Hoyo de Monterrey
You can usually tell a real Hoyo by the texture of the crown centerpiece. Intricate and gold-embossed, the genuine article seems to be almost hand-hewn, while most knock-offs look at best like well-traced duplicates. The real band has defined borders between the various elements and rigid lines.
Counterfeit purchased in Seoul, South Korea
This is a real Cuban cigar band, but it was on the wrong cigar. The person who bought this in a hotel in Seoul bought a Hoyo de Monterrey Churchill. This legitimate band is for a smaller Hoyo, probably one that was made by machine. As in the case of many counterfeits, a legitimate cigar band was removed and then put around a fake cigar to fool the buyer. Hoyo de Monterrey Churchills have bands like the famous ones on the Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona.
Counterfeit purchased in Miami, Florida
Once again, the gold on this counterfeit is as flat as West Texas; the centerpiece is completely devoid of raised ornamental detail. It may be from the same generation of counterfeits as the one from Indonesia.
Counterfeit purchased in Memphis, Tennessee
This is by far the best-looking fake Hoyo we've posted on the gallery, but it still has some glaring mistakes. First, there is no significant embossing anywhere on the band. The crown in the centerpiece and part of the design adorning the wings should be raised. Second, the dull bronze tone should be more of a gold color. Because of the drab color, the band lacks any shimmering detail. Third, the proportions of the band are wrong. The left wing extending from the centerpiece is too short and slightly thinner than a true Hoyo band. Last, the words "Hoyo de Monterrey" and "Habana" are too slim while "Jose" and "Gener" are too fat. It's important to remember that even genuine Hoyo bands are imperfect. For example, the embossing outline may be off-line or the entire pattern layout may be askew. The design of the band will always remain constant, however.
Counterfeit purchased in Paris
This counterfeit purchased in France attempts to duplicate the ornamental characteristics of the centerpiece but falls short. The color is off, and the coiled bands of gold extending from the crown lack detail.
Counterfeit purchased in Tijuana, Mexico
This band's not even close. Even the least frequent cigar smoker might look at this band and become suspicious, because the counterfeiter has nearly everything wrong. The gold bordering that should run consistently along the outskirts of the band is so bad that most of the band's top has no border at all, and the red vertical lines bleed in the gold. The centerpiece is deficient of any true detail. The font for "Hoyo de Monterrey Habana" is fatter and blurrier than the genuine article and the words are off-center. If that isn't enough, the word "Monterrey" is misspelled. There's more. The size of this imitation band is also wrong, and the quality of the paper stock is terribly poor. There's no embossing, either. The only positive element about this counterfeit cigar band is that the person who submitted it to "Counterfeit Gallery" knew how bad the forgery truly was. He told us the submission was for "humor only," but for anyone duped by an inauthentic cigar, there's not much to laugh about. Except maybe this one.
Counterfeit purchased in Jakarta, Indonesia
This counterfeit is given away by its flat, smooth centerpiece, which lacks the raised, ornamental texture of the genuine article; it's almost as if the counterfeiters used a Xerox machine. The red is not the correct shade, and the gold circles around the centerpiece are too thick.
Counterfeit of unknown origin
As with the other Hoyo counterfeits, this band lacks detail in the crown centerpiece. An attempt was made to replicate the raised texture of the real McCoy, but it fell well short.
Counterfeit of unknown origin
This fake is made of cheap, thin paper. The red vertical lines are much too thin, and not as resolute as the genuine article. The "Hoyo de Monterrey Habana" lettering is thin and pale, and the centerpiece lacks texture. Most telling is the lack of a printer's mark on the left side of the flap.