When buying Chanel from a consignment shop or vintage store, there are a few details you can spot to make sure the jewelry piece you are looking at is authentic. After sifting through many estates for my personal collection and talking with shop owners who handle vintage Chanel often it is pretty easy for me to spot a fake immediately, but at first it can be intimidating. First thing I look at is the overall quality and feel, pieces from the 1980s through the 1990s are all gold plated, sometimes featuring faux pearl accents. They have a pretty substantial weight to them, and even if they are authentic I double check to make sure the gold plating has not chipped off anywhere as this significantly decreases the value.
The second thing I look for is the Chanel stamp on the back, usually inside an oval shape. Jewelry made between 1986 and 1989 were stamped with "CHANEL" and "Made in France" while pieces after this time frame are also stamped with the season and year the collection was from. Seasonal letters like "P" stand for Printemps which means Spring or "A" for Automne which means Autumn or Fall in French. Chanel jewelry in the early 2000s began playing around with colorful plastic and resins, these styles are still stamped with the season and year. Not all jewelry styles feature the iconic double C logo front and center, so be sure to also look out for popular Chanel motifs like hearts, straw hats, clovers, quilted bags, perfume bottles and the camellia flower. Happy shopping!
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