LaBiche Jewelers warns eclipse glasses might be fake

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Anyone who picked up eclipse glasses from LaBiche Jewelers this week is advised to return them. The store's owner believes those are counterfeit glasses.

Source: American Paper Optics

Steve LaBiche handed out 1,000 glasses earlier this week, but he says after hearing stories about fake glasses, he decided to investigate his glasses further. Even though they have the ISO approval stamp on the side and have a NASA-approved manufacturer listed, there are some subtle differences between the real and fake pairs of glasses.

"Rather than take any chances, I would prefer no one take the risk because you can't risk your eyes," LaBiche says. "Your eyes are irreplaceable, and you just don't want to take the chance with them."

Anyone who brings their glasses back to the store can return them for a $10 store credit. LaBiche hopes to destroy all the fake glasses.

"What we want is for people to bring them back," LaBiche says. "We feel so strongly about it and are really embarrassed by it because I'm a part of something I don't want to be a part of."

The American Academy of Ophthalmology offers safety tips for viewing the eclipse. Click the attached link.

You may visit to see the differences between real and fake American Paper Optics glasses. You should check your individual glasses brands on the manufacturer's website.

Besides American Paper Optics, who makes Soluna glasses, here is a current list of other approved companies that manufacturer and/or sell glasses through vendors and retailers, according to the American Astronomical Society.

• American Paper Optics (Eclipser) / /

• APM Telescopes (Sunfilter Glasses)*

• Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold Film)* [see note]

• Celestron (EclipSmart Glasses & Viewers)

• Daylight Sky (plastic glasses only)

• DayStar (Solar Glasses)

• Explore Scientific (Solar Eclipse Sun Catcher Glasses)

• Halo Solar Eclipse Spectacles

• Lunt Solar Systems (SUNsafe SUNglasses) [see their unique kid-size eclipse glasses]

• Meade Instruments (EclipseView Glasses & Viewers)

• Rainbow Symphony (Eclipse Shades)

• Seymour Solar (Helios Glasses)

• Thousand Oaks Optical (Silver-Black Polymer & SolarLite)

• TSE 17 (Solar Filter Foil)*

Quick tips for buying safety glasses, according to the AAS and Retired NASA astrophysicist and photographer Fred Espenak:

• Buy only from the AAS's approved list of ISO certified solar eclipse glasses.

• When buying from online retailers, stick to buying from the manufacturer, brand or distributor with their name on the AAS list.

• To test glasses for damages or scratches, Espenak suggests holding a pair up to your car headlights at nighttime to ensure no light comes through.

• There could be a company selling what they claim to be genuine glasses off of the AAS list. The AAS says it's safer to buy directly from the company or brand's manufacturer whether buying online, or in person.

• Remember, only the sun or the reflection of the sun in a mirror should be seen through a pair of safe solar eclipse glasses. If you're able to see something other than the sun, the glasses could be counterfeit, according to Espenak.