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Cigar Styles and Sizes

A cigar shape can vary greatly in size from brand to brand, so describing a cigar by its size as well as shape is important. Cigars are measured by two factors: length, which is given in inches, and "ring gauge," a designation of a cigar's diameter broken into 64ths of an inch. A cigar with a 42 ring gauge, for example, is 42/64 of an inch in diameter.
There is no correlation between the size of a cigar and its strength. An 8-inch cigar made with mild tobaccos will be mellow, while a thin, short cigar rolled with powerful tobaccos will be full bodied. While a cigar's strength is determined by the tobacco it is rolled with, thin cigars have a tendency to burn hotter than fatter ones. Also important to note is that there is no consistency of strength from brand to brand: one company's corona is likely to taste very different from another's.

Two Main Types
cigars can be divided into two broad categories by their shape. Parejos, which have straight sides, and Figurados, which include all "irregular" shapes.
Parejos include 3 basic divisions, by the relative proportion of their dimensions. There's Coronas (a broad category including Coronas, Dbl. Coronas, Presidentes, Robustos, and Churchills). An open “foot” and a rounded “head” characterize all Coronas. Next are the Panatelas. Longer than coronas, these are generally considerably thinner. The third division is Lonsdales - thicker than Panatelas, but generally longer than Coronas.
Figuardos, or "irregular" shaped Cigars are a little better defined. The smallest is the Belicoso - a small tapered cigar with a rounded head (not pointed) and a larger foot. Next are the Pyramids, tapering from a large foot to a small head. A "true" pyramid always has a pointed head. Although many smokers call a large pyramid a torpedo, a "true" torpedo has a large foot, smaller, pointed head, and a slight bulge in the middle. The Perfecto is tapered on both ends to a smaller size than its straight middle section - a classic "cigar shape". Finally, there's the Diademas, the giant of cigars. These are 8 inches or greater. (hmmmm - does that make the Aliados General a "Diademas-and-a-half"?)
Cigar size names did originally specify the exact physical size and shape of cigars. After a dozen decades of manufacturers "individualizing" their cigars, these original standards are long gone. As far as I know, only Cuban manufacturers have stayed with these original standard sizes. Whether Upman, Partagas, or Cohiba produces it, a Habana Corona is still Corona sized...

The Classical Cigar Shapes Ordered


Parejos are straight-sided cigars; most have an open foot for lighting and need to be cut before smoking. They may be either round or box-pressed, meaning that the sides of the cigar were pressed square prior to packing or, in some cases, by pressure in the box.

This is the benchmark size against which all other sizes are measured. The traditional dimensions are 5 1/2 to 6 inches with a ring gauge of 42 to 44. Example: Montecristo No. 3

Petit Corona
Basically a miniature corona, this cigar generally measures about 4 1/2 inches, with a ring gauge of 40 to 42. Example: Montecristo No. 4

A large corona format. The standard dimensions are 7 inches by 47 ring gauge. Example: Romeo y Julieta Churchill

A short, fat cigar that has become the most popular cigar size in America. The size is generally 4 3/4 to 5 1/2 inches by 48 to 52 ring gauge. Example: Cohiba Robusto

Corona Gorda
Also called a toro, this cigar is steadily growing in popularity. The traditional measurements are 5 5/8 inches by 46 ring gauge, but cigars of 6 inches by 50 ring have also become popular. Example: Punch Punch

Double Corona
The standard dimensions are 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 inches by a 49 to 52 ring gauge. Example: Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona

Long, thin and elegant, this size's popularity has decreased in recent years. Still, it is an elegant size, with a wide length variation of 5 to 7 1/2 inches with a ring gauge of 34 to 38. Cigars longer than 7 inches in this category are often referred to as "gran panetelas." Example: Cohiba Lancero

A lonsdale is generally longer than a corona but thicker than a panetela, with a classic size of 6 1/2 inches by 42 ring. Example: Montecristo No. 1

Although the majority of cigars are parejos, a growing number of cigar companies are broadening their portfolios with more creatively shaped smokes. These cigars are called figurados, and they include any cigar that is not a straight-sided cylinder. Although cigar-makers' interpretations of the shapes vary as widely as the flavors inside their cigars, the basic categories of figurados are as follows:

Pyramids are cigars with cut feet, like parejos, but with heads tapered to a point. Generally the cigars measure from 6 to 7 inches in length, with ring gauges of about 40 at the head widening to 52 to 54 at the foot. The pyramid is treasured because the tapered head allows the complex flavors of the cigar to meld in the mouth. Example: Montecristo No. 2

Traditional belicosos are short pyramids, often with a slightly rounded pyramid head. They often measure from 5 to 5 1/2 inches, with ring gauges of about 50. Today's belicosos, however, are often coronas or corona gordas with tapered heads. Recent years have also seen the production of mini-belicosos, short cigars with small ring gauges and tapered heads. Example: Bolivar Belicoso Fino

Although many companies include cigars called torpedos in their portfolios, the cigars are often pyramids. A true torpedo is a rare cigar today, a smoke with a closed foot, a head tapered to a point, and a bulge in the middle. Example: Cuaba Millennium

Like the torpedo, the perfecto has a closed foot and a bulge in the middle. Unlike torpedos, though, the head of a perfecto is rounded like the head of a parejo. Perfectos very greatly in length, from a diminutive 4 1/2 inches to unwieldy 9-inch cigars, with ring gauges from 38 to 48. Example: Partagas Presidente

More popular in the past than it is today, the culebra is perhaps the most exotic shape of cigar made. It consists of three panetelas braided together and tied with string, sold as one cigar. The three parts are then unbraided and smoked separately. Usually 5 to 6 inches long, culebras most often have a 38 ring gauge. Since they are difficult to come by today, you might consider sharing the other two braids of the cigar with two friends, turning the smoking of a culebra into a special occasion. Example: Partagas Culebra

Diademas are enormous, 8 1/2 inches or longer. The head is tapered, though often not to a complete point, usually with a 40 ring gauge. The cigar then tapers down to a foot that can be open like a parejo or closed like a perfecto, usually with a ring gauge of 52 or greater. This is a cigar to be enjoyed when time is no object. Example: Hoyo de Monterrey Diadema.

Havana Shapes in Alphabetical Order
• Almuerzos (5 1/8 x 50)
• Britanicas (5 3/8 x 46)
• Cadetes (4 1/2 x 36)
• Campanas (5 1/2 x 52)
• Carlotas (5 5/8 x 35)
• Carolinas (4 3/4 x 26)
• Cazadores (6 3/8 x 44)
• Cervantes (6 1/2 x 42)
• Coronas (5 1/2 x 42)
• Coronas Gordas (5 5/8 x 46)
• Coronas Grandes (6 1/8 x 42)
• Cosacos (5 3/8 x 42)
• Dalias (6 3/4 x 43)
• Delicados (7 1/2 x 38)
• Delicados Extra (7 1/4 x 36)
• Entreactos (4 x 30)
• Especiales (5 1/4 x 45)
• Exquisitos (5 3/4 x 46)
• Favoritos (4 3/4 x 41)
• Franciscanos (4 1/2 x 40)
• Franciscos (5 5/8 x 44)
• Generosos (5 1/4 x 41)
• Gran Corona (9 1/4 x 47)
• Hermosos No. 4 (5 x 48)
• Julieta 2 (7 x 47)
• Londres (5 x 40)
• Marevas (5 x 42)
• Minutos (4 3/8 x 42)
• Ninfas (7 x 33)
• Numero 1 (7 1/2 x 38)
• Numero 2 (6 x 38)
• Numero 3 (4 1/2 x 26)
• Palmas (6 3/4 x 33)
• Palmitas (6 x 32)
• Panetelas (4 5/8 x 34)
• Panetelas Largas (6 7/8 x 28)
• Parejos (6 1/2 x 38)
• Perlas (4 x 40)
• Petit Bouquets (4 x 42)
• Piramides (6 1/8 x 52)
• Placeras (4 7/8 x 34)
• Prominentes (7 5/8 x 49)
• Robustos (4 7/8 x 50)
• Seoane (4 7/8 x 36)
• Superiores (5 3/4 x 40)
• Tacos (6 1/4 x 47)
• Trabucos (4 3/8 x 38)
The first dimension is the length of the cigar in inches. The second is the ring gauge of the cigar or the diameter of the cigar measured in 64ths of an inch.
Beginners Guide
How to Choose?
How to Store?
How to Cut?
How to Light a Cigar?
How to Smoke?
How to Ash?
How to Judge a Cigar?
How to Revive a Cigar?
How to refill a lighter
Aging Cigar
The Humidor
Cigar Strength Guide
Smokers Gum
Cigar sites directory
Cigar Glossary
Humidor Glossary
Important Initials
Size and shape
Cigar Colors
How to make a Dossier book
Cigar Rating System
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