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If you are head over heels for purses, perhaps you can spot an authentic Coach bag from a mile away. Sporting the signature four-C logo or crafted of fine leather, Coach bags come in every color of the rainbow and every style under the sun. Find your perfect Coach bag by number by learning to read and understand the embossed Coach creed inside. Learn to identify the numbers of classic Coach styles from practical wristlets to oversize carryalls.

Find the square patch of leather sewn inside the lining of the purse called the creed.

Examine the serial number or number and letter combination stamped on the creed. Authentic Coach bags' serial numbers are embossed or pressed into the leather, not printed on it.

Type the words "Coach serial number" followed by the last four or five digits of the serial number into a search engine on your computer. Pictures of purses and style names will pop up.

Call 888-262-6224 for assistance identifying your purse style based on the serial number and the name that came up in your serial number Web search. A customer service associate can provide more information on whether your purse has been discontinued or is still sold in stores.

Tip

Determine how old your purse is by looking for identifiable factors that indicate age. Bags from the 1960s did not have serial numbers. In the 1970s, each bag had a unique serial number that identified it as a Coach purse with no specific connection to the style name or line it belonged to. Starting in the 1990s, the last four digits indicate style number. Late in the first decade of the 2000s the last five digits identified the style number of the bag. The only way to guarantee a Coach bag is authentic and the serial number is true to the purse is to buy directly from a Coach retail store or authorized department store, such as Macy's.

Warning

Uneven or loose stitching, metals where the finish is rubbed off and imperfections in the leather are indicators your purse is not an authentic Coach.

About the Author

Jennifer Dermody

Jennifer Dermody started writing in 1992. She has been published in "Running Wild Magazine," "The Green Book" environmental bid journal and local publications in the areas that she has lived all over the world. She is currently a licensed Florida real estate agent. Dermody earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Regis College in 1993.