Authenticating a Gucci
This is the nitty-gritty of collecting. The real Sam Spade work that is required of a good collector in order to set that person apart from the casual consumer or the amateur. A real collector can authenticate every item in his or her collection, showing it's a real Gucci and often detailing where it's been and the story behind the item.
As an example, you're a collector considering a Jackie O bag that is being sold at auction. The price is right, the item appears authentic, and the seller seems honest. So how do you proceed?
First, ask for a serial number (engraved in most Gucci handbag's interior), if an authenticity card (or controllato card) and care card is included, and any provenance that might go with the bag, such as what outlet it was purchased from originally and who's owned it besides the seller.
Often one or more of these can be the only answer you'll need to authenticate the item, but the more of them you can obtain, the better your collectible will be when you purchase it. At the very least, the serial number should not be a problem for the seller to give you and is your biggest key to the item's authentication.
Once you have a serial number for this Jackie O handbag, you can call Gucci directly to find out if the serial number is authentic and what records they have on it. There are two Gucci offices in America, both in New York, that you can call for this information. On Fifth Avenue, their number is (212) 826-2600 and on Madison Avenue, their number is (212) 717-7619.
Besides authenticating the serial number, which they will gladly do, you can also obtain sales records for a collectible item and other provenance you may wish to have with the item. This will likely come with a fee, of course, but for the serious collector, it's worth it. Make sure they know it's for a collectible and you wish to have the information certified by them (a letter of certification will accompany the information).
Finally, purchase with the knowledge that you've not only collected a great Jackie O bag for your collection, but that you've done your homework to authenticate and prove provenance on the Gucci as well.
Tags: Authentic Gucci