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American Astronomical Society Warns of Counterfeit & Fake Eclipse Glasses

“With the April 8th North American total solar eclipse just over two weeks away, counterfeit and fake eclipse glasses are polluting the marketplace…With millions of North Americans only now becoming aware that a solar eclipse is imminent and seeking to get their hands on eye protection, it is critical that everyone understand how to spot unsafe products. Counterfeit solar viewers are ones that are made by one manufacturer but fraudulently printed with the name of a different manufacturer and perhaps with their artwork too. Until recently, the only counterfeit products we knew of were cardboard-frame eclipse glasses made by an unidentified factory in China but printed with “Mfg. by: American Paper Optics” (APO) on them. APO is one of the major U.S. manufacturers of safe solar viewers and prints its name and address on its eclipse glasses, whereas the Chinese copycat products have APO’s name but not its address. Thankfully, these particular counterfeits appear to be safe. In recent days it has become clear that one or more unidentified factories in China are now producing counterfeit eclipse glasses printed with the name and address of a different Chinese factory, Cangnan County Qiwei Craft Co., which is known to manufacture safe products. Some also copy Qiwei’s artwork, and some include the name and/or logo of Qiwei’s principal North American distributor, Solar Eclipse International, Canada (SEIC). Some of these newly identified counterfeits are indistinguishable from genuine Qiwei products and appear to be safe. Others look like Qiwei’s eclipse glasses, but when you put them on, you realize they are no darker than ordinary sunglasses. So, these products are not just counterfeit, but also fake –– they’re sold as eclipse glasses, but they are not safe for solar viewing…”

  • We have pared down our list to give preference to North American manufacturers and importers and their major authorized resellers; after all, the April 8th solar eclipse is almost exclusively a North American event, and this site is a service of the American Astronomical Society. We also highlight some German companies that astronomers all over the world have been patronizing contentedly for decades. If you don’t see a vendor listed on this page, it does not mean their products are unsafe — with so many sellers out there, it’s impossible for us to vet them all.

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