American Girl marks certain dolls with an “artist mark” on the back of their necks. This makes it a super neat thing to look for, and may tell you more about your doll!

What is an artist mark?

In their post Basic Doll Anatony, 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]

In other words, an artist mark is a little patch of scratches molded underneath your doll’s ear—usually the right.

American Girl doesn’t mark all dolls, and it’s unknown for sure why they don’t. I agree with AG Wiki’s suggestion that it’s a mark of early production[1] since none of my newer dolls have them.

Whatever dolls you own, it’s fun to check and see if you can spot one or more of these unique artist marks!

Where is the artist mark?

doll artist mark molly

To see if AG marked your doll, lift your doll’s hair off of her neck.

Check behind and under her right ear, near the crease of her neck. After that, if American Girl has marked your doll and if look closely, you should see a unique patch of scratches on the vinyl.

doll artist mark emily

Emily — edited to show detail

For instance, my dolls Molly, Emelie (Emily), and Jasmine (Saige) all have artist marks. None of my newer dolls have artist marks, however (Ivy [’14], Truly Me #56 [’15], Lea [’16]).

In addition, I’ve noticed all three of my dolls’ marks look the same: a distorted hashtag with a C in the bottom righthand corner. Molly was purchased in 2011 and Emelie & Jasmine in 2013.

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 but others don’t? And above all… why are they even there? Join the discussion below!

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P.S. In addition to some other exciting plans, I’m working on an introductory photostory for my two new dolls!


1. American Girl Wiki, Basic Doll Anatomy

2. American Girl Wiki, Basic Doll Anatomy