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How to spot a fake Cohiba? Last week, Ministry of Cigars published an article on how to spot Counterfeit Cuban cigars. That article focused on the major flaws that are easily detectable. Missing stickers, glass top boxes, or things like Edicion Limitadas from a year that that brand doesn’t have an edicion limitada. But what if the box of Cohiba you are eying checks out on all those tell-tale signs? Then it’s time to dig deeper into the signs that can tell you what’s real and what’s not. That’s where the skills of Vrijdag Premium Printing come into play. That Dutch printer creates all kinds of techniques to make it almost impossible to counterfeit Cohiba bands to a level that is undetectable. 

The Cohiba rings

If you are buying vintage Cohiba, this article will be almost useless. Just the picture below might come in handy. As the modern rings with all the security features are only available since 2012. And that was only for the Cohiba Piramides Extra. Other Cohiba vitolas got these bands in 2014. Although, if you buy older cigars, look at the white squares. They should never be cut off.

Ministry of Cigars - Cohiba counterfeit
picture found on Facebook, original source unknown

On the new rings, those white squares are nine rows in a checkerboard pattern. From the golden gilded top to a golden edge below. The squares are perfect and not cut-off. Below the squares is a yellow field with the word Habana, Cuba written in gold. Below that is another gilded edge.

Now those gilded edges are important to check too. They should contain holographs of the famous Indian Taino head and the word Cuba. The world and the logo are constantly repeating. If that is missing, walk away. 

Embossing and holographs

Everyone who smokes cigars, or has a slight interest in cigars knows the Cohiba logo. It’s probably the most recognizable cigar logo in the world. It is a tribute to the Taino Indians, indigenous to Cuba. They are the ones that introduced Columbus and his crew to cigars. The name Cohiba stems from the Taino word for tobacco. So the silhouette is not a lady as some people think, nor it’s a hipster with a man bun. It is a Taino Indian Head. Now if you look closely at the cigar band, you should see that there is a smaller head within the head. This ‘head pithing head’ is a holographic security feature. If it’s missing, walk away. There should also be a fingerprint design on the head.

The word Cohiba below the Taino Indian Head should be in gold, with a golden outline. The background is white. But the most important thing is that the Cohiba logo is embossed. There is no hologram in the word itself, but it should be properly embossed. Another detail, the I of Cohiba should be right above the C of Cuba. We hope that these tips will help you on how to spot a fake Cohiba.

Here are pictures of two counterfeit labels. The top one is missing the fingerprint design but has the head in head nailed down. The bottom ring does have the fingerprint as well but is still fake. It can be spotted because of the golden outline around the word Cohiba. Some white squares made it into the rectangle.

Header Photo credit: photo by Third Serving on Unsplash

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