American Girl has been making their beautiful doll face molds for decades, made of vinyl that is spun cast, leaving no seams or marks externally.[1] Certain American Girl dolls, however, have an “artist mark” on the back of their necks, and it’s a pretty neat thing to look for!

First of all… what is an artist mark?

American Girl Wiki gives us this: “Some dolls have small “artist” markings behind one ear. These are assumed to be from the early production, but cannot be relied on to give a definitive age of the doll.”[2]

Molly — sharpened to show detail

And I give you this: An artist mark is a little patch of scratches molded underneath your doll’s right (or left — thank you to Anna for joining the discussion and letting me know!) ear. Not all dolls have an artist mark — it’s unknown for sure why some doll molds have an artist mark while others do not. But whatever doll or dolls you have, it’s fun to check and see if one or more of them have one of these unique artist marks – keep reading!

Where is the artist mark?

Saige — edited to show detail

To see if your doll has an artist mark, lift up your doll’s hair to get it up off of her neck. Check behind and under her right ear and near the crease of her neck – if your doll has an artist mark and if look closely, you should see a unique patch of scratches on your doll!

Emily — edited to show detail

My dolls Molly, Emelie (Emily), and Jasmine (Saige) all have artist marks. In comparing the artist marks, I’ve noticed all three of them look the same — a distorted hashtag with a C in the bottom righthand corner. Molly was purchased in 2011 and Emelie & Jasmine in 2013.

An interesting observation I’ve noticed is that none of my newer dolls have artist marks (Ivy [’14], Truly Me #56 [’15], Lea [’16]). (My two secondhand dolls were both purchased this year, but I’m not sure how long their owners have had them and neither of them have artist marks). American Girl Wiki did say that “These [artist marks] are assumed to be from the early production.”[1]

Check your own dolls! Do any of them have artist marks? What are your thoughts and observations as to why certain dolls have artist marks while others don’t or why they are there? Join the discussion below!

Much, much love,

P.S. Guess who’s working on an introductory photo story series for her two new dolls? ? I plan to have the first part up this week!


1.  American Girl Wiki, Basic Doll Anatomy

2. American Girl Wiki, Basic Doll Anatomy