we are concerned about these practices, and we want to protect you from a scam while investing in a Birkin bag, this is why we want to provide you with ways in which you can make sure that the product you bought is genuine.

Read on and find out how to tell if a Birkin bag is authentic.

  1. Materials and structure
  2. Interior
  3. Sizes
  4. Hardware
  5. Date stamps
  6. Prints
  7. Packaging
  8. Invoice

Materials and structure

hermes-birkin-bag-gold

The authenticity of a Hermès Birkin bag hinges on careful material inspection. These bags boast top-tier components, including premium natural skins that offer a unique texture, weight, and aroma. To identify a genuine Birkin, it’s crucial to note the leather’s softness and natural feel, accompanied by its characteristic scent, which can differ between pre-owned and new bags. Texture varies based on the leather type, with some calf skins displaying a granulated feel and others a softer touch.

Exotic skins like crocodile Niloticus, crocodile Porosus, and alligator Mississippiensis should have distinct rectangular or square scales, while lizard Varanus Niloticus and lizard Varanus Salvator must feature small, rounded scales. Ostrich skin should feel smooth, rich, and porous.

Considering the Birkin’s natural leather composition, weight serves as a vital clue. Authentic bags have a certain heft, so an unusually light bag is likely a counterfeit.

Pay close attention to the absence of plastic-like qualities in the material’s scent, texture, and appearance, as some counterfeits employ plastic, an immediate giveaway. While thorough material scrutiny can help distinguish many counterfeit Birkin bags, it’s worth noting that exceptionally detailed counterfeits may still pose a challenge to authenticate.

The authentic Birkin bag’s structure is a telltale sign of its genuineness. It exudes perfect proportion and symmetry, boasting a firm yet flexible build that can stand upright independently while retaining a natural softness. This enables the bag to exhibit a subtle sag, primarily in the base area, when laden with contents.

Structure nuances arise based on whether it’s a Sellier or Retourné version. The Birkin Sellier features external stitching, lending it a firmer appearance, while the Birkin Retourné embraces interior stitching and piping, resulting in a softer, slouched aesthetic.

Stitching quality is paramount, characterized by neatness and diagonal linen thread, reflecting the signature saddle stitching technique mastered by Hermès. Stitching mustn’t exhibit loose threads, irregularities, or signs of adhesive use. The bag’s lining, crafted from durable, high-quality materials like goat or lambskin, must undergo flawless stitching, devoid of loose threads or unevenness.

The unique Birkin structure encompasses a three-part flap with handle spaces, two closing straps with hardware plaques, and a turning closure. The “U”-shaped handles maintain an upright posture, distinct from the drooping handles of ordinary bags. The flap’s pivot involves three layers of leather, ensuring durability against repeated opening and closing, thus warranting a thicker top layer.

A rectangular bottom, complemented by four base studs matching the bag’s hardware, is a defining feature. Two leather straps connect the base studs on each side, crafted from the same skin and color as the rest of the bag.

Interior

hermes-birkin-bag-zipper

Verification of a Birkin bag’s authenticity extends to its inner features, with particular attention to its pockets. Inside, two pockets should be present: one at the back panel featuring a zipper, and another at the front panel without a zipper.

The zipper in the back pocket should align seamlessly with the zipper teeth, forming a horizontal configuration. The leather employed for this inner zipper should exude a soft and refined quality, distinct from the rough or thick material often found in counterfeit counterparts.

The leather piece on the zipper mechanism should match the bag’s color and skin, forming a diamond-like shape. When operated, the zipper should glide effortlessly, without snagging or sticking issues.

Sizes

hermes-birkin-bag-gold

Hermès Birkin bags come in four distinct sizes, each identified by the measurement of its base in centimeters: 25, 30, 35, and 40. Precise measurement of the bag’s base is a critical step in the authenticity verification process, as it must align precisely with the size specified by Hermès. A careful double-check of these measurements is essential to confirm the bag’s genuine status as an authentic Hermès Birkin.

Hardware

hermes-birkin-gold-hardware

The hardware components of a Hermès Birkin bag are a pivotal factor in confirming its authenticity. External features like closure straps, zippers, padlocks, keys, and base studs should all exhibit distinctiveness and exceptional quality. Hermès employs plated brass with various materials such as gold, palladium, ruthenium, and permabrass to craft these hardware pieces. It’s vital to note that every individual hardware piece throughout the bag should share the same plating. A meticulous examination of these materials is necessary to avoid acquiring a counterfeit Birkin bag.

Among the hardware elements, the external turning closure holds particular importance. Its authenticity can be verified by its fluid and smooth rotation without any sticking or difficulty. An authentic Birkin bag should exhibit this characteristic in its turning closure.

Two essential hardware components unique to the Birkin bag are the hooks located at the front, just below the closing flap. These hooks serve the purpose of securing the closing straps, enhancing the bag’s structural integrity and durability, especially when it carries substantial contents. These hooks should be made of the same material as the rest of the bag’s hardware.

It’s important to mention that authentic Birkin hardware is designed to maintain its condition even with regular use. Therefore, if you observe rapid and excessive peeling or significant dents on the hardware pieces, there’s a possibility that the Birkin bag is a counterfeit. Additionally, the base studs should provide stability to the bag, preventing it from tipping over and ensuring it stands upright securely.

Examining the padlock of a Hermès Birkin handbag plays a pivotal role in determining its authenticity. The original padlock should be made from the same material as the rest of the hardware, although some Birkins may feature locks covered in matching leather or exotic skin to add a unique touch.

A thorough inspection of the padlock’s base is crucial. Look for the distinct “Hermès” inscription and a meticulously engraved number that corresponds to the key meant to unlock it. Additionally, it’s worth noting that genuine keys should have a substantial weight, as they are crafted from brass plated with precious metals.

The leather key protector, known as the clochette, should maintain a flat profile when the key is placed inside it. If the clochette appears wider or nearly open, it may raise suspicions of being a fake bag.

When verifying the authenticity of a Birkin bag, particular attention should be paid to the engravings on the hardware plaques of the closing straps, typically found on the left strap. These engravings should prominently display the words “Hermès-Paris” at the front of the plaque.

It’s essential to be aware that if the Birkin bag’s hardware is plated in gold, a small square symbol should accompany the words. This symbol serves as confirmation that the hardware is indeed gold-plated, regardless of whether it’s white, yellow, or rose gold. However, if the bag’s hardware features any other plating material, the symbol should be absent.

Date stamps

hermes-birkin-date-stamp

 

Date stamps hold significant importance in the authentication process of Hermès handbags, serving as codes that reveal crucial details about the bag’s origin. Positioned inside the upper left side of the bag, these stamps are heat-stamped onto the leather, and while they must be legible, factors such as the type of skin and the intensity of the bag’s color can sometimes pose challenges to reading them.

The date stamp comprises three letters and three numbers, accompanied by two additional letters below. The initial letter represents the bag’s year of creation, while the subsequent characters represent the serial number of the craftsman and the specific workshop where the handbag was meticulously crafted.

However, Hermès vintage bags manufactured from 1945 to 2016 feature the date stamp on the interior of the left closure strap. Therefore, when encountering a Birkin bag produced before 2016, it’s essential to search for the date stamp on the closure strap rather than the typical location.

For a more complete guide about the Hermès date stamps meaning, click here.

Prints

hermes-birkin-bag-print

Another crucial element in authenticating Hermès handbags is the print, typically found beneath the closing flap on Birkin bags, positioned just a few millimeters below the top seams and above the turning closure. This print plays a vital role in verifying the bag’s authenticity, as it should precisely display the brand’s name in capital letters: “Hermès – Paris – Made in France.” The font used by Hermès is distinctive and recognizable, maintaining a balanced size that is neither too large nor too small. Importantly, the second “e” in “Hermès” must feature the French accent mark.

Furthermore, it is imperative that the print matches the color of the hardware on the Birkin bag. For example, if the bag boasts gold-plated hardware, the print should harmoniously reflect this golden hue.

Beyond serving as mere branding, some Hermès handbags, known for their exclusivity and distinction, incorporate additional symbols within the print. These symbols provide valuable insights into the bag’s characteristics. Often appearing alongside the “Hermès – Paris – Made in France” print, these symbols can indicate the specific exotic skin used in crafting the bag, with distinct variations for each type of skin. Additionally, they represent whether the bag was a custom order tailored to a specific client’s preferences.

Do you want to know which are the Hermès special symbols? Read this guide.

Packaging

hermes-birkin-in-box

Packaging serves as another significant element to consider when verifying the authenticity of a Birkin bag. While not every Birkin acquired from the luxury resale market includes a box and dust bag, it’s crucial to keep an eye out for these components and steer clear of bags that lack them, as they may be counterfeit or potentially stolen.

When inspecting the packaging of a Hermès Birkin bag, focus on the classic orange Hermès box. It should bear a small Hermès logo print on the box’s lid, and its dimensions should comfortably accommodate the Birkin bag’s size. To confirm the authenticity of the box, you can utilize the UV light test. By shining a UV flashlight on the box’s surface, you should be able to discern multiple Hermès logos rendered in invisible ink, though the opacity of these logos may vary from box to box. It must be noted that this feature is only available in newer Birking bags and not vintage ones.

In addition to the orange box, a Birkin is accompanied by a dust bag, which boasts a wide and dense composition and is typically white or light beige in color. This dust bag prominently showcases the Hermès logo—a design featuring a double circle, within which the brand’s iconic “H” stands out. The intricate depiction also includes representations of a horse, a cart, and a standing figure, displaying meticulous attention to detail.

The cord that seals the bag is light brown, and the cord’s slot is notably short, measuring precisely 2 centimeters in width. Furthermore, the Birkin bag includes a pendant or clochette that houses the key and padlock, which, too, comes with a small dust bag designated exclusively for storing these components.

Notably, the packaging for a Birkin bag should also encompass a rain cover specifically tailored to the bag’s size. The exception is the Birkin 25, which does not come with a rain cover.

Invoice

hermes-invoices

The invoice proves to be a vital element in the authentication of a Birkin handbag. This document not only furnishes critical details about the piece, including color, size, hardware, and skin, but also serves as a key reference to cross-verify the date stamp found within the bag. However, it’s worth noting that most Hermès handbags available on the resale market do not include this crucial document.

In conjunction with the invoice, two other definitive elements—namely, the payment receipt and verifiable bank transaction records—play a pivotal role in establishing the absolute authenticity of a Hermès Birkin handbag. These documents collectively provide a record of the transaction, showcasing the date, time, and amount paid, which can serve as corroborating evidence when combined with a physical inspection of the bag.

When dealing with highly sought-after luxury items like Hermès Birkin bags, the attention to authenticity elements is very important. From thorough physical examinations to the scrutiny of official documents, each aspect contributes significantly to the determination of a Birkin’s authenticity.

The genuineness of a luxury product as important as a Birkin bag can provide a significant value to the piece, as authenticity is the only way in which a Hermès product can retain its value and appreciate with time. If a Birkin bag proves to be fake, it is completely useless and it does not have any worth.

This is why, when purchasing a Birkin bag you must opt for reputable sources to make your investment, a trustworthy service that can certify that the products you buy are 100% original and bought from the official store.

At The Birkin’s and Kelly’s House we strive to provide you a secure and trustworthy service, ideal for you to find the exclusive Hermès bags that you’ve been looking for, without waiting lists and struggle. Explore our online store for authentic, brand-new Hermès handbags. The best of all is that we prioritize your peace of mind, so we offer you complete proof of the authenticity of your purchases.

Trust the luxury experts and buy an authentic new Birkin bag!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.