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Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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OK, brobehere, point taken. Guess I'm on a roll, again. I think I'm having a friendly conversation with people who have different opinions, who I have talked to before and often agree with on other matters. I mean no disrespect and do not use insulting language, but as you rightfully note everyone is entitled to their opinion and I am frequently wrong. Not always. Big Grin I do like to respond too much. And yes there are also facts, where opinions may actually be wrong.

In the future, if I post it will be confined to facts only and not assume that my comments are taken in the spirit given. Card Talk is a great place to learn stuff about the hobby.
 
Posts: 7119 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:
quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
All of that said I can't see what trimming has to do with authenticating. . . Just because a card is trimmed doesn't mean it's not an authentic card.


Big Grin I like how you stick to your guns. The card is still authentic, but ...


I was referring directly to the quote: "then grading companies may not be able to differentiate the best trimmed cards from untrimmed cards and they may not be able to truly authenticate a card".

So ultimately it seems like we agree. The card is authentic --- trimming is another concern.

As for the crashed car -- I see that as a different issue. . .

I think a more comparable situation would be if a vintage car had a scratch that was buffed out. . . And I basically see that the way I talked about trimming previously. . .
 
Posts: 4282 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
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I don't think I've ever had a card that was originally mis-cut in a way that left it slightly too large. The mis-cuts that I've had have all been slightly but visibly off-angle, at least two corners not being at a right angle. If someone professionally re-cut a standard-sized card that was slightly larger than 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 down to that standard size, I don't see how that would be detectable (unless you examined the edges under a microscope and could show that one or more edges were cut differently than the other edges). I agree no harm, no foul in that case.

However, if someone is looking to buy a high-graded card, and the grading company has guaranteed that the card has not been doctored (painted, glued) or trimmed and such a card is priced based on that and he buys it, but the card is demonstrated later to have been trimmed by 1/64 inch, that person has a right to be angry because he received an altered item at the unaltered price. It doesn't have to be an investor. It could just be someone who wants one certified mint Mickey Mantle card in his man cave. Let's face it. People don't trim cards that were already in great condition. They trim cards with imperfect edges or corners that guarantee a lower grade.

In any hobby unaltered and high quality items are sought-after and everybody wants the item that is both and is also considered rare either because so few were made or so few have survived. I also collect fossils and people argue about what is acceptable in that hobby as well but it comes down to the same thing. If a specimen is sold as unrestored, then it can't have any spots where it was filled in and painted over to reproduce uniform texture and color. Collectors bring black lights to shows to look for restoration but a skilled commercial preparator anticipates that and experiments to perfect a filler-compound that looks just like the fossil under a black light. I bought a lot of fossils before the current generation of top commercial preparators honed their skills so I'm confident that my collection doesn't have any restored pieces in it...or does it?



quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
I 'get it' from the perspective of the investor. Trimmed cards are bad. . .

But from a practical sense . . . If a card is miss cut -- slightly too large, and someone corrects that problem by cutting it smaller and improving it's appearance in the process . . . that makes it less valuable?!?

So. . . 2 card that look to be in the same condition and are the same size, but one card was cut perfectly at the factory and another card was cut too large initially and trimmed later . . . the trimmed card is worth like 80% less. . .

Even if no one can tell the difference in the 2 cards.

From a practical standpoint I just can't wrap my head around that.
 
Posts: 844 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Silver Card Talk Member
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The Washington Post ran a big article on this scandal yesterday.
 
Posts: 1279 | Location: Huntsville, AL United States | Registered: November 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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Yes, it is a huge scandal with millions of dollars lost and enormous implications for the hobby. It always was there and always a big deal, whether collectors want to admit it or not, but the increased level of greed is what tipped the scales over.

It's a good article. The focus is on baseball cards, but the fraudulent practices have been applied to all types, titles and ages of trading cards. Maybe people will get it now that it made the Washington Post.
 
Posts: 7119 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
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I saw Paul Lesko has posted this on Twitter. Interesting from a legal perspective.

It was also interesting in the article that certain types of cleaning are ok -- like soaking in distilled water apparently, but other types of cleaning are bad.
 
Posts: 4282 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Bronze Card Talk Member
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I think this article is interesting because some shrewd individual must have sought a chemist to see if it was possible to remove stains, whether glue or ink or even water, from cards without altering the card. There must have been several rounds of experiments before the stain remover was perfected.

The thing I wonder about is that there seems to be more unopened packs from the 70's and before than I recall being available, say twenty years ago. Is it possible that someone has also perfected an adhesive that allows someone with authentic cards and a wrapper to repack a pack and seal it in a way that is undetectable? How does a grading company determine a pack has never been opened?

Faking a Nu Card Dinosaur (1961) pack would be more difficult than any of the wax packs because those wrappers were paper and were like cello-packs in that they were sealed on the ends. I also remember those smaller Fher Empire Strikes Back cards from Spain that came in wrappers that were just two pieces of paper with a very weak adhesive. By the 90's the adhesive had pretty much disintegrated and the wrapper papers separated easily. I would seriously doubt an unopened pack of that series could exist.

I know there are box finds and vending machine finds here and there but it seems like you can get a wide variety of unopened packs now. Am I too suspicious?



quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
This is another interesting interview:

https://www.sportscollectorsdigest.com/nerattowle/

It's over a decade old and talks about restoring cards showing that this isn't a new issue/discussion.
 
Posts: 844 | Location: San Jose, CA, USA | Registered: December 23, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of Scifi Cards
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quote:
Originally posted by catskilleagle:

I know there are box finds and vending machine finds here and there but it seems like you can get a wide variety of unopened packs now. Am I too suspicious?


I think they have always been around if you knew who/where to find them.

With the internet it is now easy to see what is out there and to get them in front of buyers. Are there reseals, sure. But those were always around too, now stories of them are just easier to find.

Ed

____________________
www.nonsportcardshows.com Home of the Chicago Non-Sport Card Show

Trading Page Now Online: http://www.scifi.cards/trading.html

Collecting Sketches of the Character Crystal

 
Posts: 4549 | Location: Phoenix, AZ | Registered: March 09, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of mykdude
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quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
I saw Paul Lesko has posted this on Twitter. Interesting from a legal perspective.

It was also interesting in the article that certain types of cleaning are ok -- like soaking in distilled water apparently, but other types of cleaning are bad.


Comic books have the same gray area. They can received light damage that the pressing process can remove. It has been known to bump a grade and is not considered tampering.

I guess i see this as the age old tradition of forgery will always test the boundaries of authentication. I believe that companies such a PSA and Beckett probably have good standards but they are overwhelmed in demand and blinded by making ridiculous amounts of money. On the flip side, many collectors see the familiar slab and all suspicion eases away into a slumbering purchase.

Something like the blowout forum is really great because there are so many collectors (really suspicious ones)that put many eyes on the hobby.

I try to imagine how this story would have rolled out (if at all) pre-internet days.
 
Posts: 3006 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
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quote:
Originally posted by mykdude:

Comic books have the same gray area. They can received light damage that the pressing process can remove. It has been known to bump a grade and is not considered tampering.


I hadn't even thought of Comics. . . but I just spent some time on the CGC website. . . It is very interesting. Not only is pressing ok -- but the grading company itself does pressing (seems like a potential conflict of interest there).

I also found this interesting:

Can some restoration remain for an unrestored grade?

For Golden Age comics printed prior to 1950, CGC allows very minor color touch and minor glue in their unrestored category. These CGC labels are nicknamed “blue with notes” with the term “blue” referring to the color of CGC’s unrestored universal grade, and “notes” referring to mention of the presence of very minor color touch and/or glue. When removing color touch and glue, oftentimes CCS will leave trace amounts of either to achieve the blue with notes category; this is done when complete removal of the glue or color touch may result in a lower grade.

quote:
Originally posted by mykdude:
I try to imagine how this story would have rolled out (if at all) pre-internet days.


Pre-internet I don't think there would have been enough information available to collectors to even notice.
 
Posts: 4282 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of mykdude
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Yes but that is the difference, as long as CGC notes or labels them accordingly I have no issue with it.

It just needs to be understood that processes that deal with thousands and thousands of transactions there are those who will keep their eyes open for loopholes. Even CGC's Signature Series is not as airtight as they would have you believe. I have been in more than one situation where the witness was not paying as much attention as they needed to.
 
Posts: 3006 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by webjon:
I also found this interesting:

Can some restoration remain for an unrestored grade?

For Golden Age comics printed prior to 1950, CGC allows very minor color touch and minor glue in their unrestored category. These CGC labels are nicknamed “blue with notes” with the term “blue” referring to the color of CGC’s unrestored universal grade, and “notes” referring to mention of the presence of very minor color touch and/or glue. When removing color touch and glue, oftentimes CCS will leave trace amounts of either to achieve the blue with notes category; this is done when complete removal of the glue or color touch may result in a lower grade.


I know fairly little about comic grading or acceptable restoration of comic books, but what the heck kind of double talk is that and what is their definition of "minor"? Big Grin

I think, in the never ending efforts to achieve greater and greater value, professional grading of basically all collectibles has gone insane and only when collectors reject these methods will it stop it. As long as made up labels and foggy rules result in higher selling prices, the abuses will be part of all the grading systems, ebbing and flowing as egregious transgressions are periodically uncovered.
 
Posts: 7119 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of mykdude
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quote:
Originally posted by Raven:

I know fairly little about comic grading or acceptable restoration of comic books, but what the heck kind of double talk is that and what is their definition of "minor"? Big Grin

I think, in the never ending efforts to achieve greater and greater value, professional grading of basically all collectibles has gone insane and only when collectors reject these methods will it stop it. As long as made up labels and foggy rules result in higher selling prices, the abuses will be part of all the grading systems, ebbing and flowing as egregious transgressions are periodically uncovered.


Eh, this example really isn't about foggy rules as CGC insists on labeling all signs of either adding or removing evidence of a restore.

Minor means just that, based on the amount of color touch and glue present. Sometimes in the removal of restoration trace amounts can be left.

We are talking a tight range of motion here. Is there a calculated amount listed in a CGC manual somewhere? Who knows? Probably

Also have to keep in mind that a higher grade restore (even with notes) is generally less desirable than a lower grade original. The restore process goes both ways plus this only applies to pre 1950 comics.

Not only is it typical for a restored grade to go for much less you also have to calculate the cost of the process into the lower overall price. Generally (there are always exceptions) the comic left alone will bring in a higher price.

This isn't like trimming cards and trying to sneak them in for a high grade.

We wont even get into the range of restore quality that CGC checks for. Wink
 
Posts: 3006 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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quote:
Originally posted by mykdude:
Also have to keep in mind that a higher grade restore (even with notes) is generally less desirable than a lower grade original. The restore process goes both ways plus this only applies to pre 1950 comics.

Not only is it typical for a restored grade to go for much less you also have to calculate the cost of the process into the lower overall price. Generally (there are always exceptions) the comic left alone will bring in a higher price.

This isn't like trimming cards and trying to sneak them in for a high grade. Wink


Oh no, forgive me if you thought I was implying that anything shady was going on with this, just that the layperson unfamiliar with comic grading has no idea what that particular paragraph on comic restoration even means. You really have to immerse yourself in these specific markets to gain an understanding of what's accepted, what's not accepted and how it all effects collectible value.

My general point is that professional grading of collectibles, whether its cards, stamps, coins, comics, autographs, etc. has really taken hold at the top levels. Non-sport cards are not immune to it, although far fewer non-sport collectors are into it as compared to sports card collectors. The big money increases for small point increases has brought on the abuses and deceptions in grading and it will be across all hobbies because that is what money does. It doesn't have anything to do with having a nice collection of something that you can enjoy, but rather it's making people dissatisfied and angry. Grading of any collectible has a purpose, it just has to be fair and used when necessary, not as a rigged tool to inflate prices or to create standards that can't be told apart from each other.
 
Posts: 7119 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Titanium Card Talk Member
Picture of wolfie
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I blame the buyers for all this. If they didn't buy into this grading business and pay loads of money just because somebody says this one is slightly better than that one none of this would happen.

____________________
Come, it is time for you to keep your appointment with The Wicker Man.
 
Posts: 27733 | Location: wolverhampton staffs uk | Registered: July 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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On certain forums people, I won't call them card collectors or even dealers, I don't know what they are, openly brag of breaking out 7.5s and getting X amount of dollars more when they're re-graded and sold as 8.5 or 9. Or they will buy a 7, break it out and say that they made x amount of dollars more selling it raw. I find it fascinating that no one thinks there is anything wrong with this and its all just good business. It's a shell game, only with slabs. Big Grin

And this doesn't have anything to do with trimmed or altered cards. It's just what's happening in a segment of the hobby, primarily with sports cards. So this is the structure that buyers have accepted and the results are the opposite of what they expected I'm sure.
 
Posts: 7119 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
Picture of mykdude
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Yup! Agree with all of the above.

As wolfie said about buyers, it is interesting to watch ebay (a sole source for many of us) when a card sells for higher than it should and then all of a sudden several listings pop out in that price range. All you can do is pray that another idiot does not buy in at that price. Wink

I have generally felt that grading should only be reserved for items over 25 years old. Based on the CGC census we are just building a top heavy population of 9.8's.

The preservation method of collecting that we adopted in the late 80's flipped the pyramid that places the majority of manufactured product into the 9+ category. So grade 9 had to be subdivided 5 times while all the others only 2.

I remember when comics disappeared from spinning racks all over town and were sold from specialty stores pre-bagged and boarded. I thought, well, this changes everything. Cool
 
Posts: 3006 | Location: Tennessee | Registered: March 09, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
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Some folks on Blowout just posted a massive amount of research on more card trimming -- modern cards this time -- many bought/sold on COMC.

https://www.blowoutforums.com/...thread.php?t=1315750
 
Posts: 4282 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Platinum Card Talk Member
Picture of Raven
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The eye opener for me, more so than even the scope of activity of this trimming and altering of cards, has been the interconnectivity between these selling platforms, card graders, auction houses and specific seller and buyer accounts. Just flipping through those posts, its amazing how many well known names are being pulled in, if not as a direct participant, as someone who benefitted and "probably" knew. Despite all of this extensive amateur detective work, it still remains to be seen if the official investigation holds anyone criminally accountable.

However if card collectors, especially high end sport card collectors, were smart, or at least not so stupid, I don't see how they can continue to buy graded cards in the manner that they have been. Either they have to go back to raw cards and actually assess the condition on their own or some set of new companies will have to rise up pledging total integrity. Depending upon the result of the investigation, either card collectors will go back to sticking their heads in the sand or it will burn down this carefully constructed house of cards. TBD.
 
Posts: 7119 | Location: New York | Registered: November 20, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Gold Card Talk Member
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The thing that baffles me most is PSA. . .

I don't understand how they can grade the same serial numbered card twice and not notice a significant grade improvement. . .

I guess there are arguments that a card could have been replaced for damage, or a serial number could be duplicated, but those definitely seem like exceptions. . .

This really stabs the heart of their business, and the fact that they didn't catch it either in the trimming/altering itself or with repeated grading the same serial numbered cards is a major black eye.

It will also be interesting to see what the fallout is. . . Can PSA survive all of the claims that are likely coming their way? What about PWCC and COMC?

COMC seems the most insulated of these three, but I personally have the most exposure through COMC -- should I get all my COMC and ePack cards shipped out of there?
 
Posts: 4282 | Location: Parts Unknown. | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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