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Old 07-11-2011, 12:46 AM
jg8422 jg8422 is offline
Jeff Gross
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Default Counterfeit/altered Cards?

In your experience, what are the most common counterfeit cards (brand, player, etc.) you have come across? Also, if you could, can you please list the most common ways to determine how the card is fake.

Also, please offer any general advice on spotting genuine cards that have
been altered in some way.

This could be very informational and useful to all of us on the board.
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  #2  
Old 07-11-2011, 05:43 AM
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leftygrove10 leftygrove10 is offline
Brad Green
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There's a link near the top of the page.... Second icon from the right..... "Detecting Card Alterations and Reprints"... That might answer some of your questions.....
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:57 PM
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Frank Kealoha Ward
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Any card can be counterfeited, usually done on an inkjet printer made from a scan of an authentic card. they can fool collectors in a photo but in person shouldnt.

on eBay etc. these are the most common Doctored reprints
(but some sets ie R319, T206 have been reprinted dozens of times with dozens of variations, so there is no 1 way to tell a fake)

N28 (all) (back ink color, card stock)
N300 (all) (back is white not black)
E145-2 (all) (cropped, ink color uniform, back NOT upside down)
R309-1 (all) (quality of image)
R319 (usually Ruths, Gehrigs) (cropped, reprint scuffed off back)
R320 (usually Gehrigs) (cropped)
R323 (usually DiMaggio, Feller) (cropped, white border around the white background)
R333 (all) (cropped, border too wide, back ink color)
T206 (all) (caption, back ink color)
T205 (usually Cobb) (cropped)
M101-4/5 (all) (cropped photo, gap between photo and line too wide)
E90-1 (#"20" upped left corner of back, sometimes scuffed off)
E253 (all) (name box too white)
W512 (image quality)
W517 (paper stock, "W517" in corner scuffed off)
W551 (too red and blue)
W560 (Ruth, Gehrig) (image quality contrast)
T3 (wrong size, corner clefs)
T200 (NOT real photo, NOT photo stock)
WG2, WG3 (image quality, especially back within the ball)
WG5, WG6 (corners too round, image quality)
Fro-Joy (image contrast, ink color)
GH Ruth Candy Co. (smaller card number, cropped)
D305 (image quality, back card stock color)

1935 Quakers Oats Babe Ruth Pin (middle "V" on "M" in "Champions" doesnt extent to bottom)
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:26 PM
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Default general characteristics

I would say the things that pop out to me on faked cards is their lack of focus, registry and poor print quality compared to real ones. The best way to get to know them is to handle as many raw cards as you can. Our little section on "Detecting Alterations and Reprints" is good reading too. There ya go.....
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:26 PM
jg8422 jg8422 is offline
Jeff Gross
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Thanks for the help guys. I have always collected PSA or SGC graded cards b/c I never thought I had enough knowledge to feel comfortable enough to drop thousands on a raw card. I also do not feel comfortable yet looking at a raw card and being able to guess the grade it will receive. As we all know, one point difference can make a huge difference in high-end vintage cards. Or maybe I could always just pop it out and keep resubmitting it until I get a better grade. That seems to be a common practice.
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:50 AM
ls7plus ls7plus is offline
Larry
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Default Don't underestimate the power of a loupe

Get a loupe -- 16x does quite nicely--and check out the print dot pattern under magnification. Compare it if possible to other cards in the same set. If the pattern is regular, it has almost certainly been printed from the original plate and is legitimate. However, if the dots lack a regular pattern and seem randomly dispersed, it has most likely been re-screened, and is indeed counerfeit. Certain portions of the card, often such as team logos or perhaps facsimile signatures, will have solid, unbroken lines making up this part of the card, whereas on a counterfeit, what was solid on an original card will be made up of fuzzy dots. On other cards, such as the Topps 1991 Desert Shield, the counterfeiters were making up fake shield logos to attach to regular Topps cards, and the way to distinguish real from fake was to be familiar with the original, legitimate design.

The better you know what a legitimate card is supposed to look like, the easier it will be to recognize a counterfeit, because you will be able to spot something that is not quite right upon careful examination. Back in the '90's, before professional grading had gained a widespread hold on the hobby, there were a lot of fake 1984 Fleer Update cards of Gooden and Puckett floating around which bore a team logo which could be distinguished from the real thing by magnification and examination of the dot patterns in that area, but you had to know what that area of the card was supposed to look like.

And while you've got your loop out, check the edges for trimming (you cannot tell if a card has been trimmed by measuring it!). If the cut is rough as it should be for a stack of cards cut on a guillotine, shear-type press, it is legitimate. On the other hand, if it is razor sharp, it will be rejected for trimming (it is my understanding that these cards, where they measure correctly, have been put through a paper press to make them slightly larger, then trimmed back to exact size with a very sharp cutting instrument).

Good luck in hunting your raw beasts--I used to do that, but found it was simply less time consuming in most cases to buy graded cards from PSA or SGC.

Larry

Last edited by ls7plus; 07-17-2011 at 02:59 AM.
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:32 AM
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Good advice above

Buy some raw, beatup commons, for side by side comparison. If a card is still iffy, post here. You'll learn fast.

Buy from the BST here. The prices are fair, in general.
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:31 AM
drc drc is offline
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A lot of it has to do with who is the seller. There are numerous reliable sellers who know how to identify raw reprints. If you're buying a raw 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth from a guy with 2 feedback, you're taking a chance.

Side by side a reprint or counterfeit and the real card from the issue are usually distinctly different in multiple ways (thickness, gloss, stock color, other). Even if you only have some T206 commons, you should be able to identify a fake T206 Honus Wagner when you compare in person. Commons, stars and Wagner were were made the same way, with the same type of ink and card stock. Same theory and practice applies to Willie Mays and Dan Marino Rookie Cards.

A collector, even an experienced collector, is most likely to be fooled when buying from an issue he's never owned or has experience with. He has nothing to compare it the questioned card to, not even memory. On the other hand, if you've collected 1971 Topps since, well, 1971, a reprint will stand out like a sore thumb.

My printible pdf guide shows how to make such comparisons (what to look for), along with other topcs concerning identify counterfeits of early cards.

Last edited by drc; 07-17-2011 at 11:22 AM.
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  #9  
Old 07-17-2011, 11:23 AM
jg8422 jg8422 is offline
Jeff Gross
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Thanks for all of the suggestions. I am always amazed by the amount of knowledge on this site.

DRC- thanks for posting your very informative guide.
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  #10  
Old 07-17-2011, 11:30 AM
drc drc is offline
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I remember when an old collector contacted me because he had heard on the internet about counterfeits. He said he had been avidly collecting 1933 Goudeys for many years and was suddenly worried that some of his cards might be reprints and he doesn't realize. I told him that if he had been avidly collecting Goudeys for many years he'd be the first to know if any of his cards were reprints.

Last edited by drc; 07-17-2011 at 11:33 AM.
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