Tag Archives: Fake

Everyone’s Wagner is real, right? We all want to find treasure.

If I had a dollar every time I have heard this at a show…


I know everyone wants to find treasure. I do too.
But we can get blinded by “what could be” and forget about facts.
What got me into wanting to learn more about fakes and alterations in the first place was buying a small stack of reprints at a flea market in the late 80s. I really thought I had found treasure according to the price guide values. When I figured out they were not real, I decided that I would not let that happen to me again. I learned a great deal over the years but it did happen again. Each time I have learned from it.
I have learned plenty about cards and I’m still learning. There will always be new types of fake cards and alterations coming in.
Are there still cards like T206 Wagners out there waiting to be discovered? You bet. In fact, we graded one in 2008 that literally came out from under someones bed. It had been in the family for many years.
One thing that makes such big finds special is that they are few and far between. Like the Black Swamp find, it’s a once in a lifetime find, but it was right there in an attic all those years just waiting for someone to find.
The thought of unearthing treasure can also blind us from the obvious. There are hundreds of “cards” listed on ebay stating they are reprints because ebay requires them to do so. If someone has a potential six-figure card in their hands, do they get it authenticated or do they dump it on ebay as a reprint? If a seller is savy enough to use ebay, they are generally savy enough to figure out exactly what they have. They have given the buyer all the info they need.
It’s that potential of getting rich quick that blinds some to make bad purchases.

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.





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!