Clicky Steve’s Guide to Spotting Fake Rayban Wayfarers

Hello fine blog readers!

As you know, I am a bit of a spectacle aficionado; Wayfarers being my model of choice. But with prices getting higher and fakes swamping the shops, just how can you be sure that the geggs you buy are the real deal? With great aplomb, I present to you:

Clicky Steve’s Guide to Spotting Fake Wayfarers

Don’t get me wrong, whether you opt for the authentic article, or the cheaper rip-off version is of little consequence. If you do choose to pay a pretty penny for a pair of designer frames though, you expect to receive the quality that comes along with it. I recently opted for a ‘real’ pair, as pictured above, and paying the full price for the privilege, only to discover that they weren’t genuine. An email off to RayBan themselves sorted the matter out, but here’s how to avoid losing out on your hard earned dosh.

1. Peripherals and General Quality

There are lots of guides on the web that talk about the box, the cloth and everything else in great detail – about how the authentic RayBan boxes don’t have a ‘recycled’ mark and so on, but all of these things are easy to replicate and change, and shouldn’t be relied upon as a deciding factor in working out whether your specs are fake or not.

Do scrutinise the general quality of the box, case and everything else associated with the frames though. With the dodgy pair that I received, the ‘foil’ of the ‘authentic’ gold marking on the case was more like a yellow screen print.

2. Plastic and Lenses

Look at the quality of the plastic that make up the frames. Any obvious blemishes like you can see in the fake pair above are a dead give-away. Can you see something like this passing Quality Control? Perhaps, but not likely.

The weight of the glasses is also a clue. Is the plastic light and brittle? You’re paying for an expensive pair of glasses. If they feel cheap, they probably are. If you’re able to compare the suspect pair with a genuine one, you should be able to feel the difference.

Unless you’ve bought a vintage pair of Wayfarers that were made before the brand was sold to the Italian company Luxottica who currently own it, you should have ‘RayBan’ and ‘RB’ logos on the lenses themselves. (If you do have a vintage pair, they will say LB – the lenses made by Bausch & Lomb of America).

These etchings should be of a good quality, and not look like they could be scratched or rubbed off. The print on the pair I received were fairly grainy and suspect. The lenses themselves felt more like a matt print… rough rather than smooth as you would expect from lenses.

3. Frame Hinges

The biggest give away of fake Wayfarers is the hinge used to connect the arms.

Genuine RayBans use a 7-prong hinge, with four on one side, three on the other, as pictured below:

Fakes skimp on the cost of these hinges, and are often cheap and plasticy looking, as in the picture below of the counterfeit pair:

4. Leg-Text

On the right hand side, the following picture shows what a genuine pair looks like. Note the ‘B’ between Italy and the Copyright symbols. (Note: not all RayBan glasses are manufactured in Italy. There are also factories in China, and elsewhere. However, some models are exclusively made in the Italian factory – reportedly including the RB2140).

Here’s the fake pair. Whilst the letter will vary on genuine pairs, it’s almost always absent from the counterfeits.

Now the left side. Note the text on the leg, and its size. The ‘RB2140’ corresponds to the frames’ model, and should match up with information you can find on the internet. If you look up this number and it doesn’t exist, or look the same, then you can be fairly sure you’ve got a fake.

The ‘54-18’ refers to the dimensions of the frame. The 54 is the lens size: 54mm.

Here’s the fakes. Note the 56. As far as I could work out, RayBan never made a model of glasses in this style with 56mm lenses, and in any event, this pair had smaller lenses than my genuine pair, which were only 54mm. If the measurements don’t add up, then it’s a fairly good reason to doubt their integrity!

There are other factors that can be taken into account, such as the metal panel instead of the embossed logo on the outside of the Wayfarer legs, but these are not set in stone, so you need to just take the whole thing as a package. If you don’t think they’re worth the price you paid, they probably aren’t.

If you do have a fake pair, don’t despair, Google the contact details for Luxxotica, who own the RayBan brand. Get in touch with their customer services, and they’ll be able to help you get your money back from the seller.

Go forth with confidence my Wayfarer wearing friends.

19 thoughts on “Clicky Steve’s Guide to Spotting Fake Rayban Wayfarers

  1. Very interesting! I would never have thought there were so many pointers to the fakes. I will now not be able to think of anything but this, when I see Wayfarers!

    1. Stephen McLeod January 5, 2015 — 18:53

      Make sure they pass the test!

  2. I just bought a replica that passes all the test you listed for the original.
    The only aspect of the replica which seemed different from my original is the slant between the lens frame and the handle. The original slants more (though I do not know if all originals have the same slant).

    1. Stephen McLeod March 9, 2015 — 00:40

      Interesting! Got some pictures?

      I’d be curious to see if the frames felt the same as the original quality wise. The originals don’t all have the same slant – later models slanted less as time went on, so it’s not a good indicator.

  3. I have three pairs of Wayfarer II Sunglasses, vintage L1725’s, 2 tortoise and 1 black. However, one of the tortoise pair has the outer RayBan Logo on one of the arms, and the other arm has the same silver diamond shape that appears on the front of the glasses, on the opposite outer arm. Does that make sense?? Hope I didn’t confuse you, but have you ever heard of this?? I’ve had all three pairs for 30 plus years, and was just wondering what your thoughts were on this. Thanks.

  4. Has the RB symbols etched in back or front lense?

    1. Stephen McLeod May 5, 2015 — 15:09

      Front, but it doesn’t usually matter.

  5. i just got some from shanghai, but made from loxottica ?? . ill check but feel cheap anyhow. I cancelled the purchase with my bank after I ordered from facebook. they sent me it and said I must send it back!! . lololol. no chance of that. no etchings, hinges look crap. the Chinese have been making copies for centuries!

  6. Hello, how can i send you some pics so you can see if mines are reals or fakes? Thanks for your help, nice post bro

  7. I ordered som ray bans from Amazon but I don’t know if they are real can you help me?

    1. What makes you think they aren’t real?

  8. I just bought a pair of sunglasses and was sure they are likely fake because I have real Rays from my eye doctor… Turns out my sunglasses are real and the ones I got from my eye Dr are fake.. “made in China”… Guess who’s getting all call from me when they open in the morning. I paid a lot of money for the prescription pair and cant believe I got hosed!!

    1. Don’t make a fool of yourself, Rayban has factories in China, they are most definitely not fake coming from your eye doctor, don’t be silly.

      1. Eye dr buy from 3 rd party vendors most of the time ,so it is possibly that the dr office is getting fakes without knowing ,Now if the dr office directly from Ray-Ban is a different story,I known of a few certified sellers selling good replicas clones 1:1 is the term ,and to the average buyer they pas the eye test ,until someone who is a true aficionados ,does one find out of these high quality fakes!

    2. Many RB RX frames are made in China

  9. hi Steve,

    found your guide on Quora first. Regret my post there now, didn’t know it is a branch from the data octupus you may like though. Thus I am happy I found you here to give you some of my experiences I posted there first and you may care.

    Both of my Wayfarers, black, Bausch and Lomb, late 80ties had worn out beyond repair in the last couple of years.
    So I went on ebay to replace them from people who took more care of their antique ones than I did.
    I was only looking for glasses the Blues Brothers may have worn too.
    It took me a couple of month to separate grams of wheat from the tons of chaff..
    Found two eventually, close to mint condition from privates. Both Tortoise approx $70 each. It is impossible to get black ones in a fair condition unless very very pricy from collectors.

    My general guidance on Classic Wayfarer prior 1999:

    Don’t care about the box and cloth at all!
    A fake Rolex doesn’t become genuine either just because the watch strap is.
    Blues Brother generation like me usually binned the queer cloth and lost the
    cover eventually when getting p*ssed somewhere.

    Wayfarer with Bausch and Lomb glasses and ‘Ray Ban’ scripted in white letters
    on the upper right corner of the right eye glass DO NOT exist.

    Btw: In my opinion this writing is a very bad style.
    Made for posers or anxious that people may not get the RB writings on both arms.
    For those who agree with me on this point:
    Can easily erased with acetone, but be careful not touching any plastic parts with it.

    On Websites it is difficult to tell whether the engraving BL is genuine.
    Get all sellers to send you HQ images to your email. They also
    shall include the hinges as Steve pointed out above.

    If you want an antique one like me look for the turtoise mainly. It seems their owner took more precaution than those wearing a black one like me.

    Steve’s point checking for a 7-prong hinge is best of.


    Steve, you may have an answer to two question I couldn’t work out:
    a) When were the hinge diamonds on the arms replaced with ‘Ray Ban’?

    b) The Ray-Ban Premier E (W0867) seems to be the only one
    with this white ‘Ray Ban’ scribbling on Bausch & Lomb glasses.
    Can you affirm that?

    Take care

  10. Hi Steve. Would you happen to know that the “B” Marking signifies by Made in Italy “B” CE.

    I’ve been noticing that a lot of other pairs have “K”.

    Curious to know what the difference is. Thanks!

  11. The part where you mention that if its missing letters on the right arm where it says Hand made in italy then its a fake is actually an ill-advice and quite misleading because I have a pair of genuine wayfarers purchased in 2008 from an official Rayban store and it simply doesn’t have that little k letter. Just says “hand made in italy CE”

    1. This post is from 2011.

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