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Did you know that your sunglasses are identifiable by a serial number? It’s true, even if you can’t see the number. Serial numbers are generally etched on the inside surface of one of the arms. On models with wider arms, the numbers are fairly easy to see. That is not the case when you are dealing with thin wire frames. Serial numbers on the thinnest of frames are so small you need a microscope to see them.

At any rate, serial numbers serve the vital function of making it possible to identify key features. It is the same for sunglasses as any other consumer product. Serial numbers are essentially identification tools capable of revealing a lot of helpful information.

Serial Numbers Can Speak

If your designer wayfarers had vocal cords, they would speak to you whenever you wanted to know more about your shades. But because they don’t, serial numbers are used instead. Serial numbers can speak about a number of things you might want to know. For illustrative purposes, let us look at a typical Ray-Ban serial number.

Genuine Ray-Ban’s display the serial number etched on the inside of the left arm. The first part of this serial number is ‘RB’, indicating that you are looking at a legit pair of Ray-Bans. The rest of the numbers in the sequence designate model, version, color, and size. Sometimes the tail end of a Ray-Ban serial number designates variations within the same model.

The information doesn’t mean a whole lot to you as a consumer. To you, a serial number is Greek. To Ray-Ban however, the serial number is a wealth of information. Serial numbers help them keep track of inventory. They help ensure that distributors and retailers receive exactly what they order from the company. And if necessary, serial numbers are vital during product recalls.

Serial Numbers and Knockoff Products

Serial Numbers and Knockoff Products

Another reason for printing serial numbers on sunglasses is to make it harder for producers of knockoff products to do what they do. Let’s say you were a fervent Ray-Ban fan who knows the brand inside and out. You should be able to identify a legitimate pair of shades just by looking at how the serial number is printed.

Your average consumer doesn’t know enough about serial numbers to use them to spot knockoffs. That’s fine. On the other hand, criminal investigators who specialize in knockoff products are fully versed in what a serial number should look like. They can spot knockoffs a lot easier than consumers.

As for you and your designer wayfarers, why not have some fun with the serial number? Write it down and memorize it. Then leave your sunglasses at a friend’s house. Next time you visit, tell your friend you lost your shades, but you can identify them with a very distinguishing mark. That distinguishing mark is the serial number you rattle off without missing a beat.

You can even go on to tell your friend that the serial number proves your sunglasses are not knockoffs. He will be as impressed as can be by your knowledge and serial number memorization skills. Just don’t blow it by admitting you cannot remember your Social Security number.

All About Identification

Eyewear designers the world over make use of serial numbers. Whether you are talking about Salt Lake City-based Olympic Eyewear or Italy’s Luxottica, it’s all about identification. Serial numbers identify sunglasses by key characteristics manufacturers want to keep track of.

You’re curious now, aren’t you? Go grab your sunglasses and look on the arms. If you don’t see a serial number, maybe you just aren’t looking closely enough.