What You Do and Don’t Know

We of course all know that Hermès uses codes to date their bags but did you know that they have many other symbols that showcase different meanings? From the species of exotic skin to a sale stamp, Hermès who is known for being one of the most secretive of luxury houses is actually the most transparent when it comes to the production of their products. Unlike many other luxury houses Hermès actually informs the client where they source their exotic skins from in the most elegant of ways. This is why Hermès still remains as the top Luxury house in the world.

I have compiled a list of symbols below, some that we all know and some you may not know plus their meanings. This guide is extremely resourceful for those who always wondered what these symbols mean. Enjoy!

Hermès Date Codes

Date codes are symbols that we all know. They inform use what year our bag was made and it also helps us identify and confirm the colour and/or leather of the bag. However some years are tricky and have slight inconsistencies to throw off counterfeiters. Each of these codes are in a specific area on each bag and can change depending on the year. On a Birkin or Kelly, it can often be found on the exterior arm or interior panel of the bag. For a Constance, it is normally found on the middle interior panel. The list goes on and on! Find below the chart:

No Shape Circle Square
1945 A 1971 A 1997 A
1946 B 1972 B 1998 B
1947 C 1973 C 1999 C
1948 D 1974 D 2000 D
1949 E 1975 E 2001 E
1950 F 1976 F 2002 F
1951 G 1977 G 2003 G
1952 H 1978 H 2004 H
1953 I 1979 I 2005 I
1954 J 1980 J 2006 J
1955 K 1981 K 2007 K
1956 L 1982 L 2008 L
1957 M 1983 M 2009 M
1958 N 1984 N 2010 N
1959 O 1985 O 2011 O – Some Hermès bags, including the Evelyne and the Double Sens, left the atelier with a “JO” in a rectangle rather than a “O” in a rectangle.
1960 P 1986 P 2012 P
1961 Q 1987 Q 2013 Q
1962 R 1988 R 2014 R – later in the year production no longer had a surrounding shape.
1963 S 1989 S 2015 T – Hermès skipped “S” to throw off counterfeiters. The T is not in a square, it is without any surrounding shape.
1964 T 1990 T 2016 X – Hermès moved the stamp, on the Birkin & Kelly, to the interior side panel rather than on the sangles. It also is without a surrounding shape. This is once again to throw off counterfeiters. It also continued into the upcoming years.
1965 U 1991 U 2017 A – Without a surrounding shape.
1966 V 1992 V 2018 C – Without a surrounding shape. Hermès passed the “B” in a square to throw off counterfeiters.
1967 W 1993 W 2019 D – Without a surrounding shape.
1968 X 1994 X 2020 – Waiting in anticipation.
1969 Y 1995 Y 2021 – Waiting in anticipation.
1970 Z 1996 Z 2022 – Waiting in anticipation.

Alligator Mississippiensis

The symbol used is a square (☐) next to the Hermès, Made in France logo displayed on each product.

Crocodile Porosus

The symbol used is a caret (^) next to the Hermès, Made in France logo displayed on each product.

Rouge Kelly 40cm Sellier Shiny Porosus with PHW. Picture courtesy of Privé Porter.
Bleu Electrique Birkin 35cm Shiny Porosus with GHW. Picture courtesy of Privé Porter.
Braise Birkin 35cm Shiny Porosus with PHW. Picture courtesy of Privé Porter.

Crocodile Niloticus

The symbol used is a double dot (··) next to the Hermès, Made in France logo displayed on each product.

BBraise Birkin 25cm Shiny Niloticus. Picture courtesy of Privé Porter.

Black Kelly 32 Matte Niloticus GHW. Picture courtesy of Privé Porter

Varanus Niloticus Lizard

The symbol used is a dash (-) next to the Hermès, Made in France logo displayed on each product.

Hermes Violet Shiny Varanus Niloticus Lizard Birkin 25cm Ruthenium Hardware. Image via Madison Avenue Couture.

Varanus Salvator Lizard

The symbol used is an equal sign (=) next to the Hermès, Made in France logo displayed on each product.

Picture courtesy of Privé Porter.

Hermès HSS (aka Horseshoe or Custom)

The symbol used is a horseshoe next to the Hermès, Made in France logo displayed on each product.

HSS Rose Azalea-Malachite B25 Epsom BGHW. Picture courtesy of Privé Porter.
HSS Kelly 32 Sellier Craie-Rose Azalea Epsom GHW. Picture courtesy of Privé Porter.
Black Kelly Depeche 38 Epsom GHW. Picture courtesy of Privé Porter.
HSS Birkin 35 Etoupe Epsom BGHW. Picture courtesy of Privé Porter.

Hermès Craftman’s Personal Product

The symbol used to depict that Hermès pieces were made for a Craftsman’s own personal use is a shooting star. This is next to the Hermès, Made in France logo displayed on each product.

Hermès Sale & Employee Stamp

The symbol used to depict that this Hermès product was purchased at a discounted rate is a “S” which most likely stands for “Sale”. Hermès employees, who are not craftsmen, also get this stamp – sometimes even with an extra line of numbers/letters, depending on the piece.

Hermes Sale Stamp

Hermès Craftsman’s Code

Each Hermès Craftsman will train years to be able to perfect their craft to produce such high quality products, they truly are artisans. Just like any great artist, they want to leave their signature on each piece they create. Next to each date code there are symbols that make most people scratch their head. Sometimes it’s an Omega symbol, numbers, extra letters, and the list could go on! These are used so when the product is sent in for repair they can determine who was the craftsman behind each piece.

Rouge H K40 Sellier Shiny Porosus PHW. Picture courtesy of Privé Porter.
Orange K32 Shiny Porosus PHW. Picture courtesy of Privé Porter.
HSS B35 Etoupe Epsom BGHW. Picture courtesy of Privé Porter.
B35 Bubblegum Matte Alligator PHW. Picture courtesy of Privé Porter.

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