It’s an incredibly common question within the cigar industry, and if you’ve ever been to the beaches of Mexico or the Caribbean, you’ve probably seen it in action. Heck, you may have even bought them before. Men and women, walking up and down the coastline selling high-value cigars for extremely low prices. The question is, “is that cigar fake?”

Well, the team at Cigar World wanted to help out with some of the best and easiest ways to determine whether a cigar is counterfeit or legit. From the band to the box, get some pro tips on how to spot fake cigars.

#5: Look at the band.

The cigar’s band can be really telling. A fake band will most likely be missing embossing or intricate details, and the colors may be off when compared to a real band as well.

#4: Check out the box.

Typically, real cigar boxes will have perfect symmetry as well as proper branding, much like the bands. The box’s cigar count is also something to check. And, always be wary of clear-top 5-packs. 

#3: Examine the wrapper.

Consistency is key for making sure cigars are real. Fakes normally lack quality control, so if you see inconsistencies in the wrapper colors, it’s probably not legit.

#2: Double check the cap.

Normally, legitimate cigars have seamed or multi-seamed caps. They're incredibly clear to notice. However, the caps on fake cigars could be missing seams or be done sloppily.

#1: Trust the prices you know.

One of the quickest ways to know if a cigar is fake is simply off the price. You’re not going to get a real iPhone 13 or real Jordans for eighty-off MSRP. The same goes for premium cigars.

Have you ever seen fake cigars? Let us know in the comments!


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  • Member Avatar
    (18 months ago)

    My kid picked up a sampler pack of 'Cuban' cigars on a beach in Mexico. They were all in the Montecristo #2 style. I didn't say anything at the time to spare his feelings, but there were allegedly 5 different brands in the package. Amazingly, they ALL looked alike - no size or color variations. They weren't all that bad, but they ALL tasted the same. Definitely NOT Cuban products. Overall, they were tolerable campfire-side smokes.

  • Member Avatar
    (18 months ago)

    Good article! Those cheap boxes with clear lids are the ones I see 9/10 times.