Tag Archives: fakes

Counterfeit Alert – 1979-80 OPC Gretzky (Graded?)

The Gretzky rookie card is one of the most counterfeited cards in our hobby. The most common fake is the OPC version. It seems to be quite rare to see a fake Topps version.

There are a number of types of fake Gretzky RCs. One version is printed on a matte stock with no gloss but better printing quality. Other versions are poorly printed and nothing is solid ink on the card front.

It’s bad enough when you run across a fake, no matter what version it is. What is even worse is when one of the basement “grading” companies decides to encapsulate a fake like the version we see here:


I call it a basement grading company because many of these so called companies probably originated in someone’s basement.  It is probably more accurate to call them a slabbing operation and not a grading company. There are still a number of these out there, but not as many as there once was. At one time there were over 40(!) of these low-tier slabbing operations around.

Granted, not every company that has slabbed cards is fraudulent.  But there is a reason why cards such as the Gretzky RC and Jordan RC cannot be sold raw on eBay. They can only be in a PSA, BGS or SGC holder. These three companies are universally considered to be the top-tier companies that are respected and trusted.

Always buy the card and not just the holder. Educate yourself as to what card grading companies are respectable and what commonly faked cards look like. Looking at common 1979-80 OPC common cards with a loupe will give you all you need to b e able to detect fake Gretzky RCs.




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Counterfeit Alert

An unusual counterfeit being presented today. It is of a card that many collectors today may be unfamiliar with. It is a card that is what we call a hand cut card, meaning the card was meant to be cut from a panel or box or strip.
This Musial card is from 1955 and was one of 6 cards found on the lid of a Rawlings glove box. The cards were meant to be cut from the box lid and each other.
The counterfeiter went to great lengths on this example, hand cutting the card in an apparent sloppy manner. At first glance, this is a convincing fake.
What are the elements that give this fake away?
4-27h2 The first piece of evidence is the stock itself. The cardboard used is too thick. It is also not old enough to be correct. Cardboard, like paper can be dated to an approximate age based on known manufacturing techniques.
Being a hand cut card, getting a good weight to compare to a real card is difficult. This is an instance where weight will not be a factor in determining the authenticity of the card.4-27i2
The second piece of evidence is the printing itself. The ink and the manner in which the ink is arraigned on the stock is what we find with a laser printer and not a photoengraved image.
In hand, the card is easily detected by an experienced collector but in an auction online, there is really no way to tell until you have made the deal and the card is shipped to you.
But it isn’t too late. As a buyer, you have a timeframe to dispute the purchase. If you pay using Paypal through eBay, you are protected. If you use a credit card, you are protected when making purchases online on other sites. The key is the ability to detect the fake as soon as you get it, not weeks or months later. I once talked with a collector that had an obvious fake card. When I told him it was not good, I asked when and where he bought it. His response was he bought it on eBay a year, maybe two years ago. His time of action had long passed.
Get yourself a good loupe and learn how cards look. This is your best defense. I will post in the new future about loupes.


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