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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back at the beginning of the year 2000, Habanos changed their warranty seal. Among other changes, the most obvious one was the addition of an EIGHT CHARACTER serial number on each sticker. Two letters, followed by SIX numbers. A REAL seal will
ALWAYS have two letters followed by six numbers. If it doesn't, regardless of whether or not it checks out otherwise, it's fake.

Also, warranty seal serial numbers are issued consecutively. In other words, the first number issued was AA000000 or AA000001 thru AA999999. Then ABxxxxxx, ACxxxxxxx all the way to AZ999999 and then it became BAxxxxxx and so on. At this point in time, the '05 boxes I've seen had numbers beginning with G and H.

The reason this is important is that you can get a pretty good idea of what the date code SHOULD be by the alpha-numeric serial number on the seal. Warranty seal have been issued over the last five years in consecutive order. So if you have a box of, say, Cohiba Sublimes, which were introduced last year, but the warranty seal begins with, for example, and A or B, which designate the the first batches of warranty seals issued in 2000 and 2001, you can be almost certain that something is rotten in Denmark. Conversely, if you receive a box of Monte EL robustos with an early 01 box code, but the warranty seal begins with an F or G, you can also pretty much be assured they are fakes.

Now, there are boxes that have been reinspected and an additional warranty seal added over the top of the original. In 99% of the cases, this seal will start with XX which designates a RE-INSPECTED box. However, the sticker underneath should still have a serial number that more or less coincides with the date code on the box.

But the most important thing to remember is that the warranty seal serial number will always be eight characters, TWO letters, followed by SIX numbers. Anything else is a FAKE.
 

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Re: Tips on Spotting Fakes - Warrany Seals

That is great information! I didn't know the part about the numbers being consecutive and helping to tie to the box code. Thanks!
 

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Re: Tips on Spotting Fakes - Warrany Seals

cazadore said:
Now, there are boxes that have been reinspected and an additional warranty seal added over the top of the original. In 99% of the cases, this seal will start with XX which designates a RE-INSPECTED box. However, the sticker underneath should still have a serial number that more or less coincides with the date code on the box.
GREAT POST!!

I recently received a box of RyJ's that had a warranty seal where the serial numbers began with xx. Actually the xx seal was on top of two other seals. Did a little surgery on it to see what was up. I was unable to separate the xx seal from the seal it was stuck to. I was able to remove the xx and middle seals all in one piece as to reveal the original bottom seal. The seal that was originally placed on the box had the serial numbers cut out. Looks like someone took a razor blade and cut just the numbers out. I figure maybe they attach that to something to prove the box was checked .Oh well just thought I would toss that out there.
I would love to post some pic's of all this but alas MocoBird is no longer able to post pics. :c
I think I'm being punished!
:mad:
 

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Re: Tips on Spotting Fakes - Warrany Seals

altbier said:
wow, awesome information! Do they issue a report as to what the serial numbers are at the beginning of a year? Maybe someone could post a thread that keeps us updated on that.
Great idea... what about also the end of the year as well?

I dished out a box of December 02: DG25####

(others:
sep03:EF, May 04:FL, JUL04:FO => maybe ~two months between second letter)
 

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Re: Tips on Spotting Fakes - Warrany Seals

Great info CAZ...thanks for posting it and thanks to Poker for making it a sticky. Learn something new everyday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Tips on Spotting Fakes - Warrany Seals

Thanks to Poker and everyone else here! :D

The reason this came to mind is that in the last few months there seems to be an explosion of fakes that are hitting closer to home. Many of the boxes I've seen have had only a seven character warranty seal serial number (two letter, FIVE mumbers), so I thought I'd throw out a little info and a warning.

Btw, there are exceptions to every rule. Someone who is very experienced and who's knowledge I respect said he has seen a few some '02 PSD#3 ELs with seven digit (two letters, FIVE numbers) serial numbers. HOWEVER, the all had the same exact box code and were from an UNIMPEACHABLE source. I told him that the priniting counter had to have malfunctioned then. So there ARE exceptions. But in 99.999% of the cases, what I've said will hold true.

Also, there are XY as well as XX prefixes on the warranty seals for
RE-INSPECTED boxes. Sorry for the omission.
 

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Re: Tips on Spotting Fakes - Warrany Seals

My Box of PSP2's are FIM ENE 05 start with GR. Just thought someone might want that added bit of info.

BTW; Where did you get this very interesting and great info?

T
 

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Re: Tips on Spotting Fakes - Warrany Seals

Great info.
Just one question, and that is what was your source for this info.
 

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An ass, not a fish
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Re: Tips on Spotting Fakes - Warrany Seals

This is what I have (sadly most of these are empty). GO from May 04 to Jan 05, so there is some variabilty there.

FEB 05 HG
FEB 05 HG
ENE 05 GO
DIC 04 GH
DIC 04 GM
NOV 04 GO
SEP 04 GI
JUN 04 FO
MAY 04 GO
ABR 04 FF
DIC 03 EC
DIC 03 EF
OCT 03 ER
JUN 01 AL
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: Tips on Spotting Fakes - Warrany Seals

SeanGAR said:
This is what I have (sadly most of these are empty). GO from May 04 to Jan 05, so there is some variabilty there.

FEB 05 HG
FEB 05 HG
ENE 05 GO
DIC 04 GH
DIC 04 GM
NOV 04 GO
SEP 04 GI
JUN 04 FO
MAY 04 GO
ABR 04 FF
DIC 03 EC
DIC 03 EF
OCT 03 ER
JUN 01 AL
Seems fine. Factories are given blocks of stickers, and some factories turn out more cigars than others, so there could be a month or two difference. Perfectly normal.

MoTheMan said:
Great info.
Just one question, and that is what was your source for this info.
To answer this for both of you, having been around this thing of ours for a while, you get to know alot of things by sheer osmosis. :w

But otherwise, I have a couple of contacts within Habanos and the rest is based on experience and communication with hundreds of other knowledgeable cigar people around the globe over the years. It's not like I all of a sudden came upon this information last week. LOL!
 

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Re: Tips on Spotting Fakes - Warrany Seals

Cool Stuff. Thanks again for the nifo. :)
 

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Re: Tips on Spotting Fakes - Warrany Seals

Johnny_Cohiba said:
Any ideas why my Part P2 from Feb 05 starts with XY ?? And yes they are from a very reliable source.
Almost assuredly they are revisados or have been otherwise opened for inspection. The box was opened for inspection by the appropriate authorities and resealed for sale with the XY warranty seal. Both XX and XY prefixes are known to be used for this.

FIM FEB05 is a solid P2 box code. I have a box with the same code from an unimpeachable vendor.

You're fine,

Gordo
 
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Re: Tips on Spotting Fakes - Warrany Seals

I will have to remember this info next week. I looked at two boxes of Habanas this afternoon at a new store in our area, and was involved in a discussion about how to tell if they were fake, but could not contribute anything meaniful to discussion. Will be able to add my two-cents worth next time! (expect to be back there next week)
 

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Re: Tips on Spotting Fakes - Warrany Seals

SvilleKid said:
I will have to remember this info next week. I looked at two boxes of Habanas this afternoon at a new store in our area, and was involved in a discussion about how to tell if they were fake, but could not contribute anything meaniful to discussion. Will be able to add my two-cents worth next time! (expect to be back there next week)
If that "store" is in Alabama, I would be very leery.

Gordo
 
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