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How to Spot a Fake Bolivar

This smaller Cuban brand is known for its power, and its namesake Simon Bolivar—the liberator of South America—makes for a fitting image. Created in 1902, the brand once had a vast array of sizes, which have been whittled down to only a few. The contemporary Bolivar brand features a gold-and-white motif with a prominent image of Simon Bolivar over a yellow background. On both sides of the logo there are two overlapping coins, which are similar to those found on other Cuban cigar bands like Punch, Partagás and Romeo y Julieta.

1) Clear Detail On Embossed Coins 
The two gold coins that are featured on both sides of the Bolivar logo should be sharp and detailed. Examine each coin closely, if any of the images are smudged or bleeding into the background, or if there are inconsistencies in the border patterns, the band might be a fake.

2) Raised Coins 
The detail on the coins are raised. Run your finger over them to feel for the ridges in the detail. If the coins are flat, the band is fake.

3) Habana, Cuba
Previous iterations of the Bolivar brand only had the word “Habana” on the band. The current design also says “Cuba” beneath it.

4) Raised borders
Similar to the coins on the Bolivar brand, you should be able to feel a distinct raise on the beaded borders of the circle around the logo and the band itself.

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