Q & A – How do I tell between the different print patterns?

Question: My dad has some old baking cards.  I read your post about the dots vs. the lines or crosshatch and I can’t tell the difference.  I’m sorry for my ignorance.  When looking at the cards under a 16x magnifying glass I see what looks like flowers.  I have an old card that has been graded by PSA and when looking at the card under the magnifier, it looks like the same flowers.  Is there a difference in the print (flowers, dots, lines, etc.) between a card from 1911-1913 vs. 1950?

Again, I’m sorry for ignorance…but I’m looking to you as an expert! 🙂


Dear krclaypool,
Thats a great question.  If these cards are older and are your dad’s I don’t think we have to worry about them being fakes.  If you say the print pattern is the same when looking at the PSA graded card I would say no.  If PSA graded that card it is not a fake and the print pattern is fine.  The cards from the 1911-13 time were not printed as well as the ones from the 50’s but the process is about the same.  Cards from the 50’s were made for collectors.  Most of the cards from the early 1900’s were made for packs of cigarettes and not really collectible back then.  If you compare the print pattern of today’s cards you will see a huge difference.  Dot printing uses very small dots to make up the whole picture.  Lines or crosshatch uses small lines going in different directions to make up the picture.  The printer will also use different amounts of pressure to get the shade of color they are looking for.  The “flower” pattern sounds to me like dot printing  If I were you, I would send those old cards in for grading and/or certification.  Thanks for the question and I hope I was able to help. 

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