Frequently Asked Questions

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What is an altered card?

When a card undergoes modifications or changes from its original condition, whether with the intent to deceive a buyer or enhance the perceived condition of the card, it is referred to as being altered. 

Examples of activities that would be considered as altering a card:

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What is trimming?

When any sharp instrument such as a cutter, scalpel, or scissors are used to enhance a card's edges, corners and/or centering, it is referred to as trimming.

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What is recoloration?

When color is added to a card using ink, paint, marker, or a solution to artificially enhance its colors, this process is called recoloration.

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What is rebacking?

When a card has been separated or peeled into two parts (front and back) and a different front or back is reapplied , it is referred to as rebacking.

This has been known to occur with tobacco cards (T206 and T213) and TCG cards (Magic the Gathering and Pokémon).

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What is card restoration?

When a card that is in lower condition is fixed or rebuilt to be in better condition, this is called restoration.

Examples of card restoration techniques include:

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What is card cleaning?

The traditional method of card cleaning is to use a microfiber cloth to wiped down the surface of a card to remove dust, dirt, or finger prints from a card.  This is cleaning method will not get your card added to the Altered Card Database.

Since the COVID card boom of 2020, card cleaning has evolved into something entirely different. Many collectors are now buying "cleaning" kits that come with tools and substances containing undisclosed chemicals. These items are then used, along with restoration techniques, to improve a cards grading condition, this is called card cleaning

Examples of card cleaning techniques include.

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What is a fake?

Any card or graded slab that is intended to deceive a collector into believe that it is an authentic original card or graded slab is called a fake.  

Examples that would be considered as fake cards:

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What is a counterfeit card?

Any card that is made to mislead collectors into believe that the card is an authentic original is a counterfeit card. The term counterfeit is often used to describe the best fake cards that sometimes get past grading companies. 

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What is a replica card?

A low quality copy of an original card that made by a person or company that is not authorized to reproduce the card is called a replica card.

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What is a backdoor card?

A card that was created by the original manufacture, but was not intended to be released into the public is called a backdoor card.  These cards were often created as test, replacement or achieve copies or sheets that were meant to be destroyed or stored by the company that were taken, stolen, or sold off during bankruptcy.

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What is a fake stamp?

An authentic or backdoor card that has been imprinted or labeled by a counterfeit or unauthorized stamp or serial number is called a fake stamp.

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What is a reprint?

A copy of an original card that is printed at a later date by the company that owns or has permission to use the copyright is called a reprint.  

Warning: Beware of scammers listing Fake cards as reprint cards.

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What is a custom card?

A card, that should be unique, that is printed without permission from copyright owners, but is most often just an illegal copy of an original card is called a custom card.

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What is a sheet cut card?

A card that is released by the manufacture in a sheet or panel with other cards and is cut out is called a sheet cut card.

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What is a fake slab?

When a graded card slab that has been tampered with or created to be identical to a genuine label or slab is called a fake slab.

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What is a fake auto?

When an autograph card is authenticated or listed for sale as real, but was forged by someone else is called a fake auto.

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What is a patch swap?

When a patch or jersey card has the original material changed for a better looking patch or jersey swatch is called a patch swap.

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What is mislabeled?

When a graded card label incorrectly identifies the card, this is called mislabeled.

What is known card doc?

A person that has been proven to alter cards is called a known card doctor.  Although there is not evidence to say that the card in question has been altered, the card is still added to the Altered Card Database.

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What is a grade bump?

When a graded card has been resubmitted and receives a higher grade without any evidence to support that the card has been altered is called a grade bump.