Help me spot fake Panasonic CR123A batteries

Hi guys! I’ve already posted that on CPF, but I wanted to have your opinion too.

I have a box of 20 Panasonic CR123A, made in Japan. Price was fair (~35€ for 20) for where I live, nothing suspicious at first.
I stored them a few months (I don’t use much CR123A, use them for their long shelf-life mostly), and recently I needed one of them….and it was dead (0V). So I checked the 19 remaining batteries (they were individually stored in small plastic bags from factory), and found another one dead (18 are ok)…so, that made me suspicious, and I checked a few threads regarding fake CR123A :

My batteries are like the one in this thread : my CR123A leaked | Candle Power Flashlight Forum
but “Matsushita Electric Industrial” is correctly spelled. And none leaked.

Than I saw this thread : Fake SureFire CR123 cells | Candle Power Flashlight Forum

and noticed the green ring at the bottom of the battery is missing, just like the fake Surefire batteries depicted :

Suspicious CR123A is on the left, next to a Battery Station. BS and all my other made in USA or made in Japan (including Panasonic Industrial) have this green ring at the bottom. My “suspicious” batteries don’t have this green ring, and their shrink wrap is not defect free (but after all these are just batteries, no jewels!).

And them came across this one : Fake Panasonic CR123 Explosion | Candle Power Flashlight Forum (see pics at the end of page 3)

I don’t really want an episode of “vent-and-flame” at home with these batteries, so, is there a way to tell if they are genuine or fake?

My blue/white Panasonic CR123 does have the green ring at the bottom.

All “probably real” Panasonic and Panasonic made seem to have this green ring…I am now waiting to hear back from Panasonic but they sound more and more fake to me :confused:

Is there any tests I could do to rule if they are fake or not?

A brand new battery that is dead is about all I would need to convince it’s a fake.
All my Made in USA Panasonic, Rayovac, and Energizer have the green ring in the bottom.

I have one ‘Trustfire’ Made in China with no green ring on the bottom.

I have the same white CR123 batteries in my drawer, purchased on ebay in 2005.

-No green ring
-shrink wrap is perfect
-has the “elestric” typo on the label
-never leaked
–4 of them still hold 3.06-3.08v unused

I don’t think fake batteries could last this long and still be doing all of the above. I have not actually put them in a light yet because I have some freebies to get through first.

A little update I posted on CPF:

I did a discharge test, and these batteries are screaming “FAKE” !!!

888mAh under 0,5A load, discharge stopped at 1,6V (practical end working voltage of some CR123A lights I have). Internal resistance is measured between 224 and 265 mOhms. Ambiant temperature was 20,1°, max temp of the cell was 26,6°, rising at the end of the discharge (I was starting to worry, since the charger is configured to stop at 28°). Initial voltage of the cell was 3,26V.

I did a comparison with a Panasonic Industrial cell (authentic I think) I had, capacity was 1230mAh, and internal resistance between 170 and 210 mOhms. You can compare this with HKJ review here : Test of Panasonic Lithium Industrial CR123A
he found a higher capacity, but also stopped the discharge under 1V.

I sent a mail to the store where I bought them, and got an answer, telling me they will investigate to see if they are fake or just very very old cells (I don’t think so, since some are @3,26V). Wait and see.

Just in case someone is interested, end of the story, I just had the confirmation from Panasonic (I sent two batteries two months ago to them) that they are fake. I guess that was to be expected :slight_smile:

Are these Panasonic CR2 also fake ?

There was a thread here on BLF a few weeks ago, about a place that was selling them off fairly cheap in the U.S., and they were real, with the green ring.

I just looked. I have a few hundred surefire and Panasonics. from different lots. every one has the green ring.

Yeah I bought 20 of them, they are the silver industrial variant, and all have the green ring too.