Knowing how to date a cigar box can give you some insight as to the quality of the cigars inside them. The date on cigar boxes indicates the month and year it was packed which also tells you when the tobacco was harvested.
Why do you want to know about the particular harvest? Like in wine production there are better and less favorable years for tobacco. This is what you should know about how to date a cigar box.
What Do Cigar Box Stamps Mean?
Cigar boxes contain several pieces of interesting information. These include:
- Packing date
- Country of origin
- Production method
These stamps are most common on Cuban cigar boxes. Since Cuban cigars are still quite rare in many parts of the world, these stamps are meant to indicate legitimacy.
The idea is that fake Cuban cigars would also have fake stamps but the practice is not perfect. The problem is that even the very same cigar factory may use different stamps so how can you tell real Cuban cigars from other types of cigars?
In other words, you will just have to find a reliable cigar seller and trust that they are telling you the truth. Unless you bring a box from Cuba yourself, it might not be so clear where the box came from.
Does the Date Matter?
If you understand what the date on a cigar box means then you are stepping into expert territory. It sure is an impressive party trick.
The date on a cigar box indicates the month that the cigars were placed inside the box. Note that this is the date when the cigars are ready for sale.
The tobacco inside the cigar does not come from the same month. The entire process from tobacco harvest to sealing the cigar box lid takes approximately 1-2 years depending on the specific production process.
For example, a box stamped as January 2019 contains tobacco harvested anywhere between January 2017 – 2019. If you know how long the production process is of the specific manufacturer then you can narrow it down further.
You then need information about the harvest of that particular year. Was it a good harvest or a poor harvest? Think of it as determining the harvest quality of grapes for wine.
This is quite detailed information that is not easily accessible. You really have to dig in the tobacco news to keep track of what were good and bad harvests.
Knowing this could earn you points with the boys at the country club but does it really affect your decision to buy a cigar? It might with Cuban cigars which are known to vary in quality. That is up to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Determine the Age of a Cigar Box Label?
You can determine the age of a cigar box label by analyzing how it was made. For example, embossed labels, stone lithographs and copyright markings are all indicative of different periods. Do some Googling on the cigar box label and you might be able to find the exact year.
Are Old Cigar Boxes Worth Anything?
Some old cigar boxes are worth a pretty penny as a collectors item. Many factors influence its value including the rarity of the cigar box, the label and the specific brand.
How Can You Tell If a Box of Cohibas Is Real?
Cuban cigars have several stamps and labels to indicate whether they are true Cohibas. Look for a Habanos label in the top right corner, a guarantee seal in the top left corner and stamps indicating its origin all along the bottom of the lid.
How to date a cigar box requires ample knowledge. The date on a cigar can be an indication of the quality of the cigar, especially with Cuban cigars.
The cigar box date may also indicate whether the box is worth anything to a collector. In both cases, it takes some research to determine the true value.
Although dates are added for authenticity, it is not a foolproof method. There are plenty of counterfeit Cuban cigars on the market, some better than others.
So, knowing how to date a cigar may help but it doesn’t tell you everything.