The Louis Vuitton Date Code Guide

By Luxe Du Jour
February 7, 2024

How to decipher the year of your Louis Vuitton bag and how to authenticate your Louis Vuitton.

If you’ve just purchased your first Louis Vuitton or are looking into buying your first, Luxe Du Jour wants to take a chance to share more about understanding the brand’s unique date codes stamped or embossed into their goods. It’s a perfect way to know when and where your purchase was made. These codes are made of a combination of letters and numbers which can be found inside printed or embossed into leather tabs or directly on the lining depending on the style of the bag or accessory. 

From the early 1980s until March 2021, Louis Vuitton incorporated date codes into their bags, small leather goods, and most accessories. These codes, comprising letters and numbers (or exclusively numbers in older bags), denote the manufacturing date and location. While not serial numbers, they serve as indicators of production details. Hard-sided pieces, like trunks or structured suitcases, often feature date codes with more than four digits. The letters correspond to the manufacturing country, and the numbers signify the date.

It is crucial to note that Louis Vuitton, unlike some brands such as Chanel, does not provide authenticity cards with its handbags. The absence of a date code or its presence does not unequivocally authenticate or invalidate a handbag, as counterfeiters may include fake date stamps. Since March 1st, 2021, date codes have been replaced with microchips embedded in Louis Vuitton products.

For pre-microchip models, date codes are typically found inside the bag or small leather good, either directly embossed into the fabric or on a rectangular leather tab sewn into an interior seam. The tab’s leather matches the bag’s trim. Some older models may have date codes near the handles. The codes can be embossed near the top edge, seam, or riveted leather tab, depending on the model. Foil stamping may be used for printed codes.

It’s essential to check if the country indicated by the two-letter factory code in the date code matches the “made in” country stamped on the bag. A discrepancy, such as BC (signifying Italy) in the date code while the bag is stamped “Made in France,” suggests a potential fake. This guide proves particularly valuable when assessing vintage or used Louis Vuitton bags.

There was also a point in time that Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus were printed as they had a special license for producing in the United States which would read as: Manufactured in the U.S.A. Under Special License to the French Co. So, you may see vintage finds with this tag as well. 

It’s good to note that these date codes aren’t unique to each item, because it really only indicates when and where. However, this changed in 2021 when microchips entered the picture. 

Louis Vuitton’s move towards RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology is a matter of creating a unique way to identify every product made from March 2021 and on. These identifiers are added into a blockchain headed by Aura Blockchain Global — a true first in the world of luxury goods. 

Blockchain isn’t something brand new necessarily, you’ve heard all about it during the rise of Bitcoin, but it has made its way into the luxury goods sector and rightfully so. The infrastructure gives an extremely high level of transparency, authenticity and remains traceable throughout time of that specific product.

Not sure where to find your microchip? There are apps that can help scan for them: NFC tools and NFC TagInfo seem to be popular amongst bag addicts. 

Below you’ll find a comprehensive table of understanding where and when your Louis Vuitton piece was made:

Let’s take a look at some examples:

Code 834 = April 1983 

Code 8211 = November 1982

Code LM1014 = Spain, November 2004

Code SR4129 = France, 42nd Week 2019 

The date codes provide a unique way to look up the heritage of a piece. It’s a great way to search more about who was the Creative Director that year or when special collaborations came about or if you perhaps have one in your wardrobe and didn’t even know! Some of our favorites to search for are Stephen Sprouse (2001), Takashi Murakami (2002), Richard Prince (2008), Comme Des Garcons (2008), Yayoi Kusama (her first was actually in 2012), and Supreme and Jeff Koons (both in 2017).

Here are examples of Vintage date codes in different formats and fonts but they are all AUTHENTIC.

This date code indicates it was produced in the 4th month of 1983.

For some 1980s and for all bags 1987-1989, the date code will be 3 or 4 numbers followed by 2 letters. The first 2 numbers represent the year and the last 2 numbers represent the month the bag was made. The 2 letters represent the location of where the item was manufactured which can referenced by the guide above.

The date code in the above picture reads 8907 VI. This date code indicates the item was produced in France on the 7th month of 1989.

This Vintage Louis Vuitton Keepall Bandouliere 50 has a date code of TH0934 and the reason we know it’s vintage is because the second number and the last number 94 indicates it is from 1994. The first number and the third number 03 indicates it was produced in the 3rd week of that year 1994. The TH indicates it was manufactured in France.

Another example is this Discontinued Louis Vuitton Palermo with date code VI5009 indicating it was manufactured in France produced on the 50th week of 2009.

Authenticating Louis Vuitton Date codes:

How to tell your Louis Vuitton bag is authentic by looking at the date code.

The simple answer to this is that you can’t determine 100% authenticity just by looking at the date code and just because the date code makes sense and deciphers correctly does not make that Louis Vuitton item authentic. At Luxe Du Jour, we inspect the following to confidently determine an item’s authenticity such as; the alignment, the stitching, the hardware and it’s engravings, the font style, the embossing, the placement, the material, the quality, the hot stamp and as well as the date code. Our authentication experts in house have seen Louis Vuitton bags with correct date codes corresponding with that item however, the bag was counterfeit. Super fakes in the market will tend to learn authentic date codes and use them on their counterfeit bags; this is why the importance of inspecting all aspects of the item is crucial.

An immediate tell tale sign of counterfeit Louis Vuitton item is if the date code is not in the correct format.
Example Date Code: FS0546

Explanation: The reason this date code is an immediate giveaway that the item is not an authentic Louis Vuitton is because FS is not a valid abbreviation code that was ever produced by Louis Vuitton. When deciphered using the second number and the last number this indicates a year ending in 2056 or 1956 which also would not make this a valid date code.

This website is NOT a reputable source to authenticating your Louis Vuitton.

Why? Because it is only acknowledging if the date code is valid and will decipher it for you. It is not inspecting the physical item which is important in making a conclusive determination on authenticity. Counterfeit manufacturers can easily take an authentic date code and mass produce it on multiple counterfeit louis vuitton items. Our experts do not recommend using this Louis Vuitton product code authenticator as a reputable source in authenticating your louis vuitton.

Finding the Date Codes and its location:

Here is where you can find the date code on some of the most popular Louis Vuitton styles. If no date code can be found anywhere on the inside of your Louis Vuitton bag or wallet, there may be two reasons for this. The item could have been manufactured before 1987, or in/after 2021. Or, if the inside lining is of a soft material, the date code can be worn off.

The Louis Vuitton Neverfull date code will be on a leather tab just under the zipper compartment flap on the right side. Newer Louis Vuitton neverfulls from 2021 & newer will not have a visible date code and are NFID hidden within the actual bag lining itself.

The Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis date code will be inside the back zippered pocket on a leather tab right up against the right side when facing the back of the bag.

The Louis Vuitton Toiletry pouch date code will be embossed onto the leather right along the inside edge of the pouch.

The older Louis Vuitton Noe bucket bags will have their date codes embossed on the edges of their strap where it loops and connects to the bag. The newer Louis Vuitton NeoNoe will have their date codes embossed on a leather tab inside the middle zipper pocket.

The Louis Vuitton On the Go tote will have its date code on a leather tab inside on the right of the zipper pocket which you can often pull out. Keeping in mind that newer 2021 models will often be NFID and not have a visible date code embossed or on a leather tab.

The Louis Vuitton speedy nano will have their date codes right under the hot stamp tab which is different from the Louis Vuitton speedy 25,30,35 which will be under the zipper flap on the right.

The Louis Vuitton petite malle will be located on the very edge of the bag along the seam line and can be hard to see as it is a faint embossing of the date code.

The Louis Vuitton Alma is another popular classic that has its date code on a leather tab inside the pocket on the right side.

The Louis Vuitton Judy and older discontinued models with the red suede interior often have their date code faintly embossed on the edge and can be hard to see like the example above that reads TR1112.

Where to authenticate your Louis Vuitton?

Luxe Du Jour authenticates Louis Vuitton only with the item in our possession and only for items we sell as we do not offer the authentication service alone.

There are multiple online authenticators that offer authentication services through detailed close-up photos:

Real Authentication: They have a website and an app and offer authentication beyond just the brand Louis Vuitton.

Pro Authenticators: They only specialize in authenticating Louis Vuitton and can also authenticate NFID (no date code) Louis Vuitton items. They are based solely on messenger and offer a very quick turnaround time

Luxe Du Jour is not sponsored by these authentication services but has close relationships with third-party authenticators.

Did You Know? Fun Fact about Louis Vuitton Date Codes:

Louis Vuitton date codes are mass-produced. They are not unique to one bag and one specific bag only like Chanel and their serial numbers. There could be multiple TH1046 date codes on the same bags as well as other styles.

Looking at adding Louis Vuitton to your closet? Connect with our team of experts to help you find your next dream bag:



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