Counterfeit 1968 Topps Rookie Stars

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When you think about 1968 Topps baseball, whats the first card that comes to mind?  Thats correct, the Jerry Koosman rookie.  Oh, and I think one of the best pitchers in baseball history has his rookie pictured on the card as well…….. Nolan Ryan.  The is one of the most counterfeited cards on the market today.  Here are some tips to help you identify any fakes:

  • Look at the letters in the title “1968 Rookie Stars”.  The red and the black should be solid colors.  Counterfeits usually contain print dots.
  • The back should be a solid yellow color, versus small yellow dots.
  • The color on the front should be red, not orange.  Many times counterfeiters will try an make the card look older than what it really is.
  • Check the card stock.  Back in 1968 baseball cards were thinner and not as durable like today.  A thicker card with a glossy front could actually be a reprint.

Many of the above tips can be used for other notable cards within this set such as the Johnny Bench rookie.

Counterfeit Fro-Joy’s

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Andy Broome of Beckett Grading Services wrote another piece today on how to spot counterfeit cards.  This time it deals with the Fro-Joy Ice Cream set from way back in the day.  Remember, if you see any colored Fro-Joy cards, they are very much fake.  You can read the entire article here.

Counterfeit 1951 Topps Connie Mack All-Stars

Beckett announced another counterfeit card alert today.  This time it involves the 1951 Topps Connie Mack All-Stars set.   I think its a great idea that they have decided to let people know how they spot counterfeits, since they do grade cards like this.

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Example of a counterfeit.

“This is another card issue you would not think the counterfeiters would hit, nevertheless the 1951 Topps Connie Mack All-Stars have fallen prey.

This scarce early Topps card issue is a dangerous target since few of today’s collectors have handled an authentic example.

Fortunately, the counterfeiters missed several key features that are important in identifying a counterfeit card.

The Connie Mack All-Stars are die-cut and are meant for the majority of the background to be removed leaving a die-cut stand up of the player. The counterfeit card example we have shows the die-cutting around Ruth’s body but they forgot to actually cut the printed cut line. Not unlike the printed crease found on some poor quality fakes, this printed die-cut sticks out like a sore thumb.

This does remind us of one important factor, know what you are buying. If you know the ’51 All-Stars are die-cut, this forger’s error will jump out at you.

Another area of concern is the stock itself. It would be difficult for the forger to replicate the correct stock. This fake version is much too thick. The edges are also poorly hand cut.”

Click here to read the full article.

Counterfeit R423’s

Despite what some collectors and bloggers have to say about Beckett Media, today Andy Broome, who is one of the top vintage graders at Beckett, wrote a piece on counterfeit R423 cards.  These are the ones that look like postage stamps.  It is a really good article.  It is one of Sports Card Info’s jobs to help stop scammers and counterfeiters by supplying information like this to collectors.

Source – Beckett Behind the Scenes

“This tiny card issue has been looked over by collectors for many years. Measuring in at 1-5/8x 1-7/8”, it is easy to see why. These cards are dwarfed by a postage stamp.
The cards feature a black and white photoengraved image on the front and a generic game-like back that can be found in different colors like red, green, blue and purple.
The cards were issued in either 13-card strips or separated by the perforations and sold individually, most likely through bubblegum machines.
Director of Grading Mark Anderson has brought to light yet another counterfeit example. The examples BGS have are 3 times thicker than an original R423. While an original weighs a mere 0.05grams, the fakes we have weigh in at 0.15grams.
The fake cards are on a very bright white stock as opposed to the original stock which is a slicker, more off-white stock.
Original cards will have perforations on either one or both sides of the card. The counterfeit cards have smooth edges with no perforations.
Under a loupe, it is obvious the fakes have been printed with a computer. The quality is quite poor and is not even close when compared to the tell-tale characteristics of photoengraving found on an authentic example.
If you have studied T206 cards under a loupe, you no doubt are familiar with the “rind effect” of the type found in the players name and team name. The images on the fronts of the R423 are made up of tiny dots of ink that will have that rind effect. The fakes will not have this printing characteristic.
The fact that issues like the 1951 R423’s are now being counterfeited is disturbing.
These counterfeits prove that there are no limits to what can be faked and should serve as a warning to collectors who buy raw cards online, sight unseen.

– Andy Broome, BGS Grading”                              

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Counterfeit on left.

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On the left is the back of a counterfeit.

The T206 Museum

This afternoon I was looking for information on the T206 set and came across the website T206 Museum.com.  This website has everything you can think about the T206 set, including information on how to spot counterfeit cards and reprints.  For example, “Every genuine T206 cards, they are printed in solid black pinstripe separating the white border from the colored photo. Reprints show the line as a string of dark dots. You can see the different under a high power (x10) magnifier.”  If you are looking for information an any T206 card, they will have it.  

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Michael Jordan 1984-1985 Star Co. ROY #288 Counterfeits

There is no doubt about it that the Michael Jordan Star Co. rookie cards from the ’80’s are some of the most counterfeited sports cards on the market today.  Last week I found an article from Sports Collectors Daily that talked about the Star Co. and I e-mailed them asking if they could point me in the right direction as to how to spot a fake Michael Jordan ’84-’85 Star Co. rookie card.  I heard back from them and they showed me a message board discussion that took place back in the summer of 2007.  A Michael Jordan ’84-’85 Star Co. Rookie of the Year #288 counterfeit can be spotted quite easily if you know what to look for.  The main thing you want to look at are the borders.  On a real card, there will be very little right border and a lot of left.  Take a look at the image below.  It has the total opposite, a lot of right, and a little left.

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Update:

I just received an e-mail back from Global Authentication with more information on how to spot counterfeit Michael Jordan ’84-’85 Star Co. cards.  They said, “On the back of the card there should be a slight color bleed along the edge of the card from the front.  The color clarity is softer and unique to original issued Star product, the reproductions have bolder colors and out of registry text, bleed or feathering are good terms to describe the repros.”

Catching Those 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth Counterfeits

KSA is a Canadian grading company, and on their website they have a small section that gives you tips on spotting fake cards.  They have some great tips on how to spot fake Babe Ruth 1933 Goudey baseball cards.  These tips can be used for all Ruth Goudey’s.

  • Look for a glossy finish on the front surface
  • The green text on the back of the card should be solid
  • If under magnification, the text looks dotted, you are probably looking at a reprint
  • Be very careful when buying or trading for these cards as they have been artificially aged  to look real

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