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Old 05-29-2024, 10:43 AM
Johnny T's Avatar
Johnny T Johnny T is offline
John T
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: NJ
Posts: 181
Default T205 Gold Border Education: How important are the Backs???

With the completion of my T206 set nearly done, I started on my next project the T205 Gold Borders. I'm starting with HOF'ers and an occasional common if I get them cheap enough. Anyway, I don't know too much about them other than the blurb that is on PSA's website in the Set Registry section.

I guess my main question is: How important are the backs? Obviously, they are huge with T206's...but it doesn't seem to be as big a deal with the T205's. I mean PSA doesn't even mention the back on their slabs...SGC seems to though...

Any education on this question and any other topic related to these beauties would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all in advance! Great community and a wealth of information!

Kindest Regards,

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Old 05-29-2024, 03:25 PM
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Leon Leon is offline
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Default T205 Backs

In my limited experience only the Drums or Hindu's add much value. And those are relatively expensive.
The backs are neat to read, as we all know they are the first cards (*I am aware of) that had stats on the back. I see people adding they have a P42, T205 and it just doesn't carry the weight of T206. There are no doubt a few master set collectors going for the backs but not too many. The Broadleafs are of the tougher variety too.

So, generallly speaking, not super important overall, imo

ps....when collecting the gold borders, try to get ones with the least chipping around the borders. There are a ton of T205 collectors on the forum. We have had many discussions over the years.

I sold these when I sold my first collection 9 yrs ago but they give a good representation of some of the backs. I had most of the others but these are some of the toughies. IF doing the set, I wouldn't worry too much about the backs...

Leon Luckey

Last edited by Leon; 05-29-2024 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 05-29-2024, 04:34 PM
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John T
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Thanks Leon!
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Old 05-29-2024, 05:08 PM
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John Hanssen
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Location: Nebraska
Posts: 1,086

I’m one of those guys that like his P42 backed cards. Also if I have the chance to buy the same t205 card with a little rarer back I do. There is a ton of info in archives about backs and some cards have some hard to find combo’s that almost never come up because they have been collections for so long. But for the most part (NO) common and mid level backs are not as much coveted as T206.
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Old 05-29-2024, 05:25 PM
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Jim B.
Join Date: Dec 2015
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A great set for sure with some tough variations!!!
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Always buying Babe Ruth Cards!!!

Last edited by BabyRuth; 05-29-2024 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 05-29-2024, 05:36 PM
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Ken McMillan
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ponte Vedra, Florida
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Backs give a whole new challenge to collecting. I have a nearly complete set of T205 Cubs only missing the 2 Hindu cards. Took a while to put together but so worth it.
Favorite MLB quote. " I knew we could find a place to hide you". Lee Smith talking about my catching abilities at Cubs Fantasy camp.
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Old 05-30-2024, 04:56 AM
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Jac0b Br@un
Join Date: May 2021
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The best looking pre-war set out there!
N29, T205 HOF, 1934 Goudey HOF
Always looking for rare Don Bradman's
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Old 05-30-2024, 06:21 AM
hcv123 hcv123 is offline
Howard Chasser
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Default Now or later?

While I agree with the sentiment expressed so far, that some of the tougher backs (Polar Bear, Hassan, Piedmont and SC variants) don't move the needle much price wise, they are considerably harder to find. Any backs beyond those start to have a premium ("easier" ones - smaller premium, tougher ones (Drum, Broadleaf, Hindu) larger premium. Expect to see it more with HOFers than commons.
Imo a large part of the reason for this is that PSA has not "recognized" the backs on the holders. SGC has been doing it for some time and I suspect it will only be a matter of time before PSA starts doing so - which will change the pricing landscape quite remarkably in a short time.
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Old 05-30-2024, 10:02 AM
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Lobo Aullando Lobo Aullando is offline
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Here are the distributions on both. Way more long-tail for T206.

(T205 via and T206 via PSA.)
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Old 05-30-2024, 11:22 AM
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Some of the commons and non-hall of fame players are tough and considered short prints as well – get the Standard Catalog if you do not already. The list will give you a general idea of these commons – this set does have its share of expensive and rare cards! There are plenty of affordable cards too and fun to collect. The set is colorful and has lots of variations front and back. Good luck with the set! (Interest in some Cycle backs have gained more interest in recent years, just not like the recent price changes in T206 Cycle backs.)
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Last edited by jbsports33; 05-30-2024 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 05-30-2024, 07:37 PM
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notfast notfast is offline Whi.te
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Originally Posted by hcv123 View Post
Imo a large part of the reason for this is that PSA has not "recognized" the backs on the holders..
i think this is the biggest factor as well.

Sgc gives you a rough guide on how rare different backs are and allows you to compare fairly easily.

Psa really needs to start differentiating them as well.
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Old 05-30-2024, 08:22 PM
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Old 05-31-2024, 06:41 AM
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Dave H@rford
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Posts: 571
Default Backs are underrated

I, like several others have mentioned, feel that the T205 backs may be more critical to future collecting. I have been slowly working on a T205 HoF master set over the past two decades. Of the approximately 212 HoF front/back combos, I currently have 137 variations. Of the remaining, about 30 combos are extremely rare to see, and about 10 are only “1 card known to exist” (yes, most of these are Drum, Hindu or Broadleaf). There are still several unconfirmed combos as well.

As a variation collector, for me, the back is EVERYTHING.
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Old 05-31-2024, 06:49 AM
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I think Hindu and Drum bring big premiums, with Broadleaf bringing a big premium but a bit less of one. Then Cycle, Piedmont 42, and American Beauty can bring small to medium premiums - medium if two people need it or it is a very nice example. Then the rest all sell about the same.

Last edited by Jobu; 05-31-2024 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 05-31-2024, 10:32 AM
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Something that hasn't been mentioned but is part of the 'T205 backs are less pursued than T206 backs' equation are the back designs themselves. For T206 cards, the cigarette ads encompass the entire back, and not considering the tiny factory designations on the bottom for certain brands, each brand has a completely different design that makes it visually distinct and memorable. In comparison, I find that when briefly glancing at a T205 my mind barely registers the brand name on the bottom, and only the Sweet Caporal and Sovereign brands, due to their use of different ink color, and the Cycle brand, with its stylistically prominent 'Cycle' name, stand out at all. I think the prominence of the back design, coupled with the larger design variety is a small, but not insignificant, factor in the larger emphasis placed on T206 back brand collecting.

Having said this, being a collector typically more interested in the fronts of cards, overall I prefer the T205 backs because of their biographical writeups. They just give you more to read.


Last edited by brianp-beme; 05-31-2024 at 10:34 AM.
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