Did you know that you can learn about a Louis Vuitton bag's history by looking at its date code? It is the key to finding out when and where a piece was manufactured. A date code is also one of the aspects that we look at during our authentication process. Louis Vuitton has been placing date codes in almost every newly manufactured bag, wallet and small leather piece since the early 1980s. Sometimes date codes are hidden and may be difficult to find, but in most cases they are visibly stamped on the lining or onto an attached tag. Louis Vuitton has changed the date code configuration multiple times, but the date code will always contain letters and/or numbers. Below is a quick guide to deciphering the meaning of date codes.
Early 1980s and Before: No Date CodesLouis Vuitton did not use date codes before 1982, therefore older vintage pieces can not be pinpointed as accurately as newer ones.
1982 to Mid 1980s Date Codes: Three or Four Digits
Vuitton's first foray into dates codes began in 1982. These codes consist of three to four digit numbers, and no letters. The first two numbers indicate the year, and the last one or two numbers indicate the month. * The 853 date code in the bag above means that it was made in March, 1985.
Mid to Late 1980s Date Codes: Three or Four Digits with Two Letters
Louis Vuitton changed the date code system in the mid-Eighties to include letters that indicate the factory where pieces were manufactured. Like in the early 1980s, the first two numbers indicate the year, and the last one or two numbers indicate the month. * The 874 SL date code above means that the bag was made in April, 1987, France.
Early 1990 to 2006 Date Codes: Two Letters with Four Digits
Early in 1990, Louis Vuitton moved the factory letters to the front and revised the numbering on its date codes. The first and third numbers represent the month, and the second and fourth numbers represent the year. * The FL0041 date code above means that the bag was made in France, in April of 2001.
2007 to Present Day: Two Letters with Four Digits (Number System was Revised)
In 2007, Louis Vuitton changed the four digit numbering system. Instead of indicating the month an item was manufactured, the first and third numbers now represent the week. The second and fourth numbers still represent the year. The letters continued to represent the specific factory where the item was manufactured. * The AH2105 date code above shows that the bag was made in France in the 20th week of 2015. The 20th week was in May that year.
Louis Vuitton Date Code Factory Chart
Do you have any questions about Louis Vuitton date codes? If so, we are happy to give answers!