Q. Why are some cigars numbered as #2, #4, etc.?
– M. Saleem in IL
A. As far as the numbers assigned to certain cigars, there seems to be a correlation among certain sizes which most likely originated in Cuba.
A “No.2″ is often a Pyramid (roughly 6½” x 52). A “No.4″ is generally a Corona (5½” x 44). A “No.1″ is usually a Churchill (7” x 50), or similar, large-sized cigar, although after researching Perelmans’ Pocket Cyclopedia of Havana Cigars, the No. 1 is assigned to a variety of sizes, as is the No.2 in some cases. Another observation I made in the book was that a “No.3″ in most cases seems to be a Petite Corona, usually around 4½” x 38.
I’m sure that additional research would find more conclusive evidence as to how the “number system” was originally devised, but it seems that, like the names assigned to various frontmarks, the numbers are also assigned at the discretion of the manufacturer.
If anyone reading this would like to share their knowledge on this particular subject, please send me an email and I’ll post a follow-up.