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Defining Characteristics of Authentic Gucci Handbags:

Defining Characteristics of Authentic Gucci Handbags:

A Guide to Finding Real Pre Owned Gucci Handbags


Luxury designer brands are often counterfeited and as one of the most iconic luxury fashion brands in the world, Gucci is no exception. Their designer handbags include many distinct and timeless styles from the GG print canvas to bamboo handles, Jackie-O bags, horsebit closures and more!

When shopping for vintage Gucci handbags, having an eye for specific markers of authenticity is a useful skill. The counterfeit market attempts to match the craftsmanship, but cannot truly match the real deal. This guide includes helpful tips and specific details to look for and red flags to watch out for to ensure the authenticity of a pre owned Gucci bag. 

1. Look For An Authenticity Card  

Each new genuine Gucci bag comes with an authenticity card: a controllato card. Italian for “Checked”, the purpose of a controllato is to certify the bag was inspected after it was made. A real controllato card is gray, with the word controllato in all lowercase letters in the middle between “GUCCI” above  and 10 numbers below . 

If you’re shopping for a pre-loved Gucci handbag and it has a card, be wary, as the cards themselves can be faked. On the other hand, if it does not have a controllato card, that does not necessarily mean it's fake. There are many other distinguishing features and assurances of authenticity to look for. Many pre owned Gucci bags don’t have their card because of two simple reasons, either it was lost or thrown away, or its a vintage Gucci bag that was crafted before issuing these cards for new Gucci purses became standard. 

Many Luxury resellers, such as Alla Moda Vintage, provide their own form of authenticity card with quality assurance. Many of the best resellers have some kind of lifetime authenticity guarantee. It's in their best interest overall to check that their items are the real deal and to reassure customers that if there is any chance a fake slipped through near foolproof methods, that they don’t need to worry about getting their money back. 

2. Check for When A Resold/ Vintage Gucci Bag is From

Before checking for certain details, it's important to know what time period vintage Gucci handbag a reseller claims it is from. Over the years, Gucci branding, tags, and serial numbers have varied. Here’s a quick overview of their practices throughout different time periods over the years:

  • Before the 1960s, Vintage Gucci purses had model numbers on their tags
  • During the 1960s, Bags did not consistently have a model number; some had one, others didn’t
  • Around the 1970s Gucci bags started having the Gucci script in cursive but no serial or model number
Rare 1970s Gucci Handbag with gold claspRare 1970s Gucci Handbag with cursive script
  • In the late 1970s and early 80s a distinct collection: the Gucci Accessory Collection featured a gold serial number. This serial number on these vintage bags is now often found a bit peeled or faded.
  • From the late 90s to present day, Gucci started including the rectangular leather tag 
  • In 2016/2017 to 2021 Gucci began using QR codes in addition to the serial number tags. Located on a black fabric tag, the QR code can be scanned with a smartphone.


If the characteristics of a handbag do not align with its particular time period, it's a good sign that it is a fake.   


3. How to Verify the Serial Number Tag On A Gucci Bag 

There are several specific details that must be present when it comes to verifying Gucci Bag serial number tags. 

  • The tag is located inside the handbag, opposite the front closure, near the interior zipped pocket. 
  • It is Rectangular tag with sharp right angles
  • The front has a precise heat stamp with the 3 lines of text aligned perfectly in the center. Check that:
    • The Top line is the trademark ® in a circle.
    • Directly below should read “GUCCI” in the signature uppercase Gucci font. 
    • The G’s and C’s should be rounded- almost like incomplete circles
    • Directly below should read “made in italy” in all lowercase letters.
  • A modern rectangular Gucci tag has a Serial number that's 10-13 digits in two rows, in a font similar to a typewriter style with serifs (feet). The first row denotes the style of handbag and the second row of numbers denotes the batch.
Tag for Gucci Ivy Green Leather Horse-bit Chain Top Handle BagSerial number tag for Gucci Ivy Green Leather Horse-bit Chain Top Handle Bag

It’s important to note that older bags may have less numbers than this, and that bags with the same style/from the same batch will have identical numbers. So, two authentic Gucci bags may have the same serial number. 

4. Physical Characteristics of Authentic Gucci: Materials and Craftsmanship

As a premier luxury brand, Gucci employs meticulous craftsmanship using the finest quality materials. Their commitment to maintaining this level of excellence is evident, as even vintage Gucci handbags from the 80s and 90s are often in remarkable condition. 

Metal and Bamboo Closures, Handles, and Zippers

Premium materials have a distinct appearance and texture compared to their more affordable counterparts. Gucci bags, featuring various metal closure styles like the interlocking G's, the Marmont GG overlapping style, and the horsebit closures on Jackie Hobo bags, exemplify this difference. The metal used is substantial in weight and resistant to scratches, unlike the easily scratched cheaply gilded plastic. Similarly, authentic Gucci zippers have GUCCI engraved and are solid metal meant to stand the test of time.

Gucci Brown Guccissima Print Leather Original Blondie Saddle BagGucci domed top red grey & burgundy python leather satchel Gold G zipper

During the metal shortages of WWII Gucci began using bamboo. This too looks and feels distinct in quality. Carefully crafted over an open flame, its cured lacquer finish gives it a distinct bronzed shade, and the handle will feel dense yet elegant.

Gucci Messenger bag Leather bamboo handleGucci Messenger W New Strap Brown Leather bamboo Laptop Bag

Real, Not Cheap Canvas, Skins and Leather

In addition to metal and bamboo components, Gucci utilizes premium calf and suede leather, rare crocodile skins, monogram GG canvas and Guccissima print leather. These materials are luxurious to the touch unlike the cheap feel, look and smell of cheap machine-made and chemically finished leather of counterfeit bags. 

Gucci Indy style python leather two-way w bambooGucci Indy style python leather two-way w bamboo

Physical Characteristics of Authentic Gucci: The Stitching of a Gucci Handbag

The stitching of real Gucci handbags varies, as the threads don’t always match the color of the handbag. However, the stitching is always precise. So, a sign that it is a fake is if the stitches are uneven, has odd gaps, or has fraying.  

Gucci Turquoise Leather Horse-bit Chain Saddle Bag

Buying Authentic Gucci Bags From A Quality Reseller

Because Gucci has so many variations in their iconic styles over the years, it may seem difficult to verify that a Gucci Bag is real for yourself. However, we hope this has provided some foundational knowledge to spot any fakes you may come across. It's possible to get some amazing deals on authentic vintage Gucci handbags, and if you’re shopping for pre-owned Gucci, it’s important to buy from a reputable and trustworthy vintage reseller. Check out Alla Modas collection of vintage Gucci bags, purses and Handbags today!

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