Our guide to Louis Vuitton Date Codes. Here's how to read your Louis Vuitton Date Code and determine what country and year was it manufactured. With the circulation of knockoff designer handbags and the growing business of selling pre-owned handbags, you want to be assured that you’re getting an authentic handbag. Louis Vuitton handbags have a series of numbers and letters, called Date Codes, that can tell you when and where that bag was manufactured. It's one of the many pieces used to authenticate an item.
HOW TO READ A DATE CODE
Prior to the early 1980s, items did not have Date Codes.
In the early 1980s, Louis Vuitton used three to four numbers. The first two numbers indicate the year, and the last one or two numbers indicate the month. The code '829' is read as September, 1982.
In the mid- to late 1980s, Louis Vuitton changed their coding format to add the manufacture country to the end of the numeric string described above. The first two numbers still represented the year, with the last one or two numbers indicating the month, and the last two letters indicated the country. The Date Code '8810VI' is read as October, 1989 from France.
In the 90s, Louis Vuitton once again changed their Date Code format. The factory location code was moved to the beginning, and the first and third numbers now represented the month, with the second and forth numbers representing the manufacture year. The Date Code 'CA1929' is read as December, 1999 from Spain. This coding format lasted through 2006, when Louis Vuitton changed their Date Codes again.
Starting in 2007, Louis Vuitton updated their Date Codes to indicate the week of manufacturing, instead of the month. The first two letters still indicated the country, and the second and forth numbers represented the year. However, now the first and third numbers indicated the week the item was manufactured. In the code 'DU3009', the 'DU' indicates the item was manufactured in France in the 30th week of 2009.
SOME DATE CODE NUANCES
A bag with a date code is not automatically deemed authentic. It's important to also inspect the other details of the bag to determine authenticity.
On the flip-side, lack of a date code does not mean the bag is fake. For instance, some codes stamped in to the alacantara lining fade over time with regular use or cleaning.
Date Codes are not serial numbers, therefore, they are not unique. You may come across the 2 items with the same Date Code. If that happens, it is not a reflection of being real or fake. Other factors must be considered in determining the item's authenticity.