Counterfeits are getting better and better. You want to invest in the real deal when it comes to your Cubans, not a cheap imitation. A few of the things you want to look for when you're examining your BHK 52 at first glance: print quality, hologram quality, and wrapper color. Check out the picture to the right. The print quality is relatively correct on both, embossing is neat and clean for both bands. The hologram is quite close, but the color quality is slightly off. This may only be apparent with a side by side comparison. The give away on this one? The color of the wrapper. The wrapper should have a rich golden hue, as opposed to a darker, flat brown. The cigar on the left is authentic, the cigar on the right is a fake.
Now that we've taken our first look, let's examine these a little closer to find some more tells. The hologram on the right is incorrect, those larger squares are a dead giveaway. The real band real has smaller, more detailed script (high resolution printing vs low) and even the craftsmanship gluing the band is noticeably different when you take a closer look. The band should never be glued to overlap the security holograms. Even in this high quality fake, the smallest details are the biggest giveaways.
In this side by side of the real BHK 52 (left) and the counterfeit, you may notice that the real cigar looks a little less 'uniform'. We WANT a combination of different tobaccos in one cigar so that every smoke is complex and flavorful. The fake looks like it's lacking diversity in the tobaccos even at a quick glance, and that's definitely not going to produce a quality blend! From this angle we can also examine one of the basic qualities of the Cohiba BHK 52: the 52 ring gauge format. The cigar on the right doesn't quite match up; it has a ring gauge of 50. Look closely at the details people!