The Louis Vuitton date code is one of the most notable ways to identify an authentic Louis Vuitton.
But without authentication research, it is one of the easiest ways that people make an inaccurate
assumption about a bag. Just because a bag has what appears to be a date code does not mean the
bag is automatically authentic.
One thing you can expect to see when someone replicas a designer Louis Vuitton bag is the inclusion of the stamp and some letters and numbers onto the bag and forge a date code. But what they don’t typically take the time and effort to do is evaluate the information that those sequences of letters and numbers tell you. Or the technique and style in which they are stamped on.
When buying a second-hand Louis Vuitton one of the first things that most savvy shoppers will want to see is an image of the date code. These 9 steps below are what we would recommend for any shopper looking wanting to examine a date code on a pre-owned Louis Vuitton.
10-Step Checklist For Authenticating Louis Vuitton Date Codes
1. Locate The Date Code in the Bag
The first step is to locate the date code in the bag. With date codes being used from the 1980’s – 2021 the location of the stamping can vary greatly. Typically, you will find the date code on the interior of the bag tucked inside or under a pocket flap. If the date code was stamped directly on the microfiber lining you’ll most likely find the stamping along the seam.
Keep in mind continuing to follow the steps is important. When replicating a fake Louis Vuitton adding a date code is simple to do. So to ensure that you are looking at a real Louis Vuitton with a real date code, you’ll want to continue through the steps.
If you are not able to locate the date code continue on to step 6 to better understand why there might be an exception. Just because you can’t locate a date code doesn’t mean the Louis Vuitton item is inauthentic.
Here are some sample images from real Louis Vuitton items and how they were stamped.
2. Read The Date Code
After finding the date code write down its letter number sequence to be used in the next steps. In addition, I like to use an iPhone to photograph the date code as well. When tucked into hard-to-see places the flask and zoom features on an iPhone image can prove useful in checking the stamping details. This is a step we also recommend for checking the hardware.
A Louis Vuitton date code will tell you both the country year and in many cases the week of production
for a piece. While useful in helping determine real versus fake bags it’s intended to help the
company track production inventory, materials, and many other facets of the manufacturing
side of the business that actually have nothing to do with the consumers and replica bags.
We have this quick Louis Vuitton Date Code Checker that will automatically calculate if the date code sequence is authentic or fake.
3. Determine The Country of Origin
The first step when evaluating a date code is to determine what the code is stating is the country and year of origin. Below you’ll find a diagram to guide you through reading your date code to determine the year your Louis Vuitton was produced.
Tracking the country of origin on your Louis Vuitton is done by tracking two simple letters.
Unlike the date of origin, there are many more exceptions to country codes which can consequently
lead to novice mistakes when trying to spot a fake Louis Vuitton date code. While not an
exhausting list, here are the date codes and the country of origin they typically represent a Louis
A0, A1, A2, AA, AH, AN, AR, AS, AX, BA, BJ, BU, CT, CV, DR, DU, ET, FL, GR, IT, LW, MB, MS, MI, NO, RA, RE (also Italy), RI, SA (also Italy), SD (also USA), SF, SL, SN, SP, SR, TA, TH, TJ, TN, TR, TS, VI, V.I.
FC, FH, OS, SD (also France), LA,
CA, CR, GI, LB, LM, LO, LW
BO, CE, FA, FO, RE, MA, NQ, PL, RC, RO, SA (also France), ST, TD, LE
DI, FA (also Italy)
4. Determine The Production Year
When understanding the formula for Louis Vuitton date codes determining the production year is very straightforward. The chart below will help you identify which numbers represent the year that the Louis Vuitton bag was produced. This is helpful because it lets you see if that bag model makes sense for the year the bag was being produced.
For example, if you are looking at a pochette metis bag and the date code shows you the bag was produced in 2005, you’ll quickly know the bag is a counterfeit because the pochette metis was not produced yet in 2005.
Date Codes Pre-1980s:
no date code (tyvek-like tag only)
|Saks Fifth Avenue
no date code (stamp only)
Date Codes in the 1980s:
|3 numbers YYM
832 is February 1983
|4 numbers YYMM
8312 is December 1983
|2 letters 3 numbers LL YYM
TH 831 is January 1983
|3 numbers 2 letters YYM LL
835 TH is May 1983
|2 letters 4 numbers LL YYMM
TH 8312 is December 1983
|4 numbers 2 letters YYMM LL
8310 TH is October 1983
Date Codes in the 1990s:
|2 letters 4 numbers LL MYMY
TH 1920 is December 1990
Date Codes 2007 – 2012
|2 letters 4 numbers LL WYWY
TH 3077 is 37th week of 2007
5. Determine the Production Week
The same chart and formula can be reused to determine the production week of the item you are looking at. Typically slightly less useful and the production year, ensuring that the numbers for the production week on the bag align with an actual calendar make sense.
If you look at a bag with a production week of 63, you’ll know you have a replica because there are not 63 weeks in a year.
6. Understand Exceptions
Although unlikely it’s not impossible for a Louis Vuitton to not have a visible date code.
The two most common causes of a Louis Vuitton having no date code are:
Re-lining – When you completely replace the interior lining of your Louis Vuitton. In some cases,
depending on the style, Louis Vuitton might have concealed the date code inside the new lining.
Most of the time this is not the case but I have seen it done before on specialty bags and challenging
|Re Lined Code
Below is an image of a relined Louis Vuitton interior:
Microfiber Lining – While very unlikely on a 2012 Speedy or brand new Pochette metis, there are
cases where a date code “rubs off” or is no longer visible. These are rare exceptions and are most
commonly seen in bags with microfiber lining. With the code typically stamped directly onto the
microfiber lining, for older pieces, you will find that regular wear does typically rub-down the date
code. In most cases, when you come across a piece with no date code, you’re either not looking
closely enough or are in the presence of a fake Louis Vuitton.
Below is an image of a worn date code on a microfiber lining.
7. Check The Stamping Technique
While counterfeit manufacturers can make a replica damier ebene canvas, the process of creating a
replica stamp for the date code is much more challenging. It requires very expensive molds and castings along with a unique type style, settings, spacing, and alignment that meet a brand standard and important details are often slightly overlooked with replica bags.
The easiest way to understand how this applies to the bag you are examining is a visual comparison to
an authentic bag.
Below are samples of real versus fake stamping of Louis Vuitton date codes.
Real Louis Vuitton Date Code Images
Replica Louis Vuitton Date Code Images
This next step to determine your Louis Vuitton date code authenticity is simple but powerful. Type in the date code into google as follows: “Louis Vuitton (insert your date code)”
Following this step will help you quickly locate other Louis Vuitton bags with the same date code. Meaning they are bags that were produced in the same location within the same week. You’re not going to always get a perfect match but it’s a great shortcut to start comparing other details.
9. Confirm Stamping Location
In these final steps, you’ll want to use the power of the internet to help you locate quality images of authentic Louis Vuitton bags for comparison. When checking for authentic pre-owned Louis Vuitton images I recommend Fashionphile. Their authentication process is flawless and their inventory is extensive. Outside of being a great shopping resource, the image library resource is very useful.
Head to their website and type in the name of the bag you are looking at. You’ll find a robust library with images of real Louis Vuitton bags with detailed images of date codes. This is where you can check the location of your item’s date code stamp location to that of another Louis Vuitton in the same style with a similar production year.
10. Make Your Final Determination
The date code alone can’t tell you if the Louis Vuitton item is authentic but after completing this 9 step process you’ll have a much stronger opinion on if the item is possibly authentic or likely a replica. If you feel like the item is authentic, continue reading more of our free articles to help guide you through an authentication.
The Bottom Line
While these steps are an excellent starting point there are many other details that must be reviewed to truly confirm an item’s authenticity. If you’re ever unsure, you can request an authentication by our Louis Vuitton experts.