Tag Archives: Counterfeit cards

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.






Signed copies now available!

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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Counterfeit Aler….. oh you know this one #thehobby


The 1934 Nap Lajoie. The stuff of hobby legend. One of the iconic cards that most all collectors at least recognize if not know about the story behind the cardboard.

This one is bad. The screwdown just adds insult to injury. So Instead of boring you with why this copy here is fake, I thought I would share the story of the real card.

It was mostly likely a case of simple manipulation. Goudey Gum had no idea how successful their cardboard would be when they wrapped them with slabs of gum. To make sure they sold enough of their gum, the fine folks at Goudey decided to mess with the minds, and pockets of young kids of the country. When the 240-card set was laid out, one card number in particular was missing. No matter how many slabs of penny gum you tore through, you were not going to find card #106. This was a big deal for the set collectors (remember those?) Some kids were spending more and more chasing this elusive card that actually did not exist. No one even knew who was suppose to be on this mystery card.

It became a big enough issue that parents felt compelled to write letters to the Goudey company to complain about the gimmick. Even the father of our hobby Jefferson Burdick reportedly received 10 copies himself from Goudey. The company must have received enough of these letters to feel they had to do something. They decided to print card #106 in 1934. They chose Napoleon Lajoie to be depicted on the mystery card. Old Nap last played in 1916. Why exactly Lajoie was picked has been lost to history.

Even though the card was made to complete the ’33 set, the card was printed in ’34 and carries a ’34 copyright. The replacement card was printed on high number ’34 sheets and supposedly were only given out in response to complaint letters. There have been rumors that the card found its way into ’34 Goudey packs but this has never been proven and at this point in history, it will probably never will be. All good legends need some mystery.

If the card was printed on the high number sheets, it would stand to reason that the card is really no more scarce than any ’34 high number. But the card does exist in far fewer numbers. Most likely, the folks at Goudey simply cut the cards, separated them from the ’34 cards and fulfilled the requests. Any cards left were thrown out. If any survived until the dumping of Goudey material in the 1960s is unknown.

The ’33 Goudey Lajoie remains one of the most important cards in our hobby. It has been reprinted countless times since at least the 1970s. I have seen fakes in giant 1″ screwdowns at flea markets and card shops alike over the years. Because of its rarity, any time you come across this card, be suspect.

But don’t lose all hope. Chances are, there’s a real one still lurking out there that once made its way from Boston in the U.S. Mail to an upset set collector.





Signed copies now available!











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!