How to Spot a Genuine Alligator Skin Handbag

If you’re on the hunt for an authentic exotic skin handbag, such as a genuine alligator skin purse, you want to ensure that it is real, or not made from a lesser material such as caiman. Besides coming with a hefty price tag, here are some other ways to identify an alligator skin bag.

Alligator Skin

Found only in North America, the alligator is part of the crocodilian family. This rare reptile lives exclusively in fresh water lakes and swamps extending from Florida to Eastern Texas. Due to the high quality and beauty of the skin, as well as the exclusivity, an alligator skin handbag is seen as one of the most luxurious pelt choices available.

Genuine Alligator Skin Handbag



Much like a human belly button, alligators have a unique umbilical scar running up their bellies. It looks like an elongated star or triangular shape with smaller clusters of scales or a webbing pattern. Finding this mark on the leather identifies it as genuine alligator. Many high-end bag designers will showcase the scar in their finished products to guarantee authenticity.Alligator Umbilical Scars

Belly Scales

An alligator’s belly scales are smooth and supple and have an overall homogenous pattern. The bony deposits in caiman skin don’t allow dyes to distribute consistently and cause crinkling in the belly scales. If you see splotchy patterns in the dye, then you are witnessing caiman.


The robustness and suppleness make the alligator superior and classic leather. Alligator skin is flexible, unlike caiman hide, which has bony plates in the skin that cause cracks to appear between the scales. If you see cracks or notice the leather is not pliable, it might not be an authentic gator skin.

Head Bumps

Another method for the untrained eye to easily distinguish genuine alligator skin bag is by counting the bumps on the back of the head. While caimans have a four-four-two pattern, alligators have a two-two-two bump pattern.

Look for these distinctive traits to ensure the authenticity of your alligator bag.