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Shapes & Shades

Two basic shapes of cigars exist – parejos and figurados. The first category encompasses all cigars with straight sides, while the second covers all irregularly shaped stogies. Cigars within both categories differ in size which is referred to as length by a ring gauge (cigar’s diameter). The latter is measured by a unit divisible by 64, with 64 equaling 1 inch. Each size and shape has its own name but with the exception of Cuban cigars that are made by strictly following these specifications, most cigars only roughly correspond to the original size and shape standards.

Parejos Cigars

Since most cigar producers have departed from the original shape and size standards, classifications tend to vary. Parejos cigars can roughly be divided into the following types:

  • Coronas: They include most cigars with a round head and open foot: Coronas, Double Coronas, Churchills, Robustos, and Presidentes.
  • Panatelas: These cigars are longer but thinner than Coronas. They are usually 5 to 7 inches long and have a ring gauge of 38 or less.
  • Lonsdales: Cigars labeled as Lonsdales are characterized by being longer than Coronas and thicker than Panatelas. They are at least 6 inches long and have a ring gauge of at least 42.

Figurados Cigars

All cigars with uneven sides fall into the category of figurados. The main shapes include:

  • Perfecto: Cigars with Perfecto shape are characterized by being closed at both ends and having a bulge in the center. They vary greatly in length and ring gauge which range from about 4.5 to 9 inches and 38 to 48, respectively.
  • Torpedo: These cigars are very similar to Perfecto. Just like the latter, they are closed at both ends and have a bulge in the center. But unlike Perfecto cigars that come with a rounded head, Torpedo cigars have a pointed head. They range from 6 to 7 inches in length and have a ring gauge of 40 to 54.
  • Pyramid: It is characterized by a wide open foot and narrow head that is tapered to a sharp point. Most Pyramid cigars are 6 to 7 inches long and have a 40 to 54 ring gauge.
  • Diadema: This cigar is enormous as it measures at least 8 inches in length and has a ring gauge of 40 to 54. It is also characterized by having a head tapered to a point which, however, isn’t as sharp as in Pyramid cigars.
  • Belicoso: Generally measuring 5 inches in length and having a ring gauge of about 50, Belicoso cigars are among the smallest figurados. They are characterized by a tapered head and wide foot, resembling small Pyramids with slightly more rounded heads.
  • Culebras: These are without a doubt the most unusually shaped cigars. Culebra cigars are made from three smaller cigars (usually Panatelas) twisted together to form a single cigar. They are usually 5 to 6 inches long and have a ring gauge of about 39.

Shades

Cigars come in over 100 different shades which, however, are usually categorized into the following colors (from the brightest to the darkest):

Double Claro (green to greenish brown)
Claro (very light brown)
Colorado Claro (light reddish brown)
Colorado (medium reddish brown)
Colorado Maduro (dark reddish brown)
Maduro (dark brown)
Oscuro (very dark brown, nearly black)

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