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Old 09-06-2009, 04:00 PM   #1

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Ray Ban Aviator FAQ and Fake Guide your help needed

Hey guys,

As a kid I never really wore any sunglasses, but as I started driving (Must in Florida), I ended up just buying a pair here and there and somehow developed a liking to collecting them. Lately I've been buying old Ray Ban Aviators and have had such a hard time finding any information outside a basic description, I made this little garbled FAQ. That I'll toss on ebay and to a sunglasses forum.

If anyone is interested in buying a pair, or has knowledge to contribute, here it is.


A Small history.

Ray Ban Aviators were developed for military sale around 1936/37 to help the protection that the fight pilots needed through out the years. Their style along with the Wayfarers are unique in that there has been very few changes to the design, yet they have maintained high popularity.

All glasses come in a variety of frame and lens colors and sometimes prescription. Obviously there is less variety with older models.

The sizes range from 55,58,62 This denotes lens sizes, with most people wearing 58.

The Standard Aviator 3025
Already popular, the popularity of these soared with Top Gun, worn by Tom Cruise's character Maverick (Interesting enough he also helped the Wayfarer sales in another the movie Risky Business). Today the standard aviators can often be seen worn by celebrities from Zac Efron to Brad Pitt.

The Small Metal Aviator 3044
Designed for people with small, or narrow faces. Smaller versions of the Aviator.

The Large Metal II 3056
Large sized aviators that only come in 62mm lens sizes.

The Aviator General (Outdoorsman)
Developed in 1987 to commemorate the Aviator 50th anniversary these sunglasses have a bigger fatter bridge that arcs.

The Aviator Shooter
Very Similar to the General, these can be seen worn by Val Kilmer's character Iceman in Top Gun. The main difference between the General and the Shooter is the "Ring" bridge over the nose.

The Aviator Sharpshooter
(More information needed) Older model of the shooter with the lenses closer together. These were made popular by Tom Selleck in Magnum P.I.

The Aviator Caravan
This model forgoes the "tear drop" shaped lenses of other aviators and features a more square shape.

Some methods to Identify Fakes

Ebay, Asian countries, big cites, etc are littered with fakes. Some of these can be very similar, almost identical to the real thing. However in buying fakes there is no guarantee to have any actual eye protection from the sun, and worst cases the lenses can be so poorly made that they can shatter damaging your eyes.

How does one discern a difference? Online, the only guaranteed way is to order from a authorized retailer.,Sunglasses hut, Amazon direct, etc. (Not someone that says they actual established place.)
Ebay guide

-Do not order from any overseas place, Italy can be the exception. If you see any Asian counties selling this is a red flag for knock offs.

-Further the retail price of these sunglasses are 130+. How are so many being sold for 20-30 dollars buy it now? This is also a flag. Now I'm not saying to go spend 100.00 on ebay for a pair of Aviators, these could also just as well be a fake.

-Best bet is to look for something used but in the condition that you are looking for. A pair of authentic used Ray Ban's can be had from 30-50.

-Is the seller selling other items commonly counterfeited? Or a bunch of Ray-Ban's? If so pass.

-Mind if the sunglasses are vintage? They have not changed much over the years so buying an older pair is likely to be legit. (See later part of the section for "changes" made throughout the years.

-Ask the seller if they would ship to Italy, even if you don't live there. Most couterfeiters wont.

-Ask where they got the glasses, if it comes with the registration card, do they have receipts. Also let the seller know that you will take the glasses in for verification at a sunglasses hut and if they have any doubts of it being authentic to let you know so you don't bid.

-Pay attention to how they write their auction. "These are Ray Ban Aviators that are guaranteed to be 100% authentic sunglasses" See how that it worded to guarantee just the sunglass part. + They can straight up lie, which most counterfeit auctions do.

Once you receive a pair. These are the markings to check for.

Older Models made by Baush and Loma.

-Ray Ban B&L Made in the USA across the top part of the upper bridge.

-Size Markings on the paddles. (Only if they were not changed out, and are not the wrap around ear frames)

-Ray Ban white logo on the Right eye Lens. (Left if you are looking at the glasses) this should not come off easily like, with a cleaning cloth.

-B&L etched in the lenses, many knockoffs will have it painted.

-B&L engraved in the nose guards

Further information needed

Newer Ray Ban's made by Luxottica

-All newer Ray Ban's sold in the U.S.A will be made in Italy.

-Ray Ban Made in Italy under the top bridge

-Made in Ray Ban made in Italy CE on the inside right leg.

-Correct size and model info on the left inside leg.

-R&B etched in the lenses.

-Ray-Ban painted white on the Right Lens (Again won't come off easily)


Applies to both

-Should not have a mix of the above features....common mistake (Example made in USA across the bridge and made in Italy on the leg.)

-If painted, it should be enamel and should not come off easily.

-Hinges should have a distinct shape, not oval, and should not have any "burn" marks on the metal from being fused.

-The paperwork..sometimes called care book. (not the registration card) should be crisp with a professional work. Common fakes are printed with regular or shiny paper, haphazardly folded, sometimes colors will be bleeding, and or the English is full of typos.

-Mispelled words on the protective case if it has one. This should also match with the glasses. Luxottica with Italy made and Baush and Loma with U.S.A.

-Box is beat up or has Asian characters.

-Hinges should move smoothly but should not be loose. (Older/Used may require tightening.)

-Plastic lenses. An easy way to test this is to direct the car A.C. air at the lenses. Glass lenses will cool rather easily will feel cooler to the touch than plastic.

-Have them checked at a local sunglasses place, UV can be tested too. Many cheap priced sunglasses misrepresent the amount of UV that is blocked. Ray Ban's have a good reputation of Blocking that 99-100%


Finally All that said, The best fakes can be identical. (There is a possible risk of eye-damage from cheap lenses and no UV protection or enhanced damage). If you are just buying glasses for style and don't care, these fakes can run as low as 99 cents to 100+, with all the fake accessories, with a gamble on quality. I do actually own a near exact knock off that I paid 99 cents for on Ebay.


This is a work in progress and in the future will be updated and made cleaner.

Information needed.

I'm not sure of when these changes were made.

-All the security branding, the first models didn't have these and they were gradually added. When did the White logo appear on the glasses? When did was "x" security mark added?.

-When did the wrap around ear frames start and end?

-Source for replacement paddle covers. They commonly break on legit Ray Bans.

RIP: Mask, Evan Tanner
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Old 09-06-2009, 04:27 PM   #2

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Last edited by ahcshon; 02-18-2015 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 09-06-2009, 04:31 PM   #3
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i just bought a pair of ray ban aviators from sunglasses hut.

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Old 09-06-2009, 05:07 PM   #4
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What's so special about them? They look old school in a cheesy way.

You were born too late to explore the earth.

You were born too early to explore the galaxy.
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Old 09-06-2009, 05:12 PM   #5

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how do i clean my mirrored aviators?

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Old 09-07-2009, 01:21 AM   #6

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Originally Posted by ahcshon View Post
Interesting, I just bought these off of amazon... the main thing I am concerned with is these damaging my eyes in some way. Are these okay or no bueno? Premium Mirror Aviator Sunglasses: Apparel
Those should be ok I guess for walking around, it doesn't say what UV protection that they have, but they are made from polycarbonite (its degree of protection of UV is debate, between a good bit and 100%, its also fairly resistant to impact. Good deal imo.

Worldofwarcraft...nothing really just style with function. For example, I got season football tickets at UF, but as I have to sit in the student section its right in the sun for the whole game might as well make it interesting for wearing sunglasses. I'm not sure if you really play warcraft...but its like a mount, you have your regular slow ones that serve a function and epic ones that are better as well as different models for show .

Phanattic, I actually don't have any mirrored sunglasses. Windex and a sunglasses cleaning cloth?

RIP: Mask, Evan Tanner
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Old 09-07-2009, 01:26 AM   #7
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I'll stick with my $300 gucci's. Those shades look boss though, i'll give you that much.

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Old 09-07-2009, 01:27 AM   #8
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where jew find vintage aviators? one of my friends in college lucked out so bad at goodwill one time and got a pair of real vintage ray ban aviators for like 3$.

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Old 09-07-2009, 01:31 AM   #9
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could somebody please explain the appeal of designer sunglasses? most of the time they're not stylish, they don't even make any claims to good optics, most cost less than good brands like maui jim but sometimes more than good brands like ray ban. basically to me they don't have much fashion appeal, not much snob appeal either, and nothing noteable about the optics other than a question mark.

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Old 09-07-2009, 02:25 AM   #10

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I have not found a decent pair of sunglasses at any thrift stores yet. Picked up a Wireless G Router for 3 bucks, thats the 3rd that I have found there in 1 month lol. My vintage pair I actually got on ebay early in the afternoon for 28.00. I've noticed, and this is probably true for most sunglasses, that they are the types of items that can have significant amount of price fluctuation depending on the time of day.

As far as the appeal, there really wasn't any until I started driving, etc. I'm not one of those guys that wears sunglasses at night, or inside buildings etc.

and to spice up this thread
Aviator girl with Aviators

Stars with aviators

5 star general Douglas MacArthur

Notice the cornpipe, any man that can pull that off is a badass.

RIP: Mask, Evan Tanner

Last edited by UdeGarami; 09-07-2009 at 02:37 AM.
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