Authenticating a Birkin bag can be extremely easy or extremely tricky. Highly skilled authenticators can spot a real Birkin bag from afar and they go by instinct vs a checklist of designer hallmarks. Quality. Quality. Quality. If you read quality, Birkin bags can be the easiest to authenticate, except the super replicas, because the quality of some of the super replicas can exceed that of the real ones.
Here is a side by side comparison of hallmarks frequently referenced by Hermès authenticators and having a solid understanding of the below, will help you weed out 90% of the fake bags.
A decent quality Birkin replica would use gold plated hardware these days to resemble the color and shine of Hermès’ iconic gold alloys. Afterall, gold plating is not awfully expensive. However, if the counterfeiters can’t get the precise alloy mix, they can’t get that perfect color.
The difference between the brandmark engravings on the two plaques is obvious. While the counterfeiters took one step further etching the goldsmith mark, the engraving is much more sloppy probably due to technical constraints.
One common mistake and the deadliest giveaway I’ve seen on fake Birkins is the cutout to the right sangle, where the touret (turnlock) slots through. On a real Birkin bag, the plaque and leather should perfectly overlap each other both front and back, compared to the fake one where part of the metal plaque is revealed at the back as the leather cutout is bigger than the metal cutout.
Another urban myth of Hermès authentication is how perfectly the zipper pull should lie parallel to the teeth of the zipper versus dangling vertically. It is not hard to knock off at all! As you can see, the fake zipper pull does not dangle neither.
Another misunderstanding is Hermès bags made after 2001 will have an “H” zipper stop at the end of the interior zipper. This is not true. A genuine Hermès bag made after 2001 may or may not have an “H” zipper stop regardless of the models. One can only expect to see more of it on more recent bags but one could not determine a 2006 Birkin bag without the “H” zipper stop inauthentic just as a bag with the “H” stop may not be real!
To sum up, I would recommend staying away from photo based authentication for high end Hermès bags. One of the reasons I am not afraid of revealing detail shots of genuine handbags is because the best counterfeiters put a genuine bag side by side to their own work for quality control. They see what we see.
Authenticating an Hermès bag is where all senses should be used and common sense may not be so common.