The Ultimate Guide to Louis Vuitton Date Stamps: History, Formats, and Authentication

Louis Vuitton date stamps are a series of letters and numbers embossed on the brand's leather goods, including bags, small leather goods, and accessories. These stamps indicate the date and location of manufacture, helping collectors and buyers verify the authenticity of their items. Understanding these codes is crucial for navigating the luxury resale market, where counterfeit products can be prevalent.

 

History and Evolution of Louis Vuitton Date Stamps

Vintage Louis Vuitton Date StampVintage Louis Vuitton Date Stamp
Vintage Louis Vuitton Date StampVintage Louis Vuitton Date Stamp
Vintage Louis Vuitton Date StampVintage Louis Vuitton Date Stamp

The history of Louis Vuitton date stamps reflects the brand's commitment to authenticity and combating counterfeiting. Introduced in the early 1980s, these codes have evolved in format and placement, adapting to the brand's growing production and the need for more detailed information.

 

Early 1980s: Introduction of Date Codes

Louis Vuitton began using date codes in the early 1980s to combat the rise of counterfeit items. The initial format was straightforward, consisting of three or four numbers representing the year and month of manufacture.

Early 1980s: Three or four numbers, with the first two digits indicating the year and the remaining digits indicating the month. For example, "836" would signify June 1983

 

Late 1980s: Inclusion of Factory Codes

In the late 1980s, Louis Vuitton added letters to the date codes to represent the factory location where the item was produced. This format included three or four numbers followed by two letters.

Late 1980s: Format of three or four numbers followed by two letters. For instance, "874VX" indicates April 1987, with "VX" representing the factory in France.

 

1990-2006: Standardised Format

From 1990 to 2006, the date code format was standardised to include two letters followed by four numbers. The letters represented the factory location, while the numbers indicated the date.

1990-2006: Two letters followed by four numbers. The first and third numbers represent the month, and the second and fourth numbers represent the year. For example, "VI1025" indicates the item was made in France in December 2005.

 

2007-2021: Weekly Date Codes

In 2007, Louis Vuitton switched to a format where the numbers represented the week and year of manufacture.

2007-2021: Two letters followed by four numbers. The first and third numbers indicate the week of the year, and the second and fourth numbers indicate the year. For example, "SD2057" means the item was made in the USA in the 25th week of 2007.

 

Transition to Microchips in 2021

As of March 1, 2021, Louis Vuitton transitioned from using date codes to embedding microchips in their products. These microchips are discreetly placed within the items and are not visible to the naked eye. They store detailed information about the product, enhancing security and authenticity verification.

 

Locations of Louis Vuitton Date Stamps

The location of Louis Vuitton date stamps varies based on the model and year of the item. Knowing where to look for these stamps can make authentication and dating more efficient. Key locations include:

 

Louis Vuitton Date StampLouis Vuitton Date Stamp

Interior Tags: Commonly found on a rectangular leather tag sewn into an interior seam. This is the most frequent location for date codes in Louis Vuitton bags.

Louis Vuitton Date StampLouis Vuitton Date Stamp

Direct Embossing: Some models feature the date code embossed directly onto the lining or on an inconspicuous part of the bag, such as near the top edge of an interior pocket.

Louis Vuitton Date StampLouis Vuitton Date Stamp

Interior Pockets: Date codes can often be found near the top edges of interior pockets or on a riveted leather tab underneath a loose interior pocket. For certain models, like the Speedy, the date code is embossed on a leather tab sewn into the interior seam.

Specific Examples:

 

Speedy Bags: Date codes are usually found on a leather tab sewn into the seam of the interior pocket.

Neverfull Bags: Date codes can be located on a leather tab inside the interior zip pocket.

Alma Bags: Often found on a leather tab inside the pocket or along the seam.

Keepall Bags: Typically have the date code stamped on the leather tab attached to the handle or inside the bag near the top edge.

 

How to Read Louis Vuitton Date Stamps

Understanding how to read Louis Vuitton date stamps is essential for determining the age and authenticity of an item. Here are the key formats used over the years:

 

Early 1980s: Three or four numbers (e.g., "836" = June 1983).

Late 1980s: Three or four numbers followed by two letters (e.g., "874VX" = April 1987, France).

1990-2006: Two letters followed by four numbers, with month/year coding (e.g., "VI1025" = December 2005, France).

2007-2021: Two letters followed by four numbers, with week/year coding (e.g., "SD2057" = 25th week of 2007, USA).


Country Codes in Louis Vuitton Date Stamps

Each Louis Vuitton date code includes a set of letters that represent the factory location. Here are some examples of country codes:

Louis Vuitton Country Codes
France: A0, A1, A2, AA, AAS (Indicates Special Order), AH, AN, AR, AS, BA, BJ, BU, DK (Specifically For Relined Items), DU, DR, DT, CO, CT, CX, ET, FL (Also United States), LW, MB, MI, NO, RA, RI, SD (Also United States), SA (Also Italy), SF, SL, SN, SP, SR, TJ, TH, TN, TR, TS, VI, VX
Italy: BC, BO, CE, FO, MA, NZ, OB, PL, RC, RE, SA (Also France), TD
Spain: BC, CA, LO, LB, LM, LW, GI, UB
United States: FC, FH, LA, OS, SD (Also France), FL (Also France), TX
Germany: LP, OL
 Switzerland: DI, FA

Noteworthy Irregularities in Louis Vuitton Date Stamps

The French Luggage Company

In the 1970s and early 1980s, The French Luggage Company held a license to manufacture Louis Vuitton products in the United States. These pieces often had unique characteristics, such as different linings and the absence of date codes, making them distinguishable from other Louis Vuitton products.

 

Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue also had a special licensing agreement with Louis Vuitton, allowing them to produce and sell Louis Vuitton items with slight variations. These pieces are rare and highly collectible due to their unique history and limited production.

 

Authenticating Louis Vuitton Products with Date Stamps

Two Louis Vuitton On The Go Tote BagsTwo Louis Vuitton On The Go Tote Bags

While date stamps are a helpful tool for authentication, they are not foolproof. Counterfeit items can replicate date codes, so it is essential to consider other factors in the authentication process. At Xupes, our experts thoroughly inspect all aspects of a Louis Vuitton item, including the craftsmanship, materials, and date code accuracy, to ensure authenticity.

 

The Value of Understanding Louis Vuitton Date Stamps

Knowing how to read and interpret Louis Vuitton date stamps can significantly enhance your ability to authenticate and value these luxury items. This knowledge is particularly valuable in the pre-loved and vintage market, where the authenticity and condition of an item can greatly influence its resale value.

Factors Contributing to Value:

 

Rarity: Limited production runs and specific customisations can make certain items highly desirable.

Condition: Well-preserved items with minimal wear are more valuable.

Historical Significance: Pieces from notable collections or with unique production histories can fetch higher prices.


Xupes and Louis Vuitton Date Stamps

At Xupes, we pride ourselves on offering an exceptional selection of Louis Vuitton items, including vintage and pre-loved pieces. Our team of experts can assist you in sourcing these exclusive items, ensuring you have access to the finest luxury products available. Whether you are looking to purchase a new addition to your collection or seeking to sell a Louis Vuitton item, Xupes provides a trusted and knowledgeable service tailored to your needs.

 

Understanding Louis Vuitton date stamps is essential for authenticating and valuing these iconic luxury items. From their introduction in the early 1980s to the recent transition to microchips, these codes provide valuable insights into the history and authenticity of each piece. By familiarising yourself with the various formats and locations of date codes, you can confidently navigate the vintage and pre-loved market.

At Xupes, we are committed to offering an exceptional selection of Louis Vuitton items and providing expert guidance in sourcing and authenticating these exclusive pieces. Whether you are adding to your collection or seeking to sell, our knowledgeable team is here to assist you every step of the way.