How to Identify an Authentic Hermès Birkin Bag

The Hermès Birkin is one of the most sought-after luxury items in the world, making it a prime target for counterfeiters. Therefore, it's crucial to know how to spot the telltale signs of a fake Birkin to ensure that you are providing your customers with authentic and valuable items. 

Although detecting a counterfeit has become more difficult, and sometimes it is almost impossible to identify an authentic Birkin bag without additional invoices, payment receipts, and bank movements, in this article, we will delve into the key authenticity elements of a Hermès Birkin and provide you with a comprehensive guide to help you identify some of the characteristics of an authentic Hermès Birkin handbag.

  1. Materials
  2. Structure
  3. Sizes
  4. Hardware
    1. Padlocks and keys
    2. Metal engraving
  5. Date stamps
  6. Internal zipper and pockets
  7. Prints
    1. Special symbols
  8. Packaging
  9. Invoice



The authenticity of a Hermès Birkin bag can be determined by examining the materials used in its production. These bags are made of superior quality materials, such as high-quality natural skins that offer a unique texture, weight, and scent.

The leather used in the Birkin's creation must be soft and natural, and it should have a distinctive leather smell, that can vary if the bag is pre-loved or brand new. The texture depends on the skin used to craft the bag, some calf skins are granulated and others are soft, the exotic skins must have a distinctive touch; the Crocodile niloticus, Crocodile porosus, and Alligator skins must have defined rectangular or squared scales, while the lizard Varanus niloticus and Lizard Varanus salvator should have small rounded scales. When it comes to ostrich skin, it should feel smooth, rich, and with pores.

The weight of the Birkin bag is also an essential feature as it is made of natural leather, giving it a certain weight. So if a bag feels too light, it is most likely a counterfeit.

Another important detail is to check for the scent, texture, and appearance of plastic since sometimes counterfeits can be made with plastic materials that can quickly be recognized as fake.

By examining the materials, smell, feel, weight, and general appearance, you will be able to rule out any bad fakes you come across but remember that sometimes fakes are so detailed that it is very difficult to differentiate them from the original Hermès Birkin bags.




The structure of a genuine Birkin bag is a key element to identify its authenticity. The bag must be perfectly proportioned and symmetrical, it should have a firm structure that can stand upright on its own, while still maintaining a natural softness and flexibility in the leather. This allows the bag to sag slightly under the weight of its contents, especially in the base area.

The structure may vary depending on if it is a Sellier or Retourné version. The Birkin Sellier tends to be firmer with exterior stitching, while the Birkin Retourné has a softer look with interior stitching and piping, giving it a looser look.

The stitching must be clean, and made of linen thread in a diagonal way, a signature of the saddle stitching method used by Hermès. The seams should not have loose threads, be uneven or show signs of glue being used.

The lining of the bag must be of high-quality, durable material, usually made of goat or lambskin, and be perfectly stitched with no loose threads or unevenness.

The Birkin bag structure has a unique shape, with a flap divided in three, with spaces for the handles; it should also feature two closing straps with hardware plaques and a turning closure. The Birkin bag handles are "U" shaped, and stand upright instead of drooping like handles on common bags. 

The pivot of the flap is made with three layers of leather, to allow the material to withstand the opening and closure of the flap, so it must feature a thick material on top.

The bottom of the Birkin bag is rectangular and it has 4 base studs that are made with the same material as the rest of the hardware in the bag. Additionally, there are two leather straps that connect the base studs on each side, these leather straps are made of the same skin and color as the rest of the bag.



Hermès Birkin bags are available in four different sizes, each one defined by the centimeters that its base is measured. These sizes are 25, 30, 35, and 40, respectively. Accurately measuring the base of a Birkin is crucial when verifying its authenticity, as it must correspond with the size indicated by Hermès. Make sure to double-check the measurements to ensure that the bag is a genuine Hermès Birkin.




The hardware of a Hermès Birkin bag is a crucial element to identify its authenticity. The external closure straps, zippers, padlock, keys, and base studs of the bag should have distinctive and high-quality hardware. Hermès uses plated brass with materials such as gold, palladium, ruthenium, and permabrass to create these pieces. It is important to know that every single piece of hardware should be made of the same plating throughout the whole bag. It is essential to pay attention to these materials when examining a Birkin bag, to avoid purchasing a counterfeit one.

The external turning closure is the most important hardware piece of a Birkin bag. It is characterized by its fluidity and softness when moving in a circular motion. To ensure that you are looking at an original Birkin bag, you must move the closure and make sure that it does not get stuck or is difficult to turn.

There are two crucial pieces of hardware that are only present on a Birkin handbag. At the front, just under the closing flat, there are two hooks that serve the purpose of holding the closing straps, to provide more structure and resistance to the handbag, especially if it is filled with heavy contents. These hooks are made with the same material as the rest of the hardware in the bag.

It must be noted that the hardware is designed to maintain its condition even after some use, so if the pieces begin to show signs of fast and excessive peeling or have marked dents, it is possible that the Birkin is a fake. It should also be noted that the base studs of the bag should not cause it to tumble, in other words, the Birkin should be kept steady and stable while standing.


Padlocks and keys


When it comes to Hermès Birkin handbags, the padlock is important to indicate authenticity. The original padlock should be made of the same specific material that matches the rest of the hardware on the bag. Although some Birkin's feature locks covered in the same leather or exotic skin as the bag to add a unique touch.

Inspecting the base of the padlock is essential. Look for the word "Hermès" and a clear, engraved number that corresponds to the key that opens the padlock. Keep in mind that the original keys should be heavy enough, as they are made of brass plated in precious metals.

The leather key protector or clochette should be flat when the key is inside it. If the clochette sits wider or almost open, it's likely a fake. Checking these details is key to ensuring that you are buying an authentic Hermès Birkin bag.


Metal engraving


When inspecting the authenticity of a Birkin bag, it is essential to pay attention to the engravings on the hardware plaques of the closing straps. These engravings are located on the left strap, and they include the words "Hermès-Paris" at the front of the plaque.

It is also important to note that if the hardware of the Birkin bag is plated in gold, there should be a small square symbol next to the words. This symbol is an indication that the hardware is plated in gold, it doesn’t matter if it is white, yellow, or rose gold. However, if the bag's hardware is plated in any other material, the symbol should not be present.


Date stamps


Date stamps are very important elements that are common to any Hermès handbag, these are codes that describe the year of creation of the handbag and the serial number that identifies the craftsmen who worked on each piece.

The date stamps are located inside the upper left side of the bag and are heat stamped on the leather. They must be perfectly legible, although it depends on the type of skin that they are applied to and the intensity of the color of the bag, these elements can make it a little difficult to check the date stamp, but it should never be impossible to read.

The date stamp consists of three letters and three numbers, and there are also two additional letters below. The first letter denotes the year of creation of the bag, while the rest symbolizes the serial number of the craftsman and the workshop in which the handbag was created.

Consult all the letters and years of the creation of Hermès' date stamps.

It should be noted that the Hermès vintage bags produced from 1945 to 2016 feature the date stamp on the interior of the left closure strap, so if you come across a Birkin bag whose year of creation is prior to 2016, you should look for the date stamp on the closure strap.


Internal zipper and pockets


To ensure the authenticity of a Birkin bag, it is important to examine the inner features. The handbag should have two inner pockets, one zippered pocket at the back panel, and one without a zipper at the front panel.

The zipper mechanism of the back pocket should be aligned with the zipper teeth, pointing horizontally. The leather used for the internal zipper should be soft and refined, not rough or thick as found in counterfeit bags. The piece of leather on the zipper mechanism should also be of the same color and skin of which the bag is made and should have a diamond-like shape. When opening the zipper, it should flow perfectly without getting stuck.




Another authenticity element common to most of the Hermès handbags is the prints. These are located under the closing flap on the Birkin bag and can be seen above the turning closure a few millimeters below the top seams. The print indicates the brand’s name and it should read: “Hermès - Paris - Made in France” in capital letters. The Hermès font is very characteristic and it shouldn’t be too big or too small. The second “e” in “Hermès” must have the french accent mark.

It should be noted that the print must match the same color as the Birkin bag’s hardware, for instance, if the bag has gold-plated hardware, the print should be golden.


Special symbols


Being such exclusive and distinguished accessories, some Hermès handbags feature prints of certain characteristic symbols that indicate important data about each piece. These symbols are usually printed next to the “Hermès - Paris - Made in France” print. 

Whether on Birkin bags or any other exclusive Hermès bag, the special symbols can indicate the exotic skins on which a bag is made, with specific distinctions depending on the different variations of each skin. They can also indicate if a bag is a special order and was customized for a client.

Take a closer look at the meaning of each special Hermès symbol.




The packaging is another important element when looking for the authenticity of a Birkin bag, and although not every Birkin purchased in the resale luxury market comes with a box and dust bag, you must look up to these elements and avoid purchasing bags that don’t include them, since they could be counterfeits or even stolen handbags.

When examining a Hermès Birkin bag’s packaging, pay attention to the classic orange Hermès box, it should have a small print of the Hermès logo on the lid of the box, and it should match the size of the handbag, which means that the Birkin should fit inside comfortably. To make sure that the box is authentic, you can also use the UV light test, shining a UV flashlight on the surface of the box, you should be able to see several Hermès logos in invisible ink covering the box. The opacity of the logos may vary from box to box.

Aside from the orange box, the Birkin comes with a dust bag, which is wide and dense, its color is white or light beige. The dust bag shows the Hermès logo, whose design is a double circle, within which the "H" stands out as a reference to the brand, and it features the drawing of a horse, a cart, and a standing man. This design is quite detailed and very delicate.

The cord that closes the bag is light brown, and the space where the cord goes is short, measuring exactly 2 centimeters wide. Additionally, the pendant or clochette that contains the key and the padlock of the Birkin bag also comes with a small dust bag, exclusively to store these components.

The packaging of the Birkin bag should also include a raincover made for the exact size of the bag, with the exception of the Birkin 25 which doesn’t come with a raincover. 




The invoice is perhaps the most perfect element to authenticate a Birkin handbag, this document provides the information needed to corroborate not only the piece’s details, such as color, size, hardware, and skin, but is also crucial to compare the date stamp to the one stamped inside the bag. 

Most of the Hermès handbags sold on resale markets don’t offer this important element, but the invoice, alongside the payment receipt and live proof of the bank movement of the account that was used to pay for the handbag, are the three definitive elements that can completely demonstrate the true authenticity of a Hermès Birkin handbag. 

The date, time, and amount paid shown in each of these elements can help corroborate the true authenticity of a Birkin bag, if it was already physically inspected. So you need to make sure to obtain all of these documents to know that you’re purchasing a safe and authentic piece, and to offer trust to your future clients and transactions. 

Hermès Birkin bags are highly coveted luxury products that require careful attention to detail when assessing their authenticity. From the physical inspection to the examination of invoices and other documents, each element is crucial in determining the authenticity of a Birkin.

As professional luxury resellers, it is important to have a solid understanding of Hermès' authenticity elements to ensure that you are providing your customers with genuine products.

By following the guidelines outlined in this guide, you can confidently identify an authentic Hermès Birkin and maintain the integrity of the luxury items resale market. Always remember to verify every detail and work with reputable sources when purchasing Hermès handbags to guarantee their authenticity.

If you’re interested in expanding your knowledge about Hermès, browse our blog for professionals.

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