Contrary to popular belief, Louis Vuitton handbags (excluding luggage and rare limited edition pieces) do not have serial numbers.
Rather, Louis Vuitton handbags have "date codes" stamped either on interior tags or directly on the interior linings.
These date codes simply serve to identify the manufacturing location and date for a Louis Vuitton handbag, not to verify it's authenticity.
The letters indicated the country in which the item was made while the numbers indicate the month/year of the production date.
The format of the date codes are as follows: Keep in mind that the fact that an item has a date code does not guarantee that it's authentic since many counterfeit items have date codes.
A valid and properly stamped date code is just one of many parameters that are checked to guarantee the authenticity of a Louis Vuitton handbag.
Authentic Louis Vuitton handbags with alcantara linings may have date codes that are very hard to read or have disappeared altogether.
The region was a poor one - serfdom had only been abolished less than 40 years previously, so Louis left to seek his fortune when he was a teenager, arriving in the French capital aged 16.
This was the Paris of Victor Hugo's , with nearly one million inhabitants.
As the composer Chopin said in a letter to a friend at the time, "Here you find the greatest luxury and the greatest filth, the greatest virtue and the greatest vice."The teenager was taken on as an apprentice by Monsieur Maréchal, a box maker and packer on the Rue Saint-Honoré, then, as now, one of the main thoroughfares of fashionable Paris (today the achingly stylish store Colette sits on the site). By the time he left the service of Maréchal, Charles-Louis Napoleon, the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, had seized power and had proclaimed himself Emperor Napoleon III.
Paris was on the verge of becoming the global epicentre for taste and luxury and the city was a whirl of parties.
This is sometimes the case for older bags or if the bags have had their linings cleaned.
Find out more about this historical brand in our Louis Vuitton Information Guide.
World renowned for its monogram LV, Louis Vuitton is a French fashion house that seamlessly marries art, opulence and beauty.