How To Spot A Fake Dan Marino 1984 Topps #123 Rookie Card

1984 Topps Football is loaded with lots of rookie cards.  Eric Dickerson, Howie Long, and Dwight Stephenson to name a few.  There are two quarterbacks though who’s rookie cards you immediately think about whenever this set is mentioned – John Elway and Dan Marino.  Both have been heavily counterfeited over the years.

With so many grading companies looking the other way and allowing trimmed/counterfeit cards to pass through, its important to know what to watch out for.  Nothing could be more irritating than finding out the centerpiece of your collection is a fake.

Below are some tips on what to keep an eye open for when looking at Dan Marino 1984 Topps rookie cards:

  • Black border – many counterfeit examples exhibit a black border that comes to four sharp corners around the photo.  On authentic examples, those corners are much more rounded.
  • If you’re able to weigh the card, counterfeits tend to be a little heavier.  Counterfeits tend to weigh 1.93 grams compared to the normal 1.90 grams.
  • Look at the Miami Dolphins logo on the card’s front.  The stripes on the dolphin’s helmet are usually fuzzier on a counterfeit.  Take a common Miami Dolphins card from that set and compare it to the Dan Marino card you’re looking at.  Authentic examples should have clear stripes.
  • On the front of Marino’s jersey you can see the number “13”.  Lots of counterfeits have a notch out of the “1” near the edge towards the center.
  • On the back of the card, the © logo is incomplete, and the “A” in “YEAR” and “8” in “1983” (in the statistics box) are both filled in on counterfeits.

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