Category Archives: Grading

Counterfeit Alert – 1984/85 Star Jordan

Today’s counterfeit alert is a franken-graded card. And it is one that I ask you help other collectors and take action on.

What we have today is a fake card in a fake holder.  The card is currently on eBay:

Fake card currently on auction

This is a case of someone taking a fake card, making a fake label and placing them into a fake holder. This particular holder is nothing like a real BCCG holder. If you compare the image to an authentic holder, you can see the difference in the shape. Fortunately, even our BCCG holder is very tamper resistant. This is why the crooks have to go with a completely different holder.


The BCCG holder is similar to the BGS holder in that it has more squared corners. The corners almost come to a point, not rounded like the fake holder in the image.


I try not to ask too much from my readers, but I ask you in this case to report this kind of item to eBay and help keep fakes off the market.






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Counterfeit Alert – 1957 Topps Mantle/Berra

Yankees Power Hitter Mantle and Berra from 1957 Topps set. A great looking card featuring two Yankees Stars.

But the card we have here today is not all that great. In fact, as the title of this posts says, this is a counterfeit.


This particular fake is testament to the ever evolving counterfeiters. This card upon first glance is somewhat of a convincing  fake. It takes some closer looks to spot the problems with this card.


It may be a bit hard to see in the photo, but one will notice the spray of fine blue dots all in the white ares of the card and border. It is one of the few flaws in the quality of the printing.


Tilting the card under a light source reveals the wrong type of ink that I have talked about before. Notice the shiny purple sheen the surface has? The gloss that should be covering the printing is not there, either.


Finally, we look at the edges. Here we find a common move by the frauds that make these cards. Notice the thin line in the center of the cards edge? That is a thin strip of metal foil sandwiched in-between the two halves of the card. This is an apparent attempt to make the incorrect modern stock feel closer to the correct weight.





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1887 N284 Buchner Gold Coin ad overprinting #thehobby

Issued in 1887 by D. Buchner & Co. and once found with Buchner Gold Coin chewing tobacco, the colorful N284 set feature what many call generic images. The images of players are not created from actual images of the player represented and are used for multiple players. But the images give a glimpse of baseball in the 1880s and offer an affordable option to buy superstars of the 19th century.


There are many different poses found and three different back variations. Another variation is the advertising overprint.


What appears to be a case of taking uncut sheets of regular issued cards and printing an advertising message on the fronts of the cards, these advertising overprint cards have regular backs and are on the same stock as the cut issued cards. The cards with the ad printing appear to have been hand cut, adding to the evidence of a ad sheet being cut down.


As you can see in the image above, a small sampling of cards partially spell out what appears to be the word “TOBACCO.” On another card, a smaller sized type can be seen reading “& Co.” presuming this is possibly part of “D. Buchner & Co.”


Examining the overprinting closer, you can see the impression of the printing press into the sheet. The letters are pressed into the original card image, leading us to believe the ads were in fact printed separately and after the card fronts and backs were already printed.


I tried to show the “R” in particular using a light source to reflect the difference in the surface from the card surface and the letter. You can see a shelf in the top of the “R.”

What the full message reads is a mystery to me. While I have seen a handful of these at once, I have not seen enough of these cards to assemble the full text of the advertising.

Because of the cards being hand cut, they cannot have a numerical grade assigned to them. They are holdered as “Authentic” only.





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Counterfiet Alert – 1954 Topps Hank Aaron RC

’54 Topps cards, to me, is still un undervalued set. Condition issues plague this set such as centering. With key HoF’er rookie cards such as Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks and Al Kaline, it is surprising there aren’t more fakes seen on a daily basis.

The card we have here in todays post is a decent looking Aaron RC fake. At first glance, it appears to be an authentic card, even the wear looks pretty natural.


It was the light test that caught this card quickly. Holding the card at an angle that would reflect the light from a strong light source, the blue ink of the hat appeared purple and reflective. Think of the ink of a sharpie. When a strong light is reflected off of the ink of a Sharpie, it appears purple and shiny. An authentic card should reflect the gloss of the card and not the ink.


When we get closer to this card, we can see the ink is not quite right. Notice how the lettering in “HENRY” is not well defined. There are also stray blue dots throughout the yellow letters.


Again, same problems here in the team logo. The yellow field also has the blue dots all throughout the yellow. What I couldn’t get to show up in a picture are the spray of tiny blue dots all throughout.

Lastly, we have the card in front of a strong light source:


As we can see, the light passes through the thin stock of the fake card. An authentic card will not allow light to pass through like in the photo above.





Signed copies now available!