Does Chanel Gold Hardware Tarnish

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.

Good to know

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.

Hardware: Classic

Shiny gold 

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).


    Chanel Timeless Handle Small Lamb Black

Brushed/matte gold

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.


Pale gold

Reminiscent of Champagne, pale gold hardware works wonders with white and cream Chanel handbags, as well as light metallic leathers.

Antique gold

Often seen on Boy Bags, antique gold has a brassier tone and a slight patina that will lend your bag an aged, vintage look.

Chanel Timeless Medium Lamb Blue

Shiny silver

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.


  • Chanel Timeless Small Flap Bag Lamb Black


Think of Ruthenium as silver’s equivalent of antique gold. It offers an edgier, more distressed look compared to shiny silver, with a hint of gunmetal. Like antique gold, you’ll often find it on Boy Bags. We love it with bright REDS AND PINKS.


Hardware: Rare

So Black 

Like Hermès, Chanel has a So Black line of handbags which are TREASURED BY COLLECTORS: jet-black leather, matched dramatically with shiny black metal hardware. The brand also produces another So Black variety with blackened Ruthenium hardware.


    Pre-owned Chanel bag 2.55 Reissue 227 Aged Calf SO Black Black Side Front | Sell your designer bag on Saclab.comPre-owned Chanel bag 2.55 Reissue 227 Aged Calf SO Black Black Side Front | Sell your designer bag on

    Chanel 2.55 Reissue 227 Aged Calf SO Black


In 2016, CHANEL RELEASED THE FIRST OF ITS IRIDESCENT BOY BAGS, featuring dark metallic leather with patinated hardware reminiscent of an oil slick. Incredibly popular with young collectors (including Kylie Jenner), this hardware has since been used on a number of metallic and rainbow Boy Bag styles, and some Classic Flaps too. Seek out for an extra dose of shimmer.

Plexiglass and enamel

For a fashion-forward look, Chanel’s plexiglass and enamel hardware is the way to go. Crafted in block tonal colours, you can find the double CC either inlaid with enamel, or molded entirely in plexiglass. To go one step further, seek out a Lego clutch, where both the body of the bag and its oversized CC emblem are made from playful brick-like plexiglass.

Chanel Boy Medium Patent Leather Blue

Pearls and embellished

If you’re a fan of the classic black and gold Chanel look, pearl-embellished hardware should be on your wishlist. Another signature Chanel material, a pearl-encrusted double CC is the epitome of Parisian chic. Because Chanel releases new bag styles with every season, often aligning to a particular theme, you’ll find a number of limited-edition iterations of imaginatively embellished hardware on the secondhand market, including decadent jewels, filigree gold and chain-effect enamel. Time to get browsing…

1. “Gilded Elegance: Unraveling the Mysteries of Chanel’s Gold Hardware and Tarnishing”

Gilded Elegance: Unraveling the Mysteries of Chanel’s Gold Hardware and Tarnishing

For decades, Chanel has captivated the fashion world with its exquisite designs and luxurious accessories. Among its most iconic features is the gilded hardware that adorns its handbags, jewelry, and other accessories. This opulent gold detailing has become synonymous with Chanel’s elegance and sophistication, but it also carries an air of mystery. What truly sets Chanel’s gold hardware apart from the rest? And why does it sometimes tarnish?

Chanel’s gold hardware is no ordinary gold plating. It undergoes a meticulous process that ensures its durability and lustrous allure. Firstly, a base metal is meticulously crafted to form the desired shape, providing a sturdy foundation. Then, a thin layer of gold is meticulously electroplated onto the base, creating the iconic gold hue. Finally, a protective coating is applied to guarantee resistance against everyday wear and tear. By following this intricate process, Chanel ensures that their gold hardware not only looks magnificent but also maintains its elegance over time.

  • Quality and Composition: The secret to Chanel’s gold hardware

    2. “Shimmering Beyond Time: Decoding the Enigma of Chanel’s Tarnish-Prone Gold Hardware

    Chanel Hardware 101

    Hardware sometimes doesn’t seem like an obviously important aspect to a bag. But in reality, hardware is everything. When holding a luxury bag in your hand, the quality of all its features is so apparent versus holding a fast fashion bag. In the case of Chanel, well, you probably notice the hardware right away. And that’s the whole point.

    From the materials that Chanel uses, to of course the hardware on every bag, all details are meticulously thought out and crafted by the most renowned artisans located across France, Italy, and Spain. Over time, Chanel has brought to life some of the world’s most gorgeous hardware pieces that make their collections so distinct. Read on for a glimpse into some of Chanel’s most iconic hardware.

    Lock It in with Iconic Chanel Hardware

    Chanel hardware is loved so much that even DIYers repurpose authentic Chanel hardware found in thrift stores belonging to clothes, bags and accessories into custom jewelry. So, let’s debate this: Hardware sustains the demand for Chanel, particularly their iconic bags. Come to think of it, what would these bags be without them?

    close up image of Chanel Reissue 2.55 bag in black FASHIONPHILE

    The Hardware:

    The Chanel Mademoiselle Lock & chain strap

    The Bag: Chanel 2.55

    The very first Chanel flap was a single flap brought to life in the 1920s. Coco Chanel added a strap to a clutch and the first carryall was born.

    This concept revolutionized handbags, especially for women, at a time when bags were often carried by hand giving women limited styling options. This eventually inspired Coco to release the 2.55 in February of 1955. Beyond the artful design and simplicity of its turn lock, the name is significant because it’s inspired by the fact that Coco Chanel never married. The Mademoiselle turn-lock is also a more understated look compared to other locks, but the all metal chain gives this bag a very distinctive look.

    close up image of Chanel Double Flap bag in black FASHIONPHILE

    The Hardware:

    The Chanel CC Turn-lock & leather chain strap

    The Bags: Chanel Double Flap

    Inspired by the 2.55, Karl Lagerfeld reimagined the 2.55 bag in the 1980s replacing the Mademoiselle turn-lock with CC hardware, and changing the all metal chain strap with an interwoven leather and chain strap.

    This gave the flap a more fresh and modern look. The hardware upgrade brought to life a new timeless style. This bag, coming in both single and double flap versions, is considered to be what we all think of as the “classic flap.” For more information on this ever-popular style, be sure to visit our Ultimate Chanel Flap Guide.

    close up image of Chanel Boy bag in black FASHIONPHILE

    The Hardware:

    The Chanel CC Plaque & chain strap

    The Bag: Chanel Boy

    Chanel Boy bags are the edgier option to the more fem classic flap and 2.55 bags out there.

    The Boy bag was named after Coco Chanel’s longtime lover, Boy Capel. These bags come in various sizes but one thing remains the same. The hardware. The rectangular CC push-lock plaque is iconic and adds a little bit of substance to this bag. Additionally, the thicker chain strap gives the Boy bag a little bit of “extra” that we all need.

    close up image of Chanel 19 in black FASHIONPHILE

    The Hardware:

    Interwoven leather CC & tri-color chain strap

    The Bag: Chanel 19

    This Chanel 19 came out in 2019, and has gorgeous tri-color hardware giving this newer bag a more youthful edge as well as a soft feminine touch.

    It borrows inspiration from both the 2.55 and the Classic Flap. The chunky-chain link shoulder strap, similar to the Chanel Boy, is a combination of silver, ruthenium and aged gold. If you’re thinking of investing in one, this post shares what it was like purchasing one with the help from one of our Personal Shoppers.

    Types of Chanel Hardware 

    Polished gold – shiny gold options also includes 24k hardware. More on that in a bit!

    Chanel shiny gold hardware

    Matte gold – gold with a light brushed finish.

    Chanel matte gold hardware

    Light Gold – a shiny more pale lighter champagne gold.

    Chanel light gold hardware FASHIONPHILE

    Aged Gold – a gold that has a more rustic finish.

    Chanel aged. gold hardware FASHIONPHILE

    Polished Rose gold – polished rose gold came out 2012, then a pink gold tone came out for 21B. This hardware option is perfect for those who like to enjoy (and wear) the rosier things in life.

    Chanel polished rose gold hardware FASHIONPHILE

    Polished silver – shiny silver, what else.

    Chanel polished silver hardware FASHIONPHILE

    Aged Ruthenium – a more rustic, darker silver.

    chanel aged ruthenium hardware FASHIONPHILE

    So Black – black hardware that perfectly matches the black leather.

    Chanel So Black hardware FASHIONPHILE

    Incognito – this is an iconic lacquered type of hardware and bags with this hardware have a snap closure.

    Chanel incognito hardware FASHIONPHILE

    Rainbow – does it get more colorful than this?

    Chanel Rainbow hardware FASHIONPHILE

    24k Hardware – Some older Chanel Flap bags with gold-colored hardware have 24k hardware.

    Chanel 24k hardware FASHIONPHILE

    These were introduced in 1985 and are distinguished by a special hallmark on the CC hardware, which can be located at any of the four corners. Hallmark symbols include “W” or “///” among others, and denote the origin of the gold. 24k hardware was discontinued in 2008. Chanel Flap styles made pre-2009 and current are not gold-plated but you may notice a symbol or mark on the CC that says “Chanel.” Watch this clip for more 24k hardware.