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authentication

 

We've been collecting vintage accessories for almost a decade now and are experts in vintage authentication. While there is no one formal way to authenticate vintage, we stand behind every piece in our collection, backed by our 30 day return policy. We absolutely adore collecting vintage and treasuring them forever. It's important to us that you love your spark as much as we do!

 

Compared to today's accessories, the high quality and craftsmanship of vintage really speaks for itself. In decades past, more intricate designs, materials and manufacturing processes were used in the construction of jewelry, scarves, belts and bags. This is why so many of the pieces in our collection still look like new today! For example, they used to triple plate the gold finishes on jewelry and handbag hardware which is why they don't tarnish very easily over time.

Part of owning something vintage is embracing the natural characteristics it's developed over the years that's inline with it's age. When it comes to curating each piece for our vintage collections, we hand pick the best quality. You can always count on our vintage collection to be in excellent condition. Read below for more information on vintage authentication for Chanel, Hermès, Louis Vuitton and more.

 

We're vintage experts. Every brand is unique, here's what we look for first.
 

Quality First

The number one thing we look for when authenticating a vintage find is the quality. Most recognizable traits are heavy metals, vibrant gold plating and signature leathers.

 

Signature Markings

From serial code numbers to stamped zipper pulls, each brand has a go-to combination of markings. Some of these markings can be used to date a find to a specific decade of season.

 

Vintage Aesthetic

Our heritage collection ranges from the 1970s to the early 2000s. We focus on the 1980s and 1990s when it comes to CHANEL.

 

Chanel

The french fashion house of Chanel was founded in 1909, we are proud to offer the largest collection of vintage Chanel in San Francisco. During the 1980s and 1990s hearts, coins, clovers, quilted bags, perfume bottles and pearls were popular motifs throughout Chanel jewelry pieces. Most designs also featured the iconic interlocking double CC logo. Chanel did not date pieces between 1986 through 1989, anything after that period is marked with the season and date. Chanel jewelry was 24k gold plated in the 1980s through the 1990s which has since been discontinued due to the high price of gold. The classic Chanel clip-on coin earrings came in a variety of sizes ranging from 3/4" to 1 1/2" in width. Chanel did not start designing pierced earrings until the early 2000s, so most vintage earrings are clip-on. While we personally prefer clip-on earrings to prevent drooping, you can always consult with a local jeweler to have earrings converted to a pierced post back.

 

The iconic Chanel 2.55 bag is adorned with signature details like lambskin or caviar leather, a 24k gold plated CC turnlock closure, adjustable chain straps, fold-over flap, slim back pocket, and diamond quilting. During the 1980s through the 1990s Chanel hardware was 24k gold plated which has since been discontinued due to the high price of gold. This exact style with gold plated hardware is no longer manufactured today, making the vintage handbags true collectors items and a wardrobe staple. Each vintage handbag can be dated according to the serial code number inside. While it is rare to find a vintage Chanel bag with its original authentication card and dust bag, we will include any original packaging along with a purchase if we have them in our possession. For both lambskin and caviar leather surfaces we recommend cleaning and protecting pieces with a gentle leather conditioner. Test on a discreet area before applying everywhere to avoid possible discoloration. We recommend storing Chanel handbags inside a dust bag with the chain straps tucked inside and to avoid keeping them in any place that could alter its shape and cushioned texture.

 

Sweet & Spark is not affiliated with Chanel. Chanel™ is a registered trademark of Chanel. 

 

Hermès

The French fashion house of Hermès was founded in 1837 and is one of the oldest and most valuable luxury companies in the world today, mostly known for their iconic Birkin handbags and legendary printed silk scarves. All of the scarves from Hermès are manufactured in France by hand. Hallmarks of an authentic Hermès scarf are the buttery silk twill fabric along with the hems being hand rolled towards the printed side. Each individual scarf takes up to 18 months to complete due to the high-end craftsmanship of silk screen printing. On average, a single scarf can feature up to 27 different colors, each color needs to dry completely before applying the next which can make the overall process extremely tedious. Our vintage Hermès scarf collection is full of rare and collectable pastel prints from the 1960s through the 1970s. We recommend spot cleaning or dry cleaning for any stains that may occur.

 

Sweet & Spark is not affiliated with Hermès. Hermès™ is a registered trademark of Hermés.

 

 

Louis Vuitton

The French fashion house of Louis Vuitton was founded in 1854 as a high-end luggage company. The most iconic LV monogram styles include the Speedy handbag, the Alma handbag, the Neverfull tote, the Pouchette shoulder bag, the Zippy wallet and the Noé bucket bag. Many of the vintage Louis Vuitton styles that are still popular today have been discontinued and will be occasionally re-released, often with design updates, making vintage styles very collectable. Each Louis Vuitton bag can be dated according to the serial code number inside which indicates the season and location of manufacture. We recommend cleaning and protecting surfaces with a gentle leather conditioner. Test on a discreet area before applying everywhere to avoid discoloration.

 

Sweet & Spark is not affiliated with Louis Vuitton. Louis Vuitton™ is a registered trademark of Louis Vuitton.