How to Date a Cigar Box: Understanding Information and Value

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If you understand old cigar box value, you’ll definitely want to learn how to date a cigar box.

With an old date inscribed on it, a cigar box is an asset and memorabilia; in fact, it’s often more like your future investment.

Old and unique cigar boxes are of great value for collectors. The cigar box’s date, indicating the year and month, helps in figuring out its worth.

With the date providing information on the tobacco’s initial harvest, you can evaluate the cigar box easily.

How to Date a Cigar Box

The harvest information in cigar production is similar to wine. It will let you know if the harvest year was favorable for tobacco or not.

Information in Cigar Box Stamps

Before you learn how to date your cigar box and if old cigar boxes worth anything, let’s first see the information available in cigar box stamps:

  • Packing date
  • Manufacturer name
  • Country of origin
  • Production method

You can find these stamps on Cuban cigar boxes, which are pretty rare in different parts of the world.

That’s why these stamps guarantee the legitimacy and value of old cigar boxes.

Cigar factories use different kinds of stamps, and it’s not entirely possible to differentiate between genuine Cuban cigars and fake ones.

One possible solution to address this problem is to find a reliable cigar seller and trust them.

The date on the cigar box represents the month in which cigars are placed inside the box.

It’s essentially the date when the cigars are finally ready for commercial sale.

That said, the date doesn’t usually refer to the time the tobacco was placed inside the cigar.

You should know that the entire process of tobacco harvesting and sealing the cigar box lid takes around one to two years.

Additionally, this process also depends upon the specific tobacco production.

For example, if you see a cigar box with a stamp of January 2021, it means the tobacco was harvested anywhere between January 2019 to 2020.

History of Cigar Boxes

In 1840, Upmanns were the first family of German bankers to store their cigars in boxes.

They used to pack the cigars in cedar boxes, stamp with the bank’s name, and give them gifts to influential clients for marketing purposes.

By the mid-1800s, many factories started to manufacture cigars in America.

Then, in 1893, the US government imposed strict guidelines to pack cigars in small boxes of 25, 50, 100, 2500, and 500 cigars and sell them.

Not only that, but the material of cigar boxes should only be glass or wood.

Before 1960, Cuban cigar stamps were printed in English, but it changed to Spanish, such as “Hecho en Cuba.”

Later on, the factory started printing encrypted codes consisting of letters and numbers identified by that particular box’s factory.

This way, if the box had defective cigars, you can scan the code to find out the information about the factory.

Encoding dates also mentioned the year of tobacco harvest to determine its quality.

You should know that the coding system is quite complex and keeps changing over the years to prevent fake coding.

tips on how to date a cigar box

Are Old Cigar Boxes Worth Money?

Now, you are one step closer to the cigar expert territory, so does old cigar boxes worth anything?

The value of cigar boxes depends on factors such as:

  • Cigar brand name
  • Age of the cigar
  • Size of the cigar
  • Box label theme
  • Cigar box shape and style
  • Historical factor
  • Rarity
  • Condition of the cigar box
  • Country of origin
  • Other historical factors

For instance, Rocky Patel Cuban Blend offers a straightforward design, while Funte Opus X comes with an elegant and attractive design.

You should also know that a cigar box remains intact even after you have consumed the cigars.

This way, you can use the cigar boxes and reuse or upcycle them as a decorative piece.

If you are wondering about old cigar box value, you need to check their age.

The cigar box’s material and its label determine whether it’s a collectible antique cigar box or not.

For instance, the value of cigar boxes manufactured in the 1900s range from 25 USD to 300 USD on eBay.

The Neal Auction Company sold an English cigar case made of varnished ash and two other antique ash boxes and an ash caddy for $1,750 US in June 2005.

Additionally, a sterling silver cigar box with an engraved map of Cuba, dated 1965 to 1968, was sold for more than $3,000 in 2021.

One of the most common collectible cigar boxes are made of six wood pieces nailed together to store up to 50 cigars.

How Long Are Cigars Good for in Original Box?

The cigar boxes are designed in a way to store caches of the cigar.

Generally, these boxes are made from wood, designed to keep the cigars fresh and in good condition for long-lasting flavor and aroma.

You can also find cigar boxes made of silver and gold. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that a cigar box is different from a humidor.

That’s why you need to keep cigars in a properly humidified environment to keep them fresh for more than 30 days.

Else, the cigars begin to dry out, losing their natural oils, and ultimately, their authentic tobacco flavor.

It’s recommended to keep a cigar box in a cool, dark place with proper humidity between 68 to 74 percent.

You should also smoke the wrapped cigars within a month. However, without any wrapper, or preservation method, cigars don’t last more than two days.

It also depends on location and climatic conditions. For instance, you don’t need a humidor if you live in Cuba.


Now, you know how to date a cigar box and the type of information mentioned on it.

We bet, if you love to smoke a cigar, you must be passionate about collecting antique cigar boxes without knowing the real value of old cigar boxes.

Once you figure out the old cigar boxes’ age and condition, they are worth the money and a great addition to your collectibles.

That said, storing cigars in a cigar box is a challenging task. You need to designate a cool and dark place in your house to keep the cigars fresh in the box for up to 30 days.

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