Guide to how to identify the year, leather type of your Hermès and more..

Hermès Date Stamp Guide

In the vast universe of fashion, few fashion houses compare in terms of luxury and sophistication to Hermès. This iconic French house, known for its craftsmanship and attention to detail, has produced some of the most desired bags in the world. But how do you distinguish an authentic Hermès masterpiece from an imitation? Here is a detailed guide to help you navigate the world of Hermès symbols and stamps.

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What are Hermès dating stamps?

Hermès dating stamps are much more than just brands. They represent a window in time, telling the story of each individual bag. Hermes date codes are contained in what is called a "blind stamp". The blind stamp is a code that indicates the date of manufacture and can be used to authenticate a bag, as many people do when considering purchasing a used or vintage designer bag, although in itself it is not a guarantee of authenticity. When it comes to investing in a luxury bag like Hermès, knowing these details can make all the difference.

Where can I find the dating stamp?

The location of the stamp may vary, but there is some consistency depending on the model:
- Birkin & Kelly:
Often found on the outer arm or inner panel.
- Constance: On the central interior panel.
- Evelyne & Garden Party: On the back of the strap or on the inside panel.

Hermès: Beyond dating stamps

Did you know that Hermès, in addition to dating codes, uses many other symbols with different meanings? From the sort of exotic leather to a sales stamp, Hermès, known for being one of the most secretive luxury houses, is actually the most transparent when it comes to the production of their products. Unlike many other luxury houses, Hermès informs the customer about the provenance of their exotic leathers in truly elegant ways. This is why Hermès remains the most prestigious luxury house in the world.

Crocodile Porosus ^

Porosus crocodile is known for its extremely refined skin and uniform scales, making it one of the most prized and sought-after materials in the luxury leather goods market. With its natural shine and distinctive texture, it is a true symbol of sophistication and refinement.

Alligator Mississippiensis ☐

Mississippi alligator, known for its regular-sized scales and soft yet durable skin, is one of the most prized exotic skins in the world of luxury fashion. This leather is characterized by a unique texture and a shiny finish.

Crocodile Niloticus ··

The Niloticus Crocodile, native to the rivers and lakes of Africa, is known for its large, shiny scales that offer a distinctive and refined texture. This leather, with its natural shine and softness to the touch, is particularly appreciated for its resistance and durability.

Varanus Niloticus Lizard -

The Varanus Niloticus, or Nile lizard, is known for its thin, scaled skin that features a unique, detailed pattern. This exotic leather, with its finely arranged scales, offers a distinctive texture that is both visually fascinating and pleasant to the touch.

Varanus Salvator Lizard =

The Varanus Salvator, also known as the water monitor lizard, is renowned for its tough, scaly skin. This exotic leather, characterized by well-defined and large scales, offers a luxurious appearance and an unmistakable texture.

Hermès Craftman's Personal

These pieces are made by Hermès artisans for personal use, highlighting the craftsmanship and passion they put into their work. These items are unique and often reflect a customization or variation compared to the standard models, making them even more exclusive. The symbol used to indicate that an Hermès piece was made for the personal use of an artisan is a shooting star.

Hermès HSS: Horseshoe or Custom

This symbol, which features a horseshoe, indicates that the item was custom made for a customer and differs from standard designs in terms of color, hardware or leather. This customization is only available to Hermès VIP customers and represents the pinnacle of exclusivity.

Hermès Sale & Employee Stamp: “S”

This stamp is often used for items that were sold at Hermès private sales or for items that were sold to Hermès employees at a reduced price. Unlike other stamps, the "S" is not necessarily a sign of defects or imperfections, but rather an indicator that the item was sold under special circumstances.

What are the main characteristics to distinguish an original Hermès bag from a fake?

Hermès bags are icons of luxury and style, but, precisely because of their fame, they are also among the most counterfeited in the world. Various leather goods companies try to replicate these masterpieces, producing imitations of varying degrees of similarity. But how to distinguish an Hermès original from a copy? Here are some secrets to recognize the authenticity of an Hermès bag.

  1. The Quality of the Leather and the Workmanship : A real Hermès bag is made of high quality leather, soft and light to the touch. Each bag is hand-sewn by expert craftsmen and requires over 18 hours of workmanship. The trapezoidal shape that narrows towards the handles is another distinctive feature.
  2. The Padlock : Authentic Hermès bags feature a slightly domed padlock on the sides with the name "Hermès" engraved on them. Additionally, there is a number engraved on the bottom of the lock. The keys are fused with the padlock, while in imitations they are often attached with a metal ring.
  3. The Hermès Engraving : Each Hermès bag has a subtle engraving, in gold or silver, that reads: "Hermès Paris Made in France". This engraving is a sign of authenticity. It must be clear, linear and not excessively marked.
  4. The Data Code : This is a crucial detail. Each Hermès bag has a data code, usually a letter, which indicates the year of production. Since 1971, this letter has been enclosed in a geometric shape (a circle or a square). This code can help you trace the year of production and the color palette used in that year.


Bottom line, when it comes to Hermès bags, details matter . Every element, from the quality of the leather to the engraving, speaks to the craftsmanship and attention to detail that makes Hermès one of the most prestigious fashion houses in the world.
Owning an Hermès bag is a true sign of elegance and style . However, with the growing popularity of luxury handbags, it is essential to arm yourself with knowledge. This guide serves as a reference point for anyone looking to invest in an Hermès bag, be sure to review these details carefully to ensure your investment is authentic in true luxury.


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