Welcome to www.detecting-the-fakes.com, your comprehensive guide on howto spot and identify Magic The Gathering fakes. To access the information on this website, select the topic of interest from the main menu on top.
Why does this page exist?
I am playing magic since the mid 90s. It was in my first year as I had the first contact with counterfeit magic cards. A friend of mine was frauded with an expensive “Library of Alexandria” he bought from the states. This happening was also part of one of the first and biggest counterfeit cases in the early magic history. My friend spend his entire savings on the card. He quitted magic shortly after he found out it was fake, sad and angry about his lose. One keen player lost forever.
Things like this happened in the past and they are still happening every day. Even more in the modern days of the internet, where shady offers are just a click away.
Fakes are not a problem of current times, they are as old as magic and they are a thing every player should be aware about. To my knowledge, the first official warning about counterfeit magic cards was issued in January 1994 as Peter Adkinson informed the community about fake cards and tampered booster packs.
Magic is not different from other areas in which you deal with values, some poor souls will always try to cheat others – ultimately by selling fakes.
Also don’t think that fakes are something only happening to high value cards, especially fakes of cheaper cards are sold massively on internet marketplaces or traded in local groups. As most people don’t pay much attention on cards which are just worth a few bucks, shady people can generate easy business. Better check what you get – always.
But how do I check my cards?
It isn’t that much of black magic as it seems, read the tools section for a hint on a good loupe which is easy to carry and quick to use even at the store you are usually trading in.
With this website I will try to give everyone some help on how to spot them. I will explain common tests, provide some more detailed information on fakes in circulations. Also I think it is very important to show some examples for variances to avoid “over paranoid” reactions. This happens a way to often these days and people mark cards as fake which are perfectly fine. Sometimes it is just a card quality issue.
So you will learn to identify counterfeits and how to avoid false positives too, isn’t that great?
If you want to read up on the topic as a introduction, you can read this (older) but interesting article by wizards them self can be found here.
For an update discussion I recommend you to join the facebook group on magic counterfeit detection here.
Scope of this project
This site will deal with card fakes, but there is much more scam out there which magic players should be aware about. Resealed boosters or even boxes are a problem too. Sadly this is out of scope of this project. But if you have some quality links to sites dealing with such topics, let me know and I will add them here.
If you have any feedback, hints or things to be added – please use the contact form and get in touch. I am always happy to hear about your opinion on this topic. In case you want to use any of my content for educational purpose, feel free to do so. But please don’t just copy my page as it meant a lot of work to put this together. If you use some extracts please add a link so people who are interested in this topic find this content aswell.
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