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Cuban Fakes Don't be Fooled

Cuban Fakes: Don’t Be Fooled

Working at Corona Cigar Company, I have seen a lot of “Cubans” that customers smoke and sometimes gift to me. Of all the “Cuban” cigars that customers show me, (they get them from a “special” source) maybe 1% of them are real. The rest are not. Counterfeiting Cuban cigars is a huge industry. This industry plays on the lack of availability and the history and pedigree of Cuban cigars to sell these fake cigars. Now, I’m not going to tell you how to get real Cuban cigars, other than to travel abroad and only buy from licensed Habanos S.A. dealers. But I will tell you how to avoid being duped.
  1. When traveling, never buy “Cuban” cigars off the street or at a “Discount”. Look for a licensed Habanos S.A. dealer.
  2. Do not buy Cuban cigars in the U.S. even if the person says they are Cuban and get a box from the factory or from their families. (If they are willing to give you some to try then by all means.)
  3. Be very, very wary of on-line stores. (You don’t want to buy cigars from some crook that can design a fancy web page.)
    These three simple steps will keep your from getting burned, but if you must buy Cuban cigars you must become an expert in recognizing fakes. The following will not make you an expert, but will help to keep you and your money safe.
Real Cuban cigars are color sorted, which means the cigars in a box will all be the same color. The bands will fit snugly on the cigars and will never be loose and all bands will be at the same level on the cigars and facing out. Also the filler is packed differently in Real Cuban cigars and Fake Cuban cigars. On the box there are several marks to look for, one being the Hallmark. These Hallmarks are not ink stamps, but are actual burned-in marks by the branding of the bottom of the boxes - you should run your fingers over them and feel their depth.
All of the cigars in a box will be of the exact length as specified for the vitola (cigar). There is rarely greater than 1/16th of an inch of deviation from the published lengths of Cuban cigars. This is probably the easiest counterfeit check to perform and it is seldom done. And while these are only a few of the many ways verify authenticity, following just these steps alone can keep you from wasting your money. I recommend doing an

Internet search on your own as well, because there is much more information out there. I would start by using any search engine and typing in the search bar – spotting fake Cuban cigars. Remember, everything from packaging can be faked or stolen – you have to trust the place where you buy your cigars, and therein lies the quandary. When buying Cuban cigars you should never give your trust, or your money away easily.
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