Coca-Cola® Cigar Band

A National Cigar Museum Expose´

© Tony Hyman



The fake FORTUNE Coca-Cola cigar band

        This cigar band has excited amateurs and plagued collectors ever since it was printed in the February 1933 issue of FORTUNE magazine, one of 20 bands illustrating an article about a band printer. This is not a genuine cigar band, nor is it what a genuine Coca-Cola band looked like.

        A Coca-Cola company rep assured me genuine Coca-Cola bands exist, but they ALWAYS show the entire Coca-Cola trademark, whereas you can see the FORTUNE band shows only "a-Cola" on the bottle. This is considered a fake by both Coke and band collectors.  [12561]

        Coca-Cola cigars were sold in the open market, and given away at company banquets in the 1930's. The company also ordered a limited number of boxes of SPRITE cigars to be passed around at the event when that drink was introduced.

An empty SPRITE box is <on exhibit> in the National Cigar Museum but I don't own a 
Coca-Cola box. Any among our cigar smoking readers? I'd love to display one.
In today's anti-tobacco climate, cola company officials are cagey about providing information regarding their internal house-brand cigars. I'd love to hear from a former employee or someone else who can provide details about when the various Coca-Cola product cigars were made, how many were created, and how and where they were distributed

The Genuine Coca-Cola cigar band

    Look closely and you’ll see the complete brand name on

the bottle.  The easiest two ways to identify a real band? The

bottle on the genuine band is full right to the cap. Second, can you

see the C in Coca? If not, it’s not. If yes, like here, it is “the real thing.”


Rare Coca-Cola catalog

    For all the curious who wonder where the real bands came from, here’s a rare glimpse at a Coca-Cola catalog from 1940.

   The National Cigar Museum would like to purchase one of those boxes, so “the real thing” can be exhibited for all our visitors.

    If you own a Coca-Cola cigar box and don’t want to sell it, I’d appreciate being able to borrow it long enough to professionally photograph and catalog it.

Cover and page from 1940 Coca-Cola catalog. The facing page advertises Coca-Cola chewing gum.  Catalog seen courtesy of Larry Manos, Buffalo Bay Auction Co. Catalog is not in the NCM.