Chanel Lambskin or Caviar?

November 7, 2012  |  BLOG DEBATES, CHANEL

Do you know the difference between a lambskin and a caviar Chanel bag? When choosing a Chanel bag there are some elements to consider such as color, and hardware. But, the most important choice you may have to make when it comes to aesthetics is the type of leather you want. Both the lambskin and caviar have their share of advantages—so let’s dive right in!

Both caviar and lambskin are options on all classic Chanel handbags which include:
Chanel Medium Flap
Chanel Jumbo Flap
Chanel Maxi Flap
Chanel 2.55 Reissue 225
Chanel 2.55 Reissue 226
Chanel 2.55 Reissue 227

So when considering the color and hardware, keep in mind the leather you want. Don’t just make a quick decision just cause. Pick the leather that fits your life and personality.

So Which One?


For starters, the lambskin is very soft. If feels extremely smooth and dainty to the touch. The lambskin gives Chanel bags a more luxurious and rich feel– which is actually a good thing, because Chanel is supposed to feel that way.

The disadvantage to the lambskin is that it is fragile. If you plan on making your Chanel one of your ‘evey-day’ bags then don’t choose lambskin. After a few days of wear, you may start to see scratches and maybe even the corners wearing off. Keep in mind this all depends on how you treat your bag. If you do choose lambskin treat it like your child.

The scratches and wearing on the lambskin leather is actually inevitable with time, even if you mean well with your bag.


Caviar, on the other hand, is much more durable leather. You shouldn’t expect that much damage early on like with the lambskin leather. While the lambskin can be scratched easily by the smallest bump or scuff, the caviar leather can handle a bit of abuse. Light scratches aren’t apparent on the caviar.

But the disadvantage of the caviar leather is that it doesn’t feel as soft as the lambskin. The durability of the bag does play a role in the overall feel of the bag. So if you plan on using your Chanel bag every day or almost every day, then you should definitely choose the caviar leather.

These are just some brief advantages and disadvantages, but remember it comes down to personal preference. Some people may know the risk of buying a lambskin Chanel bag and wearing it every day. But, they’d rather a lambskin over a caviar bag. That’s perfectly fine, because in the end you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a bag that doesn’t feel right to you.

As far as cost is concerned, the caviar leather is a must. With the constant price increases on Chanel handbags choosing the less costly caviar leather bag would be the right choice. I don’t blame anyone who does this because, frankly, I do it too.

If decide to buy a classic Chanel anytime soon it will be the caviar leather version, no doubt. Since I already have a couple lambskin bags, why not purchase a more durable bag that lasts longer? If bought another lambskin leather bag, the inevitable scratches would hurt me more than the bag itself! I can’t imagine having another lambskin bag that is scratch prone. I want my bags to last as long as possible. So my next choice is caviar.

What do you think about the leathers? Would you choose caviar or lambskin leather, and why?


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  1. Hi a friend claims to have purchased a classic flap small from Dubai for $1,500aud. Real or fake?

  2. I’m deciding between the Chanel Medium Classic Flap and the Jumbo. I want the caviar leather & silver hardware. Can someone please advise of pricing in Hawaii and also if it’s something you can just walk in and purchase? .. I’ve never got Chanel before!! It’s my wedding present. Thanks

  3. Hi is a brand new lambskin supposed to look almost like satin? My new one looks almost like satin maybe cause it’s new ? I was expecting more of a leatherie type with some shine thanks

    • No the new lambskin should not look and feel like satin. More like soft leather. Did you buy the Classic Flap Bag?

  4. Hi, any idea where London is still selling the castle rock bag?
    Also the price of classic 2.55 in London?

    • the castle rock is from the old collection, they don’t hv them in stock anymore. The classic 2.55 cost 2.800 pounds in jumbo

  5. Just bought my first seasonal red/orange Chanel bag was $6202! Thinking of buying another one for daily use as the one I bought it big and heavy! And too sharp for everyday wear! This website is great! Defanitly getting the non-sheepskin one ! The caviar would work best for me I am so clumsy sometimes! I think I’m starting to get an addiction to them! I want more!!! :O

    • OMG, congrats!

      What kind of bag did you buy? I think the medium classic flap is the best choice, because its small and easy to carry.

  6. How much should I be paying for a vintage turquoise python kiss-lock clutch, rare black lizard classic 2.55 double flap bag and for a rose pink calfskin Le Boy medium shoulder chain bag? Just ordered these three and wondering if I overpaid. All replies and any information will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    • Hi Alka, where did you buy these bags? Are they pre-owned? What is the size of the 2.55?

      • At Gilt. Yes, they are pre-owned. The size of the 2.55 is 9″x 5 1/2″x 2″….

        • Hi Alka, 2.55 is not the size, that’s the name of the bag. The bag’s name is: Chanel classic 2.55 reissue flap bag, the sizes are in 224, 225, 226 or 227. Please read:

          Given your measurement, I think yours is 224 or 225?

          The bags you bought are rare items, they usually sell above the market price or somewhere around it. One of our member also bought a few bags at Gilt. They refurbish it like new.

  7. Hi, I just came back from a trip in US bought my bag at Chanel in Vegas, i choose the caviar as supposed to the lambskin. They charged me tax although I showed them my passport to prove I am only a tourist. Nonetheless, I am very happy and proud of having a Chanel bag at last.

  8. I just came back from paris. How come galeries lafayette tax refund just 12% only?? It’s different shop have different %

  9. I think Caviar looks nice and classy !

  10. I still don’t know which to choose from…. Caviar or lambskin ?

    • Do you buy 3+ new Chanel bags per year? If not, I would go for the caviar. Yes, it’s heavier, but it’s more durable. Minimum maintenance. As for the lambskin, it can get scratches very easily.

  11. I choose caviar leather maxi for my wife,, cus she will wear it every day what I buy for her…

  12. This has been very helpful in my dilemma whether to get the lambskin or the caviar.

    I am getting the jumbo classic flap and most likely would be using it everytime. Caviar is the way to go then.


    • My other concern though is the availability and best cost.

      My family and I fly to Paris on the 20th of this month for a week then to London for 2 more weeks. I know from friends that it is better to buy in Europe so it would perfect for me.

      In Paris and London, would the shops reserve a unit for you over the phone? I am particularly interested in getting the Black Jumbo flap in Caviar and GHW.

      Would it be better to buy it in Paris or London? Would appreciate their prices if you know and how much tax I can claim back. In Bangkok, it is currently priced at Bht180,000 (Euro 4,455.44) less 7% VAT claimed when you leave the country.

      This will be my first purchase (long-awaited) so would appreciate all the help.

      Cheers and Thanks in advance.

      • I just came back from Paris.

        Bought 1 GST Burgundy Caviar SHW and 1 Card Case Lambskin SHW from 31 Rue Cambon.

        They have a tax refund of 13%. Not sure with London.

        It always feels good to get a Chanel from Chanel’s first store :D

      • Hi ano,

        black jumbo €3,400, tax refund 12% and there’s no better location. The best location is when they have the exact style in your bag. Some people could reserve 48 hours, but not all boutiques does this. You can try. Let me know how things went.

      • London!

  13. I called my local Chanel boutique and they said the woc does not come in caviar in the quilted design. Do you know if that’s true? I’ve read other threads disputing this claim.

    • I think what they mean was that they don’t make them anymore. Because I once saw a black caviar quilted woc in SHW.

  14. Hi may I know how much chanel trifold wallet costs? And is it caviar or lambskin? Thanks

    • Hard to find. The price was in 2011: $860, then increased to $915, I think the new price will be around $1,100 and $1,200. This is for the Tri-fold caviar in black btw. And of course I would pick the lambskin:

      1. You can only get the chic feeling from the lambskin.
      2. You won’t get your wallet abuse so easily, because it’s in your bag and you use it only when you need to grab something out of it, like cash.
      3. LOVE IT.

  15. hi, is there a vintage chanel medalion made in Lambskin? Thanks!

    • This question is a bit confusing. I think it’s better if you post a thread on the forum with a link or image to the medallion bag.

  16. This was so helpful. I would pick the caviar cause I am the type of person that doesn’t want to worry about getting my purse scratched or have to lye a blanket down just to put my bag on the floor or the seat of my car.

  17. I have two caviar bags and am about to buy a lambskin one. it is so luxurious!!!!!!!! I will just have to be careful with it!

  18. I would go for caviar, But the prices of Chanel is going high and make me move more to Hermes. I mean it!

  19. i always pick caviar, i want to choose lambskin next time

  20. I have all my bags in caviar, wouldnt want to abused so quickly!

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