Detecting Counterfeit Cards
Posted on Feb. 17, 2017, 2:23 a.m. by Megalomania
I'm not sure if this the right place to discuss this but I am a bit concerned about a card I recently purchased.
I bought a Revised Underground Sea from someone on the Internet. It passed the bend test as well as the light test. I also tried using the Jeweler's Loupe but since i'm not really sure what it should look like, I can't decide whether it was legit or a counterfeit.
The card seems to be in a very good condition (no yellowing of the borders) considering its age and compared to my other duals. It seems somewhat harder and a teeny bit heavier although the thickness is identical with the other cards.
I'm not sure if I am just being paranoid since it already passed two tests. Is there any other way I can be sure if it's a counterfeit?
Do you have any other revised cards in a similar condition? If so, put them together and take a a close up, HD picture. The big tell will be the corners of the card. if they seem a little rounder that they should be, be concerned.
February 17, 2017 2:28 a.m.
You should watch some of the YouTube videos on fake MTG cards. Apparently the quality has been vastly improved, making some of the normal methods of inspection invalid. I think it has gotten to the point where it comes down to your sense of touch when handling real MTG cards in order to figure out if a card is fake. Unless you have the option to make a direct comparison, but then you'd have to have access to an original copy.
Older cards should be naturally worn to some degree, perhaps the smell. If it smells new, like chemicals (ink), then it is likely a fake.
February 17, 2017 2:48 a.m.
Just got back from my local LGS. Guys say it looks legit but the back seems smoother than normal. Weird how everyone thinks it's legit but always see something odd about the card. One guy thinks it's weird because it doesn't have any smell. At least not the ones he normally get from fake and normal cards.
February 17, 2017 5:13 a.m.
There were 2 printers that did revised (or so I've been told) and that they are slightly different in quality. Also the second printer was done right before they stopped printing the set, so they can look newer.
February 17, 2017 7:23 a.m.
You could do the good ol' Tear It In Half test, check for the blue line.
Although I may have heard something about counterfeits having that layer, so maybe not.
February 17, 2017 8:22 a.m.
If it passes the light test and the bend test, it is very unlikely to be a counterfeit. If you want, you can use magnification and check the text for inconsistent font or some other text irregularities.
But from all that was said here, card sounds legit AF.
February 17, 2017 8:42 a.m.
To be honest, if you and others can't tell if it's a fake you can regard it as not a fake, until someone identifies it as one.
Of course that doesn't help you at all if you take it to a PPTQ.
Does it not smell at ALL? Old cards should sort of smell like old books.
February 17, 2017 10:25 a.m.
I've gone out of my way to teach myself as much as possible with identifying fakes. The light test is usually valid, especially if performed with a blacklight and other cards from the same set/printing. I've never been given a definitive quantitative answer on the bend test, so I don't bother with it.
When using a jeweler's loupe, you want to look for the outer border, set symbol, card name, casting cost, and card text. The black for each should be very sharp, as the black is printed last, while the rest of the card will be a printed rosette and will vary between sets. Fakes will have their rosette pattern blend slightly into the black of most or all of these areas (this test has yet to fail me).
From your post and comment, you're probably alright, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
February 17, 2017 1:59 p.m.
Thanks. I guess i'll have to take another look at the card using the Loupe. Thank you for the responses. Hope this also helps some of the guys who need some tips on how to spot fakes.
February 17, 2017 6:53 p.m.
I just wanted to let you know I've had the same problem with a card I got from the Internet. It's not an old card, it's Jace, Unraveler of Secrets and I've done all the tests and let people look at it and it seems to be real but for some reason it feels thinner than other cards to me.
February 24, 2017 12:53 p.m.
Find someone with another Jace, Unraveler of Secrets and compare the sticker at the bottom, every detail should be the same. Also compare the feel of both.
February 25, 2017 2 a.m.
I plan to do that when I find some with one, but not many Mtg players around where I live. I'm like 90% sure it's real now after having a few people look at it, I think it's just me being paranoid. Lol