material | vintage serial number | rounded tag serial number | rectangular tag serial number | exterior | hardware | zipper | lining | seams | vintage gucci and gucci accessory collection | gucci outlet | gucci plus | case study 1: gucci abbey bag | case study 2 : gucci soho bag | case study 3 : gucci dionysus bag
After I discussed the Gucci material, we continue with the most important part of authenticating Gucci purses.
A fair warning before you start reading: the 3 following sections have LOTS of photos. And when I mean lots, I mean loaded by 50 plus images (just counting those images I combined as one). But with your quest in knowing how to tell if a Gucci bag is real, you need to train your eyes very well. This is where we begin the Gucci bag serial number check.
As mentioned in my previous post, this is where I easily weed out fake bags from the real one. Whenever I was asked to sell something, or was in secondhand stores to score a find, I open the bag straight away and look for the leather tag and serial. Everything else comes second.
(Hint: Some of the vintage Gucci bags you are looking for might appear in this post discussing Gucci print ads and campaigns through the years!)
The Gucci Logo Font
Before diving deep into the leather tag and the serial number, let us first focus our attention at the Gucci logo font above. This photo is taken from a Gucci cosmetic case. It has a gold-tone hardware and bamboo details. I especially love it because of this big, deeply embossed GUCCI, rich with details. Now, let’s deconstruct the Gucci logo with the photo below:
- The letter ‘G’: the letter G is very round. If you extend the curve line from the top-right and bottom-right you will form almost a perfect circle. But this is a G (not an O), and you can see that the top-right of the G has a flat side, then almost curving below like a comma. The top of the letter is thin, that gradually thickens as the stroke moves to the left. Lastly, the G has a serif on both sides. The serifs have the same size; unlike the longer-in, shorter-out of the GG monogram print.
- The letter ‘U’: the letter U starts with a thin right stroke that gradually thickens to the left stroke. This is important because a lot of fakes have the same right-and-left legs. The tops are also both topped with equally-sized serifs.
- The letter ‘C’: Gucci, obviously, has two Cs. Starting with the top-right stroke, it is thicker going into the top-most thin part of the letter. This also gradually thickens to the left part, that gradually thins again to the bottom part. Now, you will notice the two right sides are flat if you run an imaginary line next to it.
- The letter ‘I’: the letter ‘I’ looks straightforward. However, please note that both the top and bottom parts of the letter have equally-sized serifs on them.
A Little Caveat
That pretty much sums up the Gucci logo font. However, as we go along, you will see that this Gucci font on the bag, and any marking on the leather tag for that matter, is not created equal. Time and again, people claim that the lines should be like this, or the embossing/lettering should be clear all throughout etc. From my experience of handling hundreds of Gucci bags, this is not always the case. Why?
Let us call a spade a spade: while Gucci is one of the most sought-after and highly desirable brand in the world, it is no Hermès. If you are looking at PERFECTION in all details to ascertain a big is authentic, then you will be sorry to hear this. A lot of authentic Gucci bags will be deemed fake if we apply these one-size, fits-all tips. The manner by which Gucci bags are made vary.
Whether from flagship stores or outlets, vintage or new ones, there will be slight inconsistencies with the products even with a stringent quality check. The point is, you should not rely alone in a single determinant to authenticate a Gucci bag. Personally, I look at the leather tag and serial number 80% of the time, taking into consideration some production inconsistencies, and then look at the other details.
Vintage Gucci Bags
So, do all vintage Gucci bags have a serial number? Well, yes and no.
For instance, very early handbags by Gucci had model numbers, but things changed around 1960s as some handbags had while the other did not have a model number. (For an in depth analysis with visual reference, especially bags from the 1930s until 1990s onwards, you may check the Evolution of the GUCCI Trademark page).
By the 1970s, vintage Gucci bags only had the Gucci script (cursive) with no serial or model numbers. However, the vintage Gucci Accessory Collection bags released from 1979 to 1983 had the serial number in gold. You see items available online with some of the gold lettering faded or peeling off.
While there is a dedicated section for vintage Gucci Accessory Collection (GAC), we will be discussing serial numbers of vintage Gucci bags here as a whole. Not all vintage bags fall under the GAC line, anyway. Below is an example of a vintage GAC leather tag.
Notice that it is rectangular, rounded on the edges, and usually attached in the lining below the inside zipped pocket. It has the Gucci knight crest on top, with the words “GUCCI” (all caps), “Accessory Collection” (cursive) and “MADE IN ITALY” (all caps) embossed in gold lettering. Take a look at the font of GUCCI, which fits perfectly in the anatomy we discussed above.
However, this front leather tag lettering isn’t always the very clean — but it doesn’t mean it’s fake. As you can see from the ‘T’ in ITALY above, the horizontal line is slightly lopsided. This is one of the inconsistencies I have mentioned earlier on.
Take a look at the serial number above and below. The numbers are all embossed in gold as well. They are usually grouped in three, divided by either a dash or a dot. If you look at the number ‘1’ in ’10’ below, you will notice that it looks a bit small with the rest of the group. This should not be an adequate cause of concern. It is still an authentic vintage Gucci accessory collection bag.
There is also a serif on the number ‘1’, and if you look at number ‘2’, there is a small dot on top where the stroke starts. The number ‘7’ starts of thick and tapers on the top stroke, with the same width on the down stroke. The ‘0’ is not circular but oval.
Through time, the gold lettering might fade. This will only leave the embossing of Gucci knight crest, letters and numbers on the leather. If you also look closely, some authentic GAC bags even have a registered trademark (®) after GUCCI.
As mentioned, not all vintage bags fall under the GAC. An example of this is the a vintage Gucci box bag, with the leather tag and serial number below. Just like GAC, this leather tag is affixed below the inside zipper.
It is round and has a gold-tone hardware affixed to it. If you look closely, you see the Gucci knight crest, the correct Gucci font, the registered trademark (®), and the MADE IN ITALY engraved on it.
As there is a metal hardware, this is concealed by another piece of leather where the serial number is embossed. In some cases, due to the age of the bag, the two leather pieces are split showing how the gold plaque is attached.
In the next post, I will discuss another style of leather tags. This looks slightly similar to the last two examples above, with modifications.
‘ULTIMATE GUCCI GUIDE’ SECTIONS: