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  • posted a message on Real or Fake? Revised Volcanic Island
    The card seems real, but the scan is not detailed enough so I could check the print patterns. My reasons why it's most likely real is the wear pattern and how mis-centered the card is. The chinese fakes have much better quality control than Carta Mundi had back at revised.

    The wear is pretty much realistic and looks like normal wear real cardstock gets. So most likely real.
    Posted in: Card Authentication
  • posted a message on Fake Moat & Plateau?
    The scans are not good enough for me to be conclusive, but the Moat has some serious questionable features, like the upper beveled edge betwen the black border and the rest. The edge wear is definately pointing to fakes.

    If the cards feel slick or plasticy, they are definately fakes.

    My gut reaction is that those are pretty bad fakes, but I'm only 95 % certain.
    Posted in: Card Authentication
  • posted a message on The Other Format Price Discussion Thread
    Interesting discussion going here, altough it saddens me how few participants we have these days.

    One thing that I didn't see anybody pointing out yet is what we all should expect these spikes to cause as secondary effects...

    All duals and P9 cards should see a significant uptick. Some are already doing this, but I foresee all of them following. This is basically the same thing that happened when revised duals jumped in 2009, modern staples jumped, Zen Fetches jumped etc. And everytime when stores finally upped their buy-prices, people flooded them with the newly more expensive cards and bought duals and low-end power (Twister, cheaper Moxes, unlimited duals etc.) and when those prices needed to be corrected the expensive p9 started to feel underpriced and allowed people to trade in few Moxen to get an Ancestral Recall or trade their unlimited duals for few betas etc. (And this increase in price will lead some people who were very close to buying Unl P9 pieces to choose CE or ICE versions, leading to incresed demand on those, which is already happening...)

    Another effect of these buy-outs is that collectors of old sets, who normally take their time, have accelerated their rate of acquisition, which is mostly why we see the alpha and beta spikes on random cards like Camouflage, which aren't on the reserved list. The market only has limited amount of the 93/94-period cards, so any additional interest will increase the price at this point. There are also some collectors (myself included) who collect some alpha cards just for fun and will gladly sell some formerly bulk Lg rares to finance a new burst of activity.

    And last, there's now a major financial redistribution going on. Group of people have pumped propably few hundred thousand bucks to the MtG-market buying reserved-list cards in a few short months, and knowing Magic players, lot of that money will go towards other cards. I know I have sold a lot of high end commnder foils to people, who have sold a stack of cards they had got when first starting playing in the mid 90s. I will naturally put some of the money towards some of my less important collection goals (like set of alpha Kudzu, I would have loved to own twenty years ago for my GR-LD-deck) which can sometimes lead to additional effects on the market...

    Lot of the people who have sold their reserved list cards are entrentched players, who already have large collections, so they will put their gains into cards they want, which often are legacy and vintage staples and reserved list cards. This means that I believe strongly that while the reserve buy-outs will most likely calm down in a while, there will be a notable increase across the board in dual lands, power and high end old cards, which will keep going for at least few months after these buy-outs slow down, before the inevitable downtick in value, which usually happens after a price increase, when the market tries to find the new balance betwen supply and demand and the less patient speculators try to unload their copies.

    There's also the 'organic' dual value increase caused by legacy GPs, which had already caused some upward pressure towards other legacy staples, so it's hard to say exactly how strong the RL-buy-out effect actually is, but at least we finally will see how many copies of the old cards will find their ways out of the closets and attics of retired players when the market finds the new price equilibrium and those cards start selling again.
    Posted in: Market Street Café
  • posted a message on Mox Sapphire..REAL or FAKE? Please help...
    Either the camera has corrupted the pixels into lines or the card is a bad fake. From the low quality pics I would say that it has been printed with ink jet printer on an erased card.

    If you can get a 600 dpi scans of both sides of the card, we can be more certain. But if you compare this to a real card you should notice how the pixelation should look like and this is anything but.
    Posted in: Card Authentication
  • posted a message on Real/Fake Intuition
    Yep. it's a fake. There are also some problems with the set symbol and the beveled edges shown in the pics. Early version of the chinese fakes if I'm not mistaken. The card should also feel different from normal magic cards, more plasticy and more shiny.

    The early fakes used uncorrected scans as their data and used rich black instead of solid balck on the black borders.
    Posted in: Card Authentication
  • posted a message on The curious case of an Alpha/Beta 'fake' swamp
    Story time...

    Fake beta and sometimes alpha commons and basic lands were the usual practise materials when people tested rebacking. The description fits the usual rebacked card.

    In 1998 a friend of mine decided that he wanted to test rebacking cards, after another friend had bought a rebacked dual land. He was pretty open about telling everybody he knew what he was doing and allowing people to examione the results, so they could in turn better spot fakes. In our part of the world we never got many fakes, and the few we got were all rebacks (or maybe nobody knew how to spot dark beta...).

    The first few rebacks were pretty terrible, but the later ones became somewhat harder to spot without close examination. The corners were the easiest places to spot problems and while we agreed that with better tools he possibly could have made fakes with only minimal thickness difference, the corners would always be the problem and nowadays most people know to do a light test to expensive cards would make selling these not feasible.

    I'm not telling any tips, but there are plenty of ways to increase the quality if you know your crafts. Luckily the CE and ICE cards are relatively scarce (and duals and P9 are pretty expensive too) these days and there's no real point in making beta fakes (and as alpha they won't pass muster.) With current printer technology printing proxies is also much easier.

    I would guess that there are still some rebacked cards floating around, but as they are really easy to spot and most glues used 20 years back have started degrading and/or hardening, they should become less common all the time.
    Posted in: Card Authentication
  • posted a message on Cardsphere is live!
    This sounds pretty much similar than MCM was when it got started. They didn't have the 10 buck fee for cashing out, but the transaction fee was bit higher. On MCM the seller sets the price he wants, instead of buyers setting the cut/bonus and buyers need to choose who to get the cards instead the other way around, but 10 years back MCM had similar problems getting of the ground.

    I for one can heartily agree that anything helping people trade their cards for ones they need is great and as long as the system is both relatively transparent (how card prices are set, grading problems and possibly even stuff like do the people who have access to the sites data have bots or even trade on the site etc) and the site has financial stability. With those issues taken care of hopefully the site grows and prospers.

    On MCM I have bought 1532 shipments and sent out 1401. In the last few years I haven't had to invest money into building my collection, altough I'm several hundred euros down from buying stamps. But that's a small price for being able to play whatever I want in all formats (Well I actually would have to buy few cards for 93/94 for the wackier decks, I kind of have regrets selling my Unl BoPs...)
    Posted in: Market Street Café
  • posted a message on Time Spiral (Urza's Saga)
    On the left card the black printing is downshifted by few pixels. That is relatively common misprint and if the card passes the normal tests (light test, feels normal, clean priting and rosettes) it's real. This is a really clean example of this, as the text box shadow shows really nicely below level where the color changes.

    Until fakers start next-leveling, I feel that misprinted cards are more likely to be real, as fakers really don't want to draw attention to the details and start getting people to checking the rosette patterns.
    Posted in: Card Authentication
  • posted a message on Please help verify authenticity of this card
    I can get the image of the back, as I only get the hosting site front page, but the front looks like a real card.

    Old cards do have different colored backs, so much so that when sleeves were not allowed at high level tournaments people could identify from which set the card backs were from and know if they had a land on top of their deck at all times. Luckily for the game integrity won and better print quality control also helped.

    Revised has both normal and darker back cards and some that are in betwen. The set was rushed out at incredible rate and quality control didn't have a chance to catch more than the most glaringly misprinted sheets.

    But without seeing the backside scans I can suggest you do the light test with a known real card and feel the card. Lot of the fakes have slightly more plasticy feel than real cards and reflect light more than real cards. If your biggest frar is the darker back, then that is normal and is not a major red flag for the authenticity.
    Posted in: Card Authentication
  • posted a message on Bazzar Of Baghdad And City Of Brass From AN
    As others have stated the card appears to be real from the small sample we get to see. The white 'shadow' is due to how the cards are printed, with white color coming from unprinted cardboard and the four colors being printed seperately on the card. Due to any movement of the print sheet one or more colors can be off-set. In this case the black is offset somewhat. This can be a mark of a fake, but only if you don't see the same offset on other parts of the card (or offsets in another direction). In this case the dot pattern isreally nice and the small amount of black lines match pretty well with what real cards look like. But again whole pics are much more useful for athentication than just details.

    Also in my opinion offset cards are more likely to be real than ones that are nearly perfect, due to people not looking too carefully if there are no obvious imperfections, as the OP demonstrated started checking his card much more carefully after noting the irregularity.
    Posted in: Card Authentication
  • posted a message on Alpha cards made from Beta cards
    There is also the white dots on all alpha cards, but the few ony printed in beta or edited due to misprints (Elvish archers, Twiddle, Force of Nature, Birds and Cop:Black, Volcanic etc) don't have them. Other than that Ebon has the correct comments. Just check the edges against known real alpha cards. Clipping usually fails partially, as it is pretty hard to dowithout drawing guidelines on the card and back in the day people mainly used nailclippers, which often make the cut bit pinched looking.

    I would only caution trusting the aging, as if the card has been clipped back n the day, the edges will be weathered very similarly to the real edges.

    One last idea to catch clipped betas is to see how the wear is on the card. If the straight edges are show more wear than edges, there's usually something wonky about the card. And if you want to know more what to look for try making your own alpha cut cards. Take few recent commons or lands and nailclippers and try to make them look like alpha cut. Seeing how they look (and then destroying them, you don't want somebody accidentally getting hold of them and not knowing that they are not factory cut) helps one to recogniseother attempts much easier. I learned by having a friend who loved handicrafts, so he rebacked a handful of Collector's edition commons and lands for local traders to practise fake detecting with, making both alpha and beta cards (but without the white triangles...)
    Posted in: Card Authentication
  • posted a message on What lands are people feeling/playing with?
    There's an old thread about this same topic buried somewhere in these forums, but as it is few years old, I'll restate my answer to that one here too.

    As a background I decided in 1999 to start collecting promo basic lands and other oddities, like chinese alternate art Portal 1 lands, AN Mountains and Un-set basics. I currently have two three-ring binders full of just basic lands and one smaller binder with 102 misprint german Drudge Skeletons with Swamp art. I also had about 500 foil basic lands, but have sold half of them away since I didn't try to collect lot of copies of the same art, but tried to have one of each. So I kept the old frame ones and started selling the rest slowly to people who actually used them.

    I really enjoy the different arts over the years, but quite often end up playing with the same few lands.

    Forests: Chinese Portal 1. The Bamboo forests look really nice and most people have never seen those lands.
    Islands: Bob Eggleton APAC-promo from the blue booster.
    Plains: GURU or Sunflower Plains (Ron Spears) from APAC
    Mountains: Arabian Nights, Unglued or any of the APAC Mountains
    Swamps: GURU or Edward P. Beard Jr. APAC promo.
    Wastes: I like the full art one with the Kozilek affected Mountains in it (number 184). I'm still looking for few more foils, in case some Modern-deck actually uses more than three.

    I also love using the original Arena basic land Promos from 1996 and the 2003 Rob Alexander set, as both of those create a larger panoramas when the lands are in correct order. I would also never turn my nose up from somebody using the Mirage lands and I have several times thought about using Mirage Plains on some deck, I even got enough signed 17 years ago that I could play them, but haven't yet.
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Tampered Kaladesh Boosters?
    I would be really surprised if the packs were opened and resealed. Opening just one edge of pack is not too easy and using crimping iron would leave easily notable marks on the wrapper, unless the packs almost fall open.

    And as others have stated there's no way spending 10 minutes per pack to peek inside would be profitable if you calculate any cost for your work. It's much easier to open packs until you open a Masterpiece and then sell the rest of the packs as loose boosters and even that isn't profitable, unless you use some other method like laboratory scale to spot packs with foils in (and even that doesn't really work too well.)

    Resealed packs are usually pretty easy to spot when you handle the packs, as the cards are somewhat looser inside the packs and one end opens pretty easily or is a glued mess. But excess air inside boosters does not mean they are resealed either as there are some puffed up normal boosters floating around even now with Kaladesh. These packs can even be opened by placing them on the table and slapping the pack, so the air trapped inside the pack pops it open. I've seen similar few other times also. It's usually from the packing machines settings being slightly off.

    So most likely not resealed packs.
    Posted in: Card Authentication
  • posted a message on [[Official]] What is the most pimp card/deck you've seen or owned? (SEE RULES!)
    I loved the Land Grants from few posts ago on the Belcher. There's three notably different D. Alexander Gregory sigs on them and one where he was allowed to pick his own pen.

    When allowed, he loves to sign in pink felt tip pen. Almost all his earlier arts contain something pink or has pink shading and he loved to try to match the color in signatures.

    This might have changed, since I had a nice long chat with him in 2004, but he was really fun guy to talk with.

    Tom Wärnerstrand was signing few cards about five years back over mail, but after that I haven't heard that anybody had managed to catch him. There's luckily lot of his sigs floating around Finland and Sweden, as he attended few GP's here in 2000. I'll propably need to scan few of them here. Smile
    Posted in: Magic General
  • posted a message on Revised Volcanic Island, please give me your opinion
    Hello Lorenzo,

    The back indeed has some glaring issues, which are not common for ravised backs, but...

    Before going further there's one question; does the real land really has those greenish areas on it or is this just a artefact from the scanner software, and is the back of the Volc rich black (has tiny dots of other colors mixed in among the black) or is that also from the scan.

    I suspect that at least the greenish areas on the land borders come from the scanner trying to represent glare or some other glitch in the data and if it has decided that the land edges are solid black while they actually are lighter than the black borders on Volc, the scanner will show the darker tones as rich black.

    I won't go further into how the optimization softwares can cause scares, but please check the real card and compare it to the scan, as this would not be the first time people get scared of scanner issues. But if the card really has rich black borders and very 'fat' TM mark there's another check you can make on the backside. The green dot in the logo has few pixels of magenta (or pink) in there, which do miss from lot of fakes.

    The rosette pattern on the back of the Volc is bit peculiar, but lot of those variations happen if one or two colors are misplaced by a pixel or two and Revised had lot of issues with the back print quality. Again the quality of the Volc back is atrocious and the color separations seem to be badly off if that is the natural color scheme of the card. Also the different structures on the inner beveled edge are completely off and the definition betwen letters in 'the Gathering'. I would instantly flag a card like that as suspect and try to find if some colors were off-shifted and if not, deem it as most likely fake.
    Posted in: Card Authentication
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