Shimmering like a breath of opulence, Chanel’s gold hardware has long been a coveted hallmark of the brand’s timeless elegance. Fashion enthusiasts admire the luxurious allure it adds to their beloved Chanel bags or jewelry pieces, as if each golden accent possesses an everlasting glow. However, amidst the admiration and reverence, a lingering question arises: does Chanel’s gold hardware tarnish? In this article, we embark on a quest to unveil the truth, diving into the depths of metallurgy and fashion mythology, to shed light on the durability and longevity of this iconic adornment. So, let us journey together through the gilded mysteries and discover the tale of Chanel’s coveted gold hardware.
The shining CC clasp on the front of a CHANEL CLASSIC FLAP or BOY BAG has to be one of the most iconic hardware features in handbag history. This unmistakable logo accent was first introduced by Karl Lagerfeld in the ‘80s, and many regard it as the ‘classic’ Chanel look. Before then, the Chanel 2.55 had a simple twist-lock clasp, which is now known as the Mademoiselle Lock, a tribute to the fact that Coco Chanel never married. You can find this twist-lock style on the 2.55 REISSUE — a pared-back alternative to the Classic Flap if you prefer a logo-free hardware look. On Boy Bags, the CC emblem is placed on a rectangular metal plaque, so this bag’s hardware makes even more of an aesthetic impression than usual.
The chain strap that features on the majority of Chanel handbags is rumoured to have been inspired by the key chains worn by nuns in the orphanage Coco grew up in, the bridles of horses, or a soldier’s bag strap. Whatever its origin, take note that Chanel chain straps vary between handbag styles: a 2.55 Reissue has a pure chain strap, a Classic Flap has leather interlaced within the chain, and the Boy Bag has a much chunkier chain, befitting its edgier vibe.
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When purchasing your Chanel handbag, pay close attention to its hardware — it’s a key marker of authenticity. Metal hardware should feel heavy and expensive, with no peeling (you can find an in-depth dive to AUTHENTICATING YOUR BAG HERE). There is a chance however that over time, well-loved Chanel hardware may tarnish. In order to minimise this, make sure to invest in a professional jewellery polishing cloth, store your bag in a non-humid environment, and treat it to its complimentary after-purchase SACLÀB spa trip when it’s in need of some extra TLC. Read our CHANEL CARE GUIDE for more expert advice on how to make your handbag last.
High on many handbag wishlists is a black leather quilted Classic Flap with shiny gold hardware: a timeless combination of TWO OF CHANEL’S CORE COLOURS. One of its most common finishes, shiny gold hardware exudes glamour. If you are shopping vintage Chanel (pre-2008), take note that these styles are made with 24-karat gold-plated hardware, giving them a richer gold tone than usual (you can spot them by the small hallmark engraved on the top left of the CC).
COLLECTOR’S ITEMChanel Timeless Handle Small Lamb Black€ 3.530,—
Want a more toned-down gold look? Chanel offers brushed and matte gold hardware for a softer gleam. Pair it with pastel pinks, blues and greens for a feminine feel.
Reminiscent of Champagne, pale gold hardware works wonders with white and cream Chanel handbags, as well as light metallic leathers.
Often seen on Boy Bags, antique gold has a brassier tone and a slight patina that will lend your bag an aged, vintage look.
If you tend towards silver rather than gold jewellery in your everyday outfits, then shiny silver hardware could be the way to go. Its cool, understated hue provides a great contrast to jewel tones, exotic brights and classic tweeds.