**When reselling vintage Coach bags, there are some things you can look for to authenticate or date a bag yourself. (Not an official expert here or connected with Coach in anyway.) Head to my Coach Catalogue Resource for pictures of all the vintage Coach bags I have found. If you have one mentioned below, but not in the resource, considered submitting a photo to benefit the community. A lot is not officially known about when in time Coach did or didn't offer certain style and colors, but some reliable information exists and consensus in the vintage Coach community about some points which resellers can use to date and authenticate their bags. I will rely heavily on the known Coach bag catalogues in this post and other sources to try an aggregate known information for resellers to use to ID and authenticate their bags.
1994 is a critical year for the brand and for resellers to know: It's when Coach finally started using the bag style numbers in the serial numbers and they whole serial number became meaningful. You could tell the month and place a bag was made by deciphering the whole serial number. (See my 3 part series post on decoding serial numbers for more details.) Therefore, if your bag has a correct style number to it's bag- in it's serial number- it is most likely to be dated after 1994.
Also, around this time the cartouche around the logo is changed with an embossed logo instead of an embossed cartouche. Note the change in the examples below:
In terms of dating bags, the logo cartouche can tell us a lot just by it's design. However, we don't have exact dates as to when design changes took place, so there is lots of overlap between decades. This is just ONE point of authentication and dating one should look at when trying to determine the time period a bag is from. Another would be if the serial number has a style number in it that matches the bag it's in, as shown above. Color of the bag can also be a good dating and authentication point as certain colors were issued in certain years.
I hope this is helpful to those of you wanting to date your bags and determine authenticity. You can also book me for a consultation if you would like to discuss your bag with me personally or post images of your bag and it's creed over on my free FB group.