The Coach patch, creed and serial number is the number 1 topic of conversation when the authenticity of a Coach purse is being discussed. Nobody wants to buy a counterfeit bag. Everybody wants to know for sure if their bag is authentic, particularly when buying from an online auction like eBay. But is this mysterious serial number a true indicator? In a word, NO.
First, a true serial number is unique. Finding a Coach patch with an actual unique serial number is next to impossible. Coach hasn’t used a true serial number for about 10 years. Sure, the older bags had true serial numbers, but not anymore. The myths , urban legends or simple un-truths surrounding “the patch” have caused many a girl to go into a panicked frenzy of sorts after receiving a bag that had a patch with no numbers or worse yet, no patch at all!
The fact is not all bags have them. Actually, most do not! Nobody really knows for certain what determines Coach’s decision to place a leather creed patch with numbers in certain bags but a general rule of thumb is this: If Coach deems the purse a handbag, it will have a leather creed patch with numbers . Items not counting as handbags would include wristlets, mini skinny’s, cosmetic pouch bags and other accessories. There will sometimes be leather patches with the creed, but not any numbers in these smaller accessory type products. The numbers, when present, represent the style number and a code of date of manufacture. So you will see the same style number on every bag of that style but you might find some bags with different numbers other than the style numbers. The numbers can also contain letters.
There are more than a few different creeds but the most common ones will read something like these:
THIS IS A COACH BAG. IT WAS HANDCRAFTED IN CHINA FROM THE FINEST MATERIALS TRIMMED WITH GENUINE LEATHER. ITS SUPERIOR CRAFTSMANSHIP AND ATTENTION TO DETAIL REFLECT OUR COMMITMENT TO ENDURING QUALITY.
THIS IS A COACH BAG. IT WAS HANDCRAFTED IN CHINA OF COMPLETELY NATURAL SOFT MILLED COWHIDE. THE VARIATIONS IN THE GRAIN ARE CHARACTERISTIC OF NATURAL FULL GRAIN LEATHER.
Most of the leather patches are beautifully embossed. Some of the newer bags have a metallic cursive style writing on them rather than an embossing. Some of the accessory type bags, as mentioned above, will not have any numbers but may still have a creed of sorts, usually a shorter version of the above examples.
Another misconception is that Coach bags are made in the USA and that anything made in China must be fake. This is not true and it’s hard to believe so many people believe it. Coach hasn’t made bags in the USA for about 10 years and 90% or more of their products are manufactured in China. There are other countries too such as Turkey, Italy, Pakistan, Mexico and India among others. You will almost always see the word China on their creed patches.
The bottom line is that just because a Coach bag is without a leather creed, does not mean it’s a knockoff. Most companies manufacturing fake bags would put one in anyways. It might not be the correct style numbers. It might not be leather. It might have words spelled incorrectly. Still, it will likely be there with a fake bag. So don’t get too excited by a “no patch” bag. Instead, learn the style number of your bag and if it has a patch, see that it matches the numbers on the creed. Check for incorrect spellings. Make sure the patch is actually leather. To recap, if it’s a small pouch bag, cosmetic bag, wristlet or other accessory, it likely shouldn’t have one in it anyway. Of course, there are exceptions to this accessories rule, but it’s accurate most of the time. Some of the more expensive accessories will have the full creed in them such as limited edition items.