How Can You Tell the Difference Between Alligator and Crocodile Leather?

How Can You Tell the Difference Between Alligator and Crocodile Leather?

January 2, 2020

Crocodiles and alligators have many similarities, which means that the leather that is used to make handbags, belts, shoes and other accessories will also have some of the same characteristics. However, there are some stark contrasts between the skins of these two animals, and it is important for you to be able to identify these differences so you can ensure you are buying exactly what you’re looking for. Read on to learn about some of the distinguishing characteristics that will help you tell the difference between crocodile and genuine alligator skin in Baton Rouge, LA.

Scale pattern differences

The shape and size of the scales on the bellies of both the crocodile and the alligator are similarly square-shaped, but as these scales move towards the outside of the animals, a few differences become clear. The shapes of the scales on an alligator belly are larger and squarer, and abruptly become smaller and rounder as they move out towards the sides of the animal. The transition between the skin on the belly and the skin on the sides of a crocodile is much smoother, with the scales becoming smaller and rounder gradually and more uniformly.

Distinctive markers

There will also be distinctive markers on the skin of each animal that will clue you in to which was used to make your leather goods. Alligators have a star-shaped marking on their bellies that is commonly referred to as an umbilical scar. Because alligators are the only animals that have this marking, it is often placed visibly in the front of the bag as a verification of authenticity. Alternatively, crocodile scales commonly display visible pores that are left behind when all of the many hairs that cover the animal’s body are removed during the tanning process.

Check with the retailer

Authentic handbags that are imported come with a CITES export document verifying the origins of the leather, which your retailer should be able to provide upon request if the bag is indeed genuine. If your bag was made domestically, there should be some form of documentation that verifies what species of animal the leather came from, as well as provenance that shows the authenticity of the leather itself.

Even when you know what to look for, spotting these differences on a finished leather product can be extremely difficult. The best way to keep yourself protected from buying leather that isn’t authentic or can’t be verified is to shop with an established, honest retailer that has built a reputation on trustworthiness and high-quality products.

For the past 25-plus years, that is exactly what the team at Acadian Leather has set out to do, with an unmatched collection of leather goods from custom boots and handbags to high-end accessories and everything in between. To browse our expansive selection and add quality pieces of crocodile and genuine alligator skin leather to your personal collection in Baton Rouge, LA, give us a call or come check out our products today. We’d love to tell you more about our high-quality leather products!

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