Decoding: Louis Vuitton Date Codes

Decoding: Louis Vuitton Date Codes

Love LV Without Lingering Question

Beauty is in the eye of the Bag-holder, but knowledge is power.

Luxury collectors are well-educated about their wardrobe and appreciate the intricate process, creative and technical, put into every single bag. Whether you are an amateur addict to a die-hard devotee, there is always room to learn more. 

Part I: Diving into Date Codes
Date Code Basics

Today, we are unraveling the mystery of Louis Vuitton date codes. We are moving past the aesthetic and trendy to the more technical parts of bag creation. For our vintage and preloved bag lovers, we have compiled tips and tricks to find and solve these date code enigmas. Let’s break down the date code Who, What, Wear, and How’s of one of the most iconic and beloved bag brands on the market. 


Date Code Details
What is a date code?

Essentially, LV Date Codes are arrangements of numbers and/or letters, depending on where and when it was created. The letters refer to the country the bag was created in and the numbers, the date. They are found somewhere in the bag.


Why do they exist?
These date codes are not, I repeat, not exclusively for the use of verifying authenticity. Instead, they give you the date and location when and where your bag was manufactured. This information can be used to learn more about the piece and can potentially be a deciding factor of authenticity. They are extremely helpful when buying vintage or used LV bags because location and year can match within themselves or be used to match model manufacturing dates to further distinguish counterfeits. But keep in mind, there are exceptions: simply the presence of a date code does not mean the bag is real, nor does the lack of it guarantee a counterfeit. In fact, all bags made post-2021 are date code-less. All of that information is stored within a discreet microchip. Furthermore, in older bags, date codes may disappear for a variety of reasons, from falling off due to excessive love by a previous owner to faded from age if it originally debossed into the fabric. 

From the early 1980s up until March of 2021, Louis Vuitton has given brand lover’s a way to distinguish vital information about their beloved piece: Date Codes. Since March, microchips discreetly included have replaced them. These codes were created for their bags, leather goods, and most of their accessories. Though they include that same important manufacturing information, they can vary. For example, some older bag date codes are numbers exclusive, and different bags have different number structures signifying date. Pieces with hard sides, for example trunks or suitcases, often have more than 4 digits. Codes for jewelry, accessories, small leather goods, hardware accessories also may vary from those for bags.


Part II: Let’s Get Technical
How To Read A Date Code

Codes are located, typically, within the interior of bags and leather codes. Exterior codes are often a huge red flag, though there are rare exceptions. 

They can be found embossed directly into the fabric or, most commonly, on a leather rectangle sewn into the interior. Certain older models including Sac d’Epaule bags have the date embossed on the handle. 

Inside the Interior
They can be found inside a pocket either on the interior or exterior of the bag and always  sewn into a seam.

The Materials
Leather use for the rectangle tab will match bag trim. For example, a Monogrammed coated bag will have a Vachetta tab to match bag material. 

Foile Stamping
When printing is chosen instead, foil stamping is likely used. Like embossing, codes are pressed onto the bag material; however, the process includes heat on colored foil. 

Date Code Structure Breakdown 
Letters then Numbers (# of Numbers vary)

i.e. AA1111

Letters in the date code indicate the country the bag was manufactured, indicated by 2 letters.

Working Girl Factory Code Chart

We have compiled all the factory codes into this handy chart so that our working girl family can refer to it easily! 


Your Handy Working Girl Factory Code Chart 


A0, A1, A2, AA, AAS (Special Order), AH, AN, AR, AS, BA, BJ, BU, CO, CT, CX, DR, DT, DU, ET, FL (also USA), LA (also USA), LM (also Spain), LW, MB, MI, ML, MM, NO, RA, RI, SA (also Italy), SD (also USA), SF, SK, SL, SN, SP, SR, TA, TH, TJ, TN, TR, TS, TY, VI, VX


BC (also Spain), BO, CE, FH (also USA), FO, FP, MA, NZ, OB, PL, RC, RE, SA (also France), TB, TD


BC (also Italy), CA, LO, LB, LM (also France), LW, GI, UB



FC, FH (also Italy), FL (also France), LA (also France), OS, SD (also France), TX








Numbers indicate date.
A common structure is with 4 total numbers. 

i.e. 1234

1 & 3
The 1st and 3rd numbers indicate the week of the year it was manufactured (i.e. 02 would be the 2nd week in the year.

2 & 4
The 2nd and 4th numbers indicate the year (i.e. 94 would be 1994)

Some More Specific Examples
Date codes vary immensely, here are some specific date code examples, organized by year. 

Early 1980s
3 or 4 Numbers ONLY
1st 2nd # indicate Year, Last #s Month
Example: 923
Indicates bag was made in Mar of 1982

Early-Late 1980s
2 letters, then 3 or 4 digits
Factory code, then year, then month
Example: FC884
Indicates bag was made in USA, in Apr of 1988

1990 onwards
2 letters, then 4 digits
Factory code, then date
Example: AR1004
Indicates bag was made on the 10th week of 2004


Now, you are armed with the LV Date Code knowledge that will help you navigate the exciting world of high-end fashion. Happy shopping xo!