Romeo y Julieta Churchill
The Romeo y Julieta Churchill band is simple, so most fakes are exposed by the detail in the borders. The top border is a raised bar. Below it are raised dots. The black line borders the lettering. Below the lettering are the same three borders, in reverse order: black line, raised dots, raised bar. The metallic gold is of medium sheen.
Counterfeit purchased in Wheaton, Illinois
If there's ever a reason to be suspicious of fake cigars, it's clearly on those occasions when a U.S. retailer furtively reveals that he has a stash of "genuine" Cubans, $20 a piece. Such was the situation one of our readers encountered when he purchased this fake Romeo y Julieta Churchill.
The most glaring mistake with this fake band can be seen in a line of raised dots. They are white and are much too prominent. The embossing on a genuine band is much more subtle. Also, this fake lacks raised bars that should border both rows of dots. Other indications that this band is phony include a shiny sheen in the overall color, a stiff stock and a flimsy glue job that held the band together.
Counterfeit purchased in Arizona
This is a terrible reproduction. The band is too wide. There are no raised borders flanking the black horizontal rules. The print is blotchy. And the font of the lettering is a bit off.
Counterfeit of unknown origin
This band may appear accurate on this Web page, but the borders are not raised as they should be. Also, the font on the black border is too solid. The coloring is off as well; it lacks the slight luster of a genuine band. Overall, this is a poor replica.
Counterfeit purchased in Spain
There is too much sheen in the gold coloring of this counterfeit. While there are raised borders, they don't match up with the original. The top border runs off the band and the bottom border, instead of running parallel beneath it, intersects the black border and cuts into the lettering.
Counterfeit purchased in Las Vegas
This is a pretty good counterfeit, but if you look closely at the raised borders on the band, you'll see it isn't genuine. On both the top and bottom, the two raised, solid bars are present, as well as the raised dots in the middle of them. However, the bars and dots are indistinct and they intersect the black lines above and below the lettering.
Counterfeit purchased in California
This is an excellent counterfeit. The only thing that gives it away is the paper, which is noticeably lighter than the heavy stock that the Cubans use. You won't be able to detect this online, but be aware that the weight of the paper can be a useful indicator when sleuthing for fakes.
Counterfeit purchased in North Carolina
Two things betray this counterfeit. First, the color. The original band is metallic gold with medium sheen; this is a dull-gold that lacks any sort of metallic quality. Second, and most obvious, are the raised borders, or the lack thereof. The raised dots are vaguely present, but the solid raised bars are missing entirely.
Counterfeit purchased in Montreal, Canada
This is an excellent counterfeit. It includes all the necessary borders, but they are too thin and a little fuzzy at the edges.
Counterfeit purchased in Republic of Panama
This blatant counterfeit is one of the worst fakes we've encountered. The lettering and font are completely wrong, and the band lacks the word "Churchill" and adds an extra "Habana" on the left portion of the band. Also absent from the fake are any of the border details found on a normal RyJ Churchill band. In addition, the gold color is neither metallic nor the proper sheen.