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Hermès Authentication: Blind Stamps and Year References

Hermès leather items should have a blind stamp. Here is a brief guide to understanding how to authenticate a Hermès bag.

The Hermès bags are among the most imitated in the world, many leather goods houses try to make it the same, creating more or less credible fakes. To recognize authenticity, first of all, keep in mind that these bags, in addition to being made of genuine leather, are hand-sewn by expert craftsmen and require over 18 hours of work (this explains for example the more than 12 months of waiting to buy a Birkin or a Kelly).

The Hermès Logo

So, every Hermès item is entirely handmade. There is no machine, not even for 1 single sewing. Each finished product may differ slightly from an identical one, which has been hand sewed, for example, by another leather craftman. The “Hermès Paris” logo or the “Hermès Paris – made in France” print must be P-E-R-F-E-C-T. No smearing, perfectly sharp, and perfectly in line with the top hand stiches. If the logo is missing, it means that is not authentic.

Furthermore, the color of the logo is the same as that of the metal parts of the bag. Here are a few logos of authentic Hermès bags and accessories we sold, or that we currently have on sale:

Blind Stamps

All Hermès leather items have blind stamps, that identify the year of production of the bag.

The Hermès blind stamp (or data code) is usually composed of a letter that, since 1971, has been incorporated into a geometric shape (circle or square). After finding the stamp with the data code (sometimes in the most absurd places) use this table to date your bag. For Birkin and for Kelly bags, the blind stamps is usually located under the right closing tab.

Letter with NO SHAPE
Letter enclosed in a CIRCLE
Letter enclosed in a SQUARE
1945 A
1946 B
1947 C
1948 D
1949 E
1950 F
1951 G
1952 H
1953 I
1954 J
1955 K
1956 L
1957 M
1958 N
1959 O
1960 P
1961 Q
1962 R
1963 S
1964 T
1965 U
1966 V
1967 W
1968 X
1969 Y
1970 Z
1971 A
1972 B
1973 C
1974 D
1975 E
1976 F
1977 G
1978 H
1979 I
1980 J
1981 K
1982 L
1983 M
1984 N
1985 O
1986 P
1987 Q
1988 R
1989 S
1990 T
1991 U
1992 V
1993 W
1994 X
1995 Y
1996 Z
1997 A
1998 B
1999 C
2000 D
2001 E
2002 F
2003 G
2004 H
2005 I
2006 J
2007 K
2008 L
2009 M
2010 N
2011 O*
2012 P
2013 Q
2014 R (late production hadno square)
2015 T (no square)
2016 X (no square)
2017 A (no square)
2018 C (no square)

*Note: some Hermès bags including the Evelyne and Double Sens left the factory with a “JO” stamp in a square instead of O stamp in square.

Here is the blind stamp with a “C” letter, enclosed in a CIRCLE, of a black Leather Kelly Sport Shoulder bag. This means 1977.

True or False?

If someone proposes you an authentic Birkin still bearing a Hermès label, it’s definitely a fake. Another detail is given by the seams, which are all hand-made and with no end in sight. Furthermore, There are no Hermès bags that are defective or that are part of some stock. The bags that don’t pass the quality control, are destroyed or are given to charity or included in some specific auction. Employees cannot buy them and therefore not even supply them to a probable buyer.

The materials used, all of the highest quality and incredible value, and the attention to detail make Hermès bags an object destined to last forever.

Vintage Kelly Bag in Black Crocodile Leather – Year of production: 1946 (‘B’ blind stamp without circle or square)
Birkin 35 Bag in Taupe Togo Leather – Year of production:
2009 ( Blind stamp is a’M’ encased in a Square )
Bolide 35 Bag in Tan Ostrich Leather – Year of production: 1992 (‘V’ blind stamp with circle)

There is soo much more to add on Hermès authentication. Please do not hesistate to ask for any further detail!

Our other guides on the authenticity of luxury brands can be found in the Authenti-How category of our blog.

8 Responses
  • mariana
    26 . 07 . 2019

    Hello I got a everline bag i can not fund the blind stamp
    Do all the Everline purses have stamp?

    • Marco Operti
      26 . 07 . 2019

      Morning, Mariana. To our knowledge, all Hermès Evelyne bags have blind stamps, which usually may be found somewhere embossed of the leather of the strap which closes the bag. I have attached a picture of one of the Evelyne’s we recently sold, to help you out.

      Hermès Evelyne

  • Maria
    08 . 10 . 2019

    Hello. i have a question that i spent days searching an answer for.

    I recently bought a kelly 32 bag from a second hand store and noticed that the front stamp (hermes,paris, made in france) is colourless. it is slightly imprinted with no color to it .. light engraving only. Is this possible? ill be very gratful of you can answer this .
    I only read once comment that said:if more than one skin is used in a bag, they use a colourless stamp. is that true?

    p.s. no info was given abt the big from the seller.. no skin or colour type.

    • Marco Operti
      09 . 10 . 2019

      Morning Maria. To resume our conversation through whatsapp, my answer is YES, I did see in the past other Hermès authentic bags with colorless stamp. I am NOT saying that your bag is authentic, since I do not have enough information to judge. I always recommend my customers and friends to ASK for a certificate of authenticity from a trusted 3rd party, before purchasing luxury bags. Serious and long run businesses such as ours always provide this service. This is a very important step towards online fashion second hand purchases.

      Take good care and let us know if you need any further help 🙂

      Marco, Barbara and Carla

  • kristy
    06 . 11 . 2019

    Hi there, I recently purchased a Hermes Evelyne bag via secondhand store. I have found the blindstamp (J in a square meaning 2006) however there are two other numbers followed by a letter, I searched Google high and low while coming up stumped. I have read that it is the craftsman stamp however I’m still confused, I have searched the same bag but I’m not sure if it is in fact authentic. Is there a way I could get it authenticated? Any help is appreciated

    • Marco Operti
      06 . 11 . 2019

      Hi there, Kristy. I know it is useless to say, but before purchasing a pre-loved Hermès bag you should be 100% sure on authenticity, or just ask for a further confirmation such as an Entrupy certificate, or a detailed expertise. Sellers could well have several ways to authenticate the luxury items they sell, and it could well involve further expenses.

      That said, we only authenticate items which we sell. I would need the bag here in our Rome facility to put it through Entrupy authentication. We have included this service in our SPA package, you are more than welcome to check it out on our main web store

      Let me know if there is any other way I can help you out.

      Take care,
      All the best,
      Marco & Carla

  • Leslie
    28 . 09 . 2021

    I have an authentic Hermes Pullman estimated to be from 1934 or later. Other than the Hermes engraved on the zipper pull I’m unable to find any other coding or blind stamp. Is there something else I should look for? Thank you!

    • Marco Operti
      27 . 11 . 2021

      You need professional expertise for such an item. I would definitely bring this bag to a Hermès store and ask them questions, I am sure they will be happy to help out with such a rarity.

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