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Alligator Vs. Crocodile Skin Handbag

When shopping for exotic skin merchandise, consumers are faced with two very distinct choices: alligator or crocodile skin. But which exotic skin handbag is right for you? While both reptiles are members of the same crocodilian family, there are significant differences in the skin as far as looks, quality, prestige, and price. Here, we break down the two types of exotic skin handbags and explains the choice between alligator and crocodile skins.

Alligator Skin

Referred to as the “Rolls Royce” of exotics, the alligator is a North American species of reptile found only in the Southeastern United States. The animals are found in fresh-water swamps spanning from Florida to Eastern Texas. Due to their firmness, suppleness, texture, and overall scale pattern uniformity, the skins tend to be more expensive. Additionally, they are more rare than any other crocodilian species, including the crocodile and caiman.

One of the key differences between alligator and crocodile skins is that alligators tend to have an umbilical scar, much like a human belly button, that runs up the belly. It appears like a cluster of smaller scales in a triangular shape. Designers will often showcase this unique characteristic in their finished alligator skin handbag products to prove alligator authenticity. Additionally, alligator belly tiles are often more squared off than crocodile scale shapes.

Crocodile Skin

Crocodiles are found throughout the world in both fresh-water and salt-water environments. Crocodiles have tiny hairs to help them sense their underwater surroundings. After the hide is tanned, the hairs are individually removed, leaving the tiny pore clusters behind. A giveaway of a crocodile handbag is the presence of these tiny holes in each of the scales. Also, crocodile belly scales tend to be more oval in shape, compared to alligator scales, and you can see this on a crocodile skin handbag.

While similar, these two species have very distinct differences.