How to Spot Fake Cards
Hello ladies and gents! Today, I have a special topic that I want to write about. I’m going to show you how to spot fake Magic cards. Lately, I had a friend who almost got scammed trying to buy a Gaea’s Cradle here in Bangkok. With the recent rise of prices in almost all old Magic cards, it made sense that more counterfeits would enter the market. It’s an easy way to make money, especially when you have a market here in Bangkok that doesn’t usually deal with higher end cards.
Spotting a fake card could be difficult sometimes, especially with the new versions of counterfeits coming in from places like China. To help combat them, I want to give some tips on how to spot them. For those most part, everyone should know the main tests that are used to determine if a Magic card is fake.
- The Bend Test
- The Rip Test
- The Light Test
- The Rosette Test
The first two tests are straight-forward, but usually not desirable. In the Bend Test, you can bend a Magic card all the way down and it can be bent back with no visible damage. This works because Magic cards are printed on a card stock that is usually much superior to counterfeit cards. Now when you’re buying a card that’s over 5000 baht, that can be a scary thing to do. So I know it’s usually not something a person would want to do. Furthermore, the person selling you the card probably will not want you to do that too. Still, the test is there and you can see a video of it below:
The Rip Test is pretty much what the name implies. You rip the card and look for the core. Wizards print their cards on blue core paper, while proxies still uses black core paper. So when you rip a Magic card, you should see the blue inside. See here:
For obvious reasons, most people will not rip their cards to test if they are real.
The MOST important test for anyone should be the Light Test. I have some great pics (courtesy of Reddit) to showcase the Light Test.
Notice that with the real cards, more of the light shines through and you can see the back of the Magic card more clearly. You can also see the blue glow of the Magic logo from the back. And as you move more of the light closer to the card, you still see more of the 5 mana symbol as the light shines through. It doesn’t show as much with the fake card.
Finally, there is the Rosette Test. To perform that test, you can get a jeweler’s loupe and look at the cards close-up. Real Magic cards are printed using four colors: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. When looked under a loupe, real cards will exhibit a rosette pattern. This topic could get quite long, so I will probably talk about this in detail in a future article. However, the main takeaway is that there should be a rosette pattern and the black text should be clear. Additionally, the borders should be nice and black (or white) and not blend in with the rest of the cards.
That’s pretty much it. The strongest and easiest test to use is the light test. Be careful out there, even when purchasing from MTG Bangkok. Should you have any problems, always let us know and we will work to fix the situation. And if you ever have any problems determining if your cards are real, come find one of our staff members at a tournament and we can check that out for you. And if I can find someone to do so, I’ll have them translate this article into Thai for all our friends who would need that.