Authentication 101: Decoding Louis Vuitton

Authentication 101: Decoding Louis Vuitton

When shopping for luxury resale, the authenticity of items is of the utmost importance. Here at Luxury Garage Sale we have a stringent, multi-step process of authentication, guaranteeing that we only sell 100% authentic luxury items. High-end brands have multiple systems in place to limit counterfeits, from the quality of materials used to distinct hand-stitching. One of the most straightforward methods for brands to track their items is by using numerical and alphabetical codes. Louis Vuitton uses date codes to indicate when and where an item was made. Learning how to decipher these codes is the first of many steps in ensuring that a Louis Vuitton piece is authentic. 

Louis Vuitton Date Codes 

Louis Vuitton began using date codes in the 1980s in response to a growing counterfeit market. These date codes differ from serial numbers, as each is not unique to the item. Instead, the Louis Vuitton date codes indicate the year and location the item was made. Printed on tags, stamped onto fabric, or embossed directly onto a leather tab, the appearance of date codes varies across products. Louis Vuitton uses different fonts depending on the year of production and factory location, and the date codes themselves can look different depending on the material on which they are embossed or printed. Hidden in a pocket seam or stamped inside a bill compartment, date codes can be difficult for the average consumer to even find. These subtle variations aid Louis Vuitton in staying a step ahead of counterfeiters. The date code alone is not enough to verify a piece’s authenticity, but is one facet of a detailed process. 

Reading Louis Vuitton Date Codes


3 or 4 numbers - the first 2 numbers represent the year, and the last number represents the month. 

822 - February 1982


3 or 4 numbers with 2 letters - the first 2 numbers represent the year, the next number(s) represent the month, and the letters represent the location it was made

864 TH - April 1986, France 

1990 - 2006

2 letters with 4 numbers. The letters represent the location, the 1st and 3rd numbers represent the month, and the 2nd and 4th numbers represent the year

BA0995 - September 1995, France

2007 - Present

2 letters with 4 numbers. The letters represent the location, 1st and 3rd numbers represent the week of the year, and the 2nd and 4th numbers represent the year

FL0188 - 8th week of 2018, France

Using weeks instead of months allowed Louis Vuitton to keep their date code formatting but expand the amount of time they were able to capture. This allows for a more precise method of discovering when the bag was created. 

 Louis Vuitton Manufacturing Location Codes:

France A0, A1, A2, AA AAS (special order), AH, AN, AR, AS, BA, BC (charms), BE, BJ, BU, DK (replaced or relined items),DR, DU, DT, CO, CT, CX, ET, FL, LA, LM, LU, LW, LY, MB, MI, ML, MM, NO, RA, RI, SA, SD, SF, SK, SL, SN, SP, SR, TA, TJ, TH, TN, TR, TS, TY, VI, VM, VX
Germany LP, OL
Italy BC, BO, CE, FH, FK, FN, FO, FP, FY, FZ, MA, NZ, OB, PL, RC, RE, SA, TB, TD
Spain BC, BP, CA, JJ (straps and belts), LO, LB, LM, LW, GI, UB
Switzerland  DI, FA

Please note that the Louis Vuitton location codes can shift throughout the years.


Luxury Garage Sale is an upscale resale company specializing in high-end women’s fashion from designers like Chanel, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. Authenticity and excellent service are always guaranteed. Shop handbags, shoes, clothing, and more at up to 90% off retail prices.