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With the rising popularity of vintage sunglasses, it's essential to be able to distinguish genuine pieces from replicas or counterfeit items. Authentic vintage sunglasses have a unique charm and historical value that make them highly desirable among collectors.

Here are some tips on how to spot authentic vintage sunglasses.

Brand Markings

Authentic vintage sunglasses often have clear and precise brand markings. Check for logos, brand names or model numbers engraved or etched onto the frames.

Research the specific markings associated with the brand and model you're interested in to ensure authenticity.

Quality of Materials

Back in the day, sunglasses were often made with high-quality materials such as acetate, metal or celluloid. Authentic frames feel substantial and well-made.

Cheap, lightweight materials that feel easy to manipulate are a red flag and suggest the sunglasses might be replicas.

Hinges and Screws

Examine the hinges and screws of the sunglasses. Authentic vintage pairs typically have sturdy, well-constructed hinges that allow smooth movement. Loose or flimsy hinges may indicate a replica.

Additionally, screws should be even, properly aligned and tightly secured.


Authentic vintage sunglasses may have glass lenses, especially in older models. Glass lenses are heavier than plastic and may produce a faint sound when tapped gently.

However, some vintage sunglasses, particularly from the '80s onwards, have high-quality plastic lenses, so it’s worth considering this depending on the era the model you’re looking at is from.

Check for any distortion or imperfections in the lenses, as authentic lenses should be clear and free of defects.

Signature Features

Familiarise yourself with the signature features of specific vintage sunglasses brands and models. For example, Ray-Ban aviator frames have a distinctive teardrop shape and a metal frame with a double or triple bridge.

Knowing these unique characteristics can help you identify authentic vintage sunglasses from imitations.

Vintage Packaging

If the sunglasses come with their original case, box or paperwork, examine these items for authenticity. Vintage packaging often bears the logo, brand name and specific details about the sunglasses.

However, be aware that replicas can also come with convincing packaging, so additional scrutiny is necessary.

Seek Professional Advice

If you're uncertain about the authenticity of a pair of vintage frames, seek advice from reputable eyewear experts or vintage dealers. They can provide insights based on their experience and knowledge, helping you make an informed decision.

Price and Deal Too Good to Be True

Exercise caution if the price of the vintage sunglasses seems unusually low, especially if the deal appears too good to be true. While there are bargains to be found, significantly underpriced items might be replicas or counterfeits.

By developing an understanding of these factors, you can confidently identify genuine vintage sunglasses and add valuable pieces to your collection. Here at Ed & Sarna, we are a known reputable company that sells genuine vintage eyewear.

Check out our stock today to find the perfect pair of vintage sunglasses to add to your collection. Get in touch with us to learn more about the frames we sell.

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