Chanel Bags Switch from Serial Stickers to Microchips in 2021

Detail image of iridescent Chanel bag with authenticity card.

Have you recently purchased a Chanel bag from the boutique, only to find no traces of the familiar hologram serial sticker and accompanying authenticity card?

Fret not!

As of April 2021, Chanel has launched a new method of authenticating its handbags and chain wallets.

Gone are the serial stickers and matching authenticity cards you’ve been accustomed to for decades.

Instead, they’re replaced by microchips with all the bag’s authenticating details digitally embedded inside the bags.

With so much new technology available these days, it’s no surprise that the luxury market is following suit with innovative methods to preserve its product integrity.

Welcome to Chanel’s 21st-century authentication system!


Detail image of a Chanel hologram sticker


The Chanel Serial Sticker and Authenticity Card: A Brief History

Chanel bags didn’t always have serial stickers nor authenticity cards.

It wasn’t until 1984 when all bags came with their own sticker that displayed a unique serial number for each bag.

Introduced alongside the sticker was a corresponding authenticity card that matched the serial number. This black plastic credit-card-sized card was typically found inside the bag, often in the inner pocket.

Also referred to as a date code or authenticity code, the digits in the serial number were specific to the bag and indicated the time and place that the bag was produced.

Over the years, the stickers went through six design versions.

The all-numerical serial numbers also changed, starting with a 6-digit code in the mid-80s and increasing to 8 digits in 2021.

Since the most recent 8-digit codes start with 31 or 32, bags carrying these codes may be the last of their kind to have stickers and authenticity cards before migrating to the new microchip system.

Bags from the 21A collection and beyond will be microchipped.


Detail image of new Chanel authenticity microchip  

The New Chanel Microchip Explained

The first thing you’ll notice about the new Chanel authentication system is the metal plate that replaces the serial sticker.

The plate is a small rectangle about 1.2 inches wide, attached to the inside of the bag. The metal color matches the rest of the bag’s hardware for a uniform aesthetic.

The classic interlacing CC logo is engraved on the plate, with an 8-digit – now alphanumeric – serial code underneath.

The actual microchip is embedded inside the plate.

The chip uses NFC technology (near-field communication), allowing specific devices to share data with other NFC-equipped devices (think Apple Pay).

It also uses blockchain technology, a system of storing data that’s virtually impossible to edit or alter once on record.

The information on the scannable chip not only verifies authenticity but also has access to the bag’s entire life cycle – from creation to distribution, from purchase to repairs, etc.

The microchip data can only be scanned with proprietary machines by Chanel sales associates and managers at the boutiques.


The Benefits of Chanel Microchips

The obvious benefit of the new microchip over the former authentication system is that stickers wear off or fade over time, and authenticity cards get lost.

Without one of these, the value of the bag depreciates significantly in the resale market.

In fact, selling a bag without a serial sticker can be impossible.

But the greatest benefit of the microchip is in knowing that your bag is authentic.

It’s the ultimate safeguard against counterfeits, which have gotten increasingly sophisticated and more challenging to discern over the years.

They may have been able to copy serial stickers and authenticity cards to some passable degree so far.

But these microchips are nearly impossible to replicate.

Counterfeiters won’t have the technology or tools to reproduce them, let alone scan them to fish out deceiving information.

Now it will be easier than ever to spot these “superfake” bags, and you’ll have complete certainty that your bag is genuine.


How to Authenticate Microchipped Bags With Resellers

The new Chanel bags will have microchips that the staff can only scan at the boutiques.

So how, now, would you have confidence in buying them from places like Madison Avenue Couture?

We have already bought and sold bags with microchips and are familiar with their placement and the code.

Of course, we’re also very familiar with the hologram and authenticity card from every series.

However, be it a microchip or a hologram sticker, it is only one of many checkpoints in authenticating a bag.

We rigorously inspect all components of the bag to ensure that it is 100% authentic.

We stand behind our exceptional reputation for delivering you total assurance that your next Chanel bag from us is the real deal.

Browse our collection of Chanel beauties now.

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