What to Know About Hermes Blind Stamps
If you’re shopping for a pre-owned Hermes bag, or you have a current Hermes bag in your closet that you didn’t buy new, you likely have wondered — at least at one point or another — how to go about authenticating an Hermes bag. After all, when you make such a big fashion investment, you want to know that what you’ve paid for is real.
One way you can go about reassuring yourself that your bag is real (or at least, one of the several ways that you can get a little more info on your bag, and tick at least one of the authenticity boxes) is to look for a blind stamp, sometimes also called a date stamp or craftsmen stamp.
What is the Hermes Blind Stamp?
The Hermes blind stamp is essentially what the brand uses instead of a serial number. While a serial number tells you the exact identity of one product, a date stamp isn’t as specific, but it is still important. The date stamp on a Hermes bag will tell you the exact year an item was manufactured, as well as who made the bag. All Hermes leather items made after 1945 include this stamp.
The blind stamp includes two key components. There will be a letter and a shape, or just a letter alone. Then, there will also be a separate group of shapes, symbols, letters or numbers. If your bag has been repaired in Paris, then it may show an additional group of these shapes, symbols, letters or numbers. The single letter, with or without a shape, refers to the year the bag was made, while the grouping of other shapes, symbols, letters or numbers refers to the craftspeople who worked on the bag, either originally or for repairs.
However, if you’re looking for your Hermes bag’s blind stamp to gauge whether it’s authentic, do note that you can’t base authenticity off the blind stamp alone. Other factors should be considered, as some counterfeiters do include blind stamps on their Hermes bags.
This aside, if you can quickly look at your Hermes bag and see that it does not include the stamp and you know for sure it was made after 1945, you can then know for certain that the bag is fake. In other words, you can use the lack of a stamp to determine if a bag is fake, but you can’t always use the presence of a stamp to determine a bag is real.
Where is the Hermes Blind Stamp?
The blind stamp is designed to blend into the bag, so sometimes it can be difficult to find. In some cases, you can find the Hermes blind stamp either on the inside of the bag, situated beneath the bag tab, or sometimes it might be underneath a strap. Where the blind stamp is located will differ according to the type of bag you own.
The blind stamp will always be heat-stamped into the leather of the bag.
Decoding Your Hermes Blind Stamp
So, once you’ve found your Hermes blind stamp, how do you know what all of those letters, numbers and symbols actually mean?
First, look at that stand-alone letter that’s either inside or not inside a shape. As we explain in our previous blog on how to authenticate an Hermes bag:
If your bag features a letter with no circle or square, and you know for a fact the bag was manufactured before 2014, that means the bag was made sometime between 1945 and 1970. Each letter of the alphabet corresponds to a different year, with A corresponding to 1945, B corresponding to 1946 and so on and so forth, until you get to Z, which corresponds with 1970.
After that, you get into the stamps that are letters with circles. An A with a circle around it stands for 1971, while a B with a circle around it stands for 1972 and so on until you get to 1996, which will be indicated by a Z with a circle around it.
Then, you get into the letters with squares. The letters with squares around them only go from A (1997) to R (2014). After that, Hermès dropped the circles and squares and went back to letters only, but the letters aren’t consistent or alphabetical. R corresponds to 2014, T to 2015, X to 2016, A to 2017, C to 2018, D to 2019 and Y to 2020.
Do note, though, that there are some errors that have occurred in Hermes manufacturing, which have led to some confusing blind stamps. The two most notable issues are the 2011 double-blind stamp and the 2014 R stamp.
The 2011 double-blind stamp features two letters in a square, a J and an O, when it should technically just be an O. The 2014 R stamp is sometimes featured in a square, sometimes not.
But What About Those Other Stamps?
It’s entirely possible that you’ll come across some other stamps on your Hermes bag that don’t fit the above descriptions. Don’t worry — those aren’t errors or flaws. Instead, Hermes uses a range of other stamps to indicate other bag information.
You’ll see, of course, the stamp that says “Hermès, Paris, Made in France.” There are additional stamps next to this stamp that indicate the material the bag was made from. A carat indicates leather from the species crocodile prosus. Two dots indicate crocodile niloticus. A dash indicates various niloticus lizard. An equal sign indicates various salvator lizard. A square indicates alligator mississippiensis.
Other potential stamps that could exist around this area include a horseshoe, which means that the purse is a custom item (this is extremely rare), or a shooting star, which means the bag was made by a particular craftsman for their own use (which is even rarer).
The Easiest Way to Learn More About Your Hermes Bag?
We get it, though. Decoding all these leather stamps — or even finding them, for that matter — can be difficult. The easiest way to ensure that an Hermes bag that you’re thinking about buying is authentic, as well as to know what year it was made, as well as what it’s made from, is to buy from a reputable seller like Luxury in Reach. Our team of authenticators has years of experience in the fashion industry and knows all the tell-tale signs to watch for and how to spot a counterfeit bag with ease — which means counterfeit bags never make their way onto our site and we always give you the complete lowdown on when your bag was made and what from.
Thinking of selling an Hermes bag, but not sure if it’s authentic or even know what to tell a potential buyer? Luxury in Reach can help with that, too. We make the selling process easy. Just submit a quick online form and then send us your bag via a provided free shipping label. Our experts will authenticate your bag upon receipt and then send you a payment within two to four business days.
See our full lineup of Hermes bags, here, and, if you’re interested in selling, learn more about the process, here.