GRADED GOOFS

Slabbers' scams or graders' goofs? Cards in slabs should have 100% accurate labels but it's not always so.

Graders are to cards what Accountants are to money; what Financial Advisers are to people who buy shares, treasuries, gilts, bonds and other financial instruments, but only accountants and advisers can do jail time for giving wrongful info. Maybe that will soon change. The FBI are presently looking at graders and slabbers due to some well documented recent scams.

Wrongly graded cards, such as slabbed forgeries (marking fakes as genuine); altered cards (grading trimmed cards as untrimmed: trimming makes cards look newer, neater and more valuable); wrongly dated cards (earlier dates give inflated values to many cards); and mis-identified makes, marques and other wrongly-called collections may lead collectors into murky waters and may even lead to heavy financial losses!

In recent times I have seen my own postings removed from social media and sports cards forums. My posts on bum-graded cards and dodgy-dated slabs have upset some people. They have gathered in force to remove (censor) the information I had made public. American-based sports card forums have removed most of what you will find below. I am showing them all here, again, due to the removal of the images elsewhere.

Though I do hate plastic slabs - poisonous material we need less of in the world, not more - I have nothing against graders, as long as they do their jobs well. They may make millions out of collectors but if collectors are happy to pay hard-earned money for plastic slabs that's the collectors' lookout and the graders' good fortune. I only have issues with wrongly graded cards - that's all.

Yet, slabbing of rare stamps does not happen. Slabbing of rare postcards? No. Rare coins? Not often. So, rare cards do not need to be slabbed either but if they are slabbed they need the correct grade and honest information. The value is in the card but the value is massively influenced by what a slabber writes on a slab's label: a label that's often written by someone who knows less than you do!

If you do get your cards slabbed at least let's keep the slabbers attentive and honest. If they know that they must do a top-notch job - or else fines and even prison may await - I am certain they will try harder. That's why this gallery is here. It's a reminder. It lets you learn from the past ... from such cons as the Raven MUFC Fergie's Fledgling cards so wrongly graded as 1995 (and sold for £1000's) even though the cards were actually produced after 2000