Ray-Ban has been a classic American brand since 1937, but Ray-Ban glasses have not been manufactured in the USA for quite some time. In 1999, Bausch & Lomb sold Ray-Ban to the Italian eyewear company Luxottica.
When Luxottica started manufacturing Ray-Bans in 1999, they were made in Italy. Throughout the years, Luxottica has grown exponentially and opened factories outside its native country. Today, Luxottica operates factories in Italy and China, and while many authentic Ray-Bans are made in Italy, many are also made in China. Luxottica guarantees the quality of the products from its Chinese factories is in no way compromised; the glasses are made from the same materials, with the same machines.
But while "Made in China" is not a red flag for fake Ray-Bans, there are still plenty of cheap Ray-Ban knockoffs crowding the market. If you happen to come across an American-made pair of Ray-Bans from Bausch & Lomb, you’ve found vintage frames, or fakes.
Ray-Bans are among the most sought-after frames on the market for a reason: They're dependable, they look great on everyone, and they're made with unbeatable quality. But how can you tell whether your beloved Ray-Bans—or the ones you’re thinking about buying—are knockoffs, or the genuine article? Here are several ways to help you to spot real Ray-Bans from fake.
Authentic Ray-Bans should:
The Italian eyewear giant Luxottica bought Ray-Ban in 1999, and sets rules about how much Ray-Bans can be discounted. You may come across a discontinued pair for less, but if it's a current model, you won't find it anywhere reputable for more than around 30% off the full retail price.
On modern Ray-Ban lenses, you can find the logo attached to the temple and etched onto the lens. On pre-2000 models, you'll find the letters BL, representing Bausch & Lomb, the company's former owner. Many models also include the logo on the nose pads. If you can smudge the etching or easily remove the temple logo, that’s a sign your frames are fakes.
Genuine Ray-Ban packaging comes with a branded cleaning cloth in a plastic sleeve and a small booklet with information about your glasses and lifestyle images of the products. Can you find spelling and grammatical errors in the booklet? Does the paper feel cheap? If the answer is yes to either of those, you don’t have genuine Ray-Bans.
Did you purchase your frames from a licensed retailer or some sort of sketchy website or store? Remember, if you got them at a discount that seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Ray-Ban protective carrying cases have a round seal with the Ray-Ban signature logo in the middle, "100% UV protection" at the top, and "Sunglasses by Luxottica" at the bottom.
Genuine Ray-Bans have a solid weight to them. Most have glass or glass-like lenses—not cheap plastic. If your glasses feel conspicuously light, they may not be the real deal.
Pay attention to how the temples fold and unfold. Real Ray-Bans have metal hinges and should open and close with ease. Many models (not all) include seven interlocking "teeth" in the hinge. Glasses with plastic or bolted-on hinges are fake.
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