Hi ladies! I became interested in Chanel bags about a year ago. I was shocked when I first found out the price of the Chanel flaps. I was even more shocked when I learned that the price doubled only in the past few years. I thought that the price of Chanel bags went up so much because of the price increase in gold. At that time, I didn't realize Chanel stop using real gold to plate the hardware on their handbags. I later learned the fact from TPF. I tried researching to find out when Chanel stop using real gold plated hardware but had no luck. Do any of you ladies know? I purchased a preowned gold plated HW Chanel bag from 2008 about 6 months ago. It was in pristine condition when I got it. I used it for about 20 times and noticed the gold on the zipper pull has already started to fade. Is this normal? Did Chanel stop using real gold by 2008?