1. I'm not sure if this is the appropriate place to ask this, but how do I tell if something is alligator vs. crocodile? I know crocodiles have those little dots inside the scales, but do they ever not? I found two vintage bags that seem more crocodile than alligator and don't have any tags. Closeup of one is in the this post, second bag in next post.
  2. bag 2
  3. I'd be interested to know too but I cannot help sorry. Nice bags by the way.
  4. The first one is a bit odd. I say that because, for the life of me, I can't tell from which part of the skin this was cut. I'll take a photo of à skin and post it here so you can see what I mean. The second looks as if it is Florida or Colombian caiman . The little dots in the center of the scales are present in Australian ( and neighboring) crocodiles, but, to my knowledge, Not in American crocodile. I hope that helps. I'll take a photo of a skin ( Colombian) and try to post it, if i can .
    Prada_Princess likes this.
  5. No luck uploading a photo, sorry. I'm sure you can find a photo of an uncut skin on the internet, however.
    Prada_Princess likes this.
  6. #7Feb 2, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
    caimen.jpg Here is a photo of a Colombian (American) Caimen skin I have on hand. Notice, there are no dots in the middle of the scales. (again, you will see those dots on Australian Freshwater crocodile and some African species. Also, notice the skin itself and why I mentioned I cannot see where the piece was cut from. The first does look genuine, however and I believe that's crocodile. It was clearly from a very large animal, circa 1960's? Probably before the ban on savage crocodile use.
  7. The second bag is alligator (mississipiensis).

    Edit to add: sorry, realized this is a zombie thread!
  8. Any use??

    This difference is practically reflected in the pricing of the two varieties – alligator leather products command a significant premium over similar crocodile leather products. This fact, plus the higher quality perception of the alligator leather has encouraged certain unscrupulous sellers to pass of crocodile leather as alligator leather.

    Alligator and crocodile are two different animals – even though they belong to the same reptilian order (this order also includes caimans, gharials and saltwater crocodiles). Here is a hierarchy of different leather types in this order, graded from the best downwards –

    American Alligator
    Saltwater crocodile
    Freshwater crocodile

    As such, it is important for a buyer to understand the difference between alligator leather and crocodile leather. It is only reasonable that when you pay top dollars for a genuine luxury product, you should get the real thing.

    Identifying genuine alligator leather vis-a’-vis crocodile leather depends on the exclusive physical characteristics of each animal. These characteristics will help a buyer to distinguish between these two types with a fair degree of certainty – and become a connoisseur in exotic crocodilian leather!
    Umbilical scar

    Alligator Umbilical Scar
    Alligator Umbilical Scar

    Alligators and crocodiles both have umbilical scars – in different patterns. In alligator, the umbilical scar is an elongated webbed pattern nestled between the immediately recognizable rectangular tiles of the leather. Crocodile umbilical scar is more modest – not anywhere as elaborate as that of the alligator. Since this pattern is exclusive to alligators, its presence can conclusively establish the genuineness of a leather sample. So much so that designers take special care to include this pattern in their products.
    Back Horns


    The neck of all the crocodilian reptiles has a number of small ‘horns’ or bumps – a trained eye can decipher that they are arranged in a fixed pattern of rows which is exclusive to each animal – alligator, crocodile and caiman. For an alligator, it is 2 rows of 2 horns each; for a crocodile, it is two rows with 4 and 2 horns each.

    This pattern will become discernible only in the ‘hornback cut’ – where the hide is cut to keep the neck pattern intact (as opposed to the belly cut).
    Tile Patterns

    Both alligator and crocodile leathers have an immediately recognizable tile patterns – but closer examination will reveal the slight differences that can distinguish the two types.

    In alligator leather, the tiles are less uniform, with more natural scars. Even if the alligator leather is highly buffed, certain small, uneven lines will be visible at the base of the rectangles.

    Crocodile Skin Pore
    Crocodile Skin Pore

    In crocodile leather, the tiles are more uniform – the pattern on one side of the belly is almost symmetrical to the other side. Also, each tile will have a small dot that will be often visible – a remnant of the hair follicle that was present there (This is an exclusive distinguishing characteristic of a crocodile).