The cigar bands (vitolas)

The band or vitola, is the paper ring around the cigar and it is used to differentiate the diverse brands.

Every ring is a piece of art, illustrating an intention, a wish to last in time. The painters print their best ideas on them: from a well known general, up to a memorable patriot; with a great variety of colors as gold, to immortalize figures as Simon Bolivar.

Some versions say the origin of the rings was in the intention to avoid stains in the gloves when holding the cigars. But experts affirm it was made to cover the fine threat used to hold the filling.

The cigar bands (vitolas) It is said that the first to use the rings, similar to the present version, was Anton Bock, a European immigrant settled in the United States.

He made a lithography of his sign in these paper rings, to identify his export cigarettes.

Some smokers are concerned about the idea of keeping or maintaining the band in the cigars. Most of the experts coincide in the fact that this concern has no relevance, although they advice that in the case of taking it off, is convenient to wait until the cigar is warm in order to avoid a damage when peeling the vitola. Other smokers coincide that the band is a mark indicating even where to smoke the cigar.

Despite these personal considerations, these emblematic pieces of the cigar culture gave origin to the collections, also known as "vitofilia”. Many collectors treasure the stamps and the habilitations (decoration on the boxes) and identify them as the representatives of a centurial story, told very slowly. Each of the numerous cigar's brands include in their collection several vitolas.