Authentication and counterfeiting are an arms race. Authenticators aim to diminish counterfeits but their biggest fear is their distinction; counterfeiters rely on authenticators to point out their mistakes, evolve and step up their own games.
It’s fascinating to see how counterfeiters are improving their technique and craftsmanship along side of authentication guides written by authenticators. Here below, I put excerpts of popular authentication articles side by side with corresponding detailed photos of fake and real bags and you can see for yourself that things are getting wild!
Yoogi’s Closet on Chanel’s hologram sticker
“ ‘X’ cut-lines prevent sticker from being removed without damage. "CHANEL" appears on right side of the sticker. Dark line appears on left side of sticker. Gold speckles appear throughout sticker.”
The RealReal On Saint Laurent hardware
“The Y’s left arm — thicker than the right — sits beneath the S, while the right arm is above. The S then swoops behind the bottom half of the Y, overlaps the L and tucks behind it.” Also note the slope of the L; it starts wider at the top and narrows as it hits the horizontal leg. The S will also change weight at its middle.”
“Compare the shape of the S, the angle of the As and the spacing of the letters. The N and the T will touch. The slope of the R leg in Laurent is rounded, while the R leg in Paris is straight.” Counterfeiters will frequently use same the font throughout.
eBay on Gucci serial numbers
“A(n) authentic stitched belt should start with '114' rather. If that is correct, make sure the size of the belt is printed in the serial number…Read the serial number, and check if the size and cm length are in the serial number. Sometimes the fake Gucci belts have the actual size printed separately on the very end of the belt, or next to the serial number. If that is correct, check how many digits the serial number has. A authentic Gucci belt has 21 digits in it's serial number. If that is not correct, you have a fake Gucci belt.”
Looks like the authentication methods in handbags and accessories are still primitive, almost purely depending on “trained” naked eyes. I think the counterfeits are catching up and some of them have managed to slip through the cracks and gotten legitified by authenticators into the resale market.
So they say they can authenticate?