Q & A – How Do I Spot A Fake 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle Baseball Card?

Question: I have been given a 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card.  It is in mint condition but wonder if it could be fake, and what I can look for that will tell me.  Like the paper, what kind of finish if any?  Thanks.

Answer:  The 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card is one of the most popular Mantle cards next to his 52 Topps and 51 Bowman RC.  A real 53 Topps Mantle won’t have a glossy finish to the front or back.  If I were you I would take a look at the edges and corners to see if they have been “trimmed” to make the appearence look better.  Trimming is where someone will closely cut off part of the edge of the card to take away any damage and reveal a clean cut.  One of the best ways to see if a card has been trimmed is to place it on top of another 1953 Topps baseball card to see if there is any difference in the size.  If one is smaller than another that is a good indication that it has been trimmed.  A black light can also be helpful with finding out if the card has had any surface repairs.  If you put it under the black light and you see some spots lighting up on the surface that means there has been some surface repairs made to it.  Back in the 90’s, Topps made a Mickey Mantle reprint set that features a reprint of the 53 Topps card.  Those are pretty easy to spot because they have a glossy finish to them and are usually always in better condition than an original.  Some of the reprints even have a chrome finish to them with protective covers over the front.  None of the originals ever had things like that on them.  Here is a picture of a real 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card:

Here are what a few reprints look like:

4 Responses

  1. Hi

    Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge in how to determine a fake. I am disappointed to find that it is a reprint (last picture above). At the same time, I am glad; I can now share it and the stats on the reverse with my two sons, both avid baseball players and fans!
    You are above any ebayer I have ever dealt with; you took the time to be so precise with the information. I am now a better judge of cards authenticity.

    Jill Michener

  2. Is the second picture above from the 1991 Achives set? Conversely, does the back of the second picture show any indication of being a reprint?

  3. Additionally to the info posted above, the 1953 original cards are much larger than the standard sized cards of today. That should be the first thing you look for. If it is real it will be larger than all the rest of your cards.

  4. I noticed that the top card has a red backing behind the name and the reprint has more of a orange color? Mine has a real red color. And looks just like the top card? Thanks for any info!

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