Ray-Ban sunglasses arrive with a plethora of letters and serial numbers permanently etched into the inside of the frame.
These serial codes contain vital information about your Ray-ban frames, and they can be confusing if you don't know what all the letters and numbers mean.
Ray-Ban alphanumeric serial numbers are always etched out of sight on the inside of the left-side arm and will ever be printed on the box in which they are packed.
The letters and numbers spell out the exact Ray-Ban sunglasses frame model and version, its colour and size – vital information if you are looking for a particular frame size or lens option.
Ray-Ban sunglasses can come in various sizes, and the same model may have several different variants and also offer a wide range of lens options, from chromatic to polarised.
So, understanding the alphanumeric codes stamped on the inside of the arm can help ensure you get the sunglasses what you want and that they are a perfect fit.
Let's take a look at what these serial codes mean. There are usually several sets of alphanumeric codes to consider.
The first set of figures is invariably preceded by the letters RB followed by a line of numbers such as RB2132.
It is the official code for Ray-Ban model and RB 2132, for example, is the New Wayfarer model.
Classic Wayfarers have the RB2140 model code while Aviators are RB3025 and Clubmasters are RB3016.
Here it can get confusing as some codes incorporate extra letters to distinguish variations on the basic model. Ray-Ban Aviator Large Metal sunglasses, for example, all have the model number of RB3025LM, with 3025 telling you these are Aviators and the LM indicating the Large Metal version.
This primary model number is usually followed by an alphanumeric set depicting the model's colour and sometimes the size version.
For example, RB2149 901 is the classic Wayfarer in its standard 901 black colour while RB3026 L2821 is the full Aviator Large Metal II model that comes with a gold-coloured metal frame.
Even mixed colour frames will get their colour code. So, the New Wayfarer Color Mix frames in black and red are coded RB2132 789/3F while the same in pink and grey have the serial RB2132 6307A6
All Ray-Ban sunglasses come with a plethora of lens size, colour and coating options.
These are usually outlined in the third set of serial numbers and letters on the inside left arm. Lens sizes are typically aligned with the bridge size and sometimes with the arm length.
The numbers can be separated by a small rectangle like this 50 – 22 or divided with a pipe like this 56|16|125.
In any event, the first number (in millimetres) is the lens diameter, the second is the width of the bridge, and the third (if any) is the length of the temple arms.
The lens diameter is the width of the lens at its widest point, measured in a straight line, not following any lens curvature. Lenses can come in all sorts of shapes, square, round, oval, pear-shaped, and so on, so it's often difficult to judge the actual look of the lens from this figure.
The bridge is the small area that rests on your nose and the bridge size is the smallest gap between the two lenses and is typically between 12 and 26 millimetres.
To sum up, the lens size is a two-digit number in the 40 – 62 range, the bridge size a two-digit number in the 12 – 26 range and the temple size a three-digit number in the 120-150 range.
The final part of the serial number is the lens code which, if used at all (and it's not found all that often these days) is composed of a numeral and a letter, such as 3N.
The number is for one of five categories from 0 to 4. 0 is for cloudy conditions; 1 is for partly sunny; 2 is for medium brightness; 3 for high intensity and 4 is for exceptional brightness.
The following letter can be one of three – N for normal or non-polarised, P for polarised and F for photo-chromatic. Thus, the code 3N will mean they have standard lenses for use in high brightness environments.
Standard (N) lenses are well, just standard, polarised (P) lenses are those that filter out horizontal light waves, helping reduce glare from large flat surfaces without loss of clarity of vision. Photochromic lenses darken on exposure to bright light (such as outdoors) and return to a clear state when not exposed (such as indoors).
Working out which size sunglasses will suit you best need not involve complicated tape measures or rulers. There is a simple rule-of-thumb method that will work, given you have a regular shaped face.
The simplest way is to use a standard credit or debit card and, standing in front of a mirror, hold it vertically under your eye. Gently place the card against the bridge of your nose.
The depth of a credit card is roughly the same size as a medium bridge width of 54mm. So, if the outer edge of the card extends beyond the corner of your eye, then you should opt for a small lens size (46-50mm).
If the edge of the card lines up with the outer corner of your eye, then choose a medium lens size (51-54mm) and if the corner extends beyond the card then select a large lens (54mm+).
The best bridge size can often depend on the frame manufacture, material, and whether it uses nose bombs, so it is better to try them on first to see how comfortable they feel.
Everyone's face is different, and each of us has slightly asymmetrical features. Some people have a flatter nose and need a wider bridge; others may prefer a temple arm that is a few millimetres longer on one side.
Nowadays, there are even apps that you can download to take a 3D scan of your face and suggest size and shape options.
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