CSG Graders Expose a Kobe Bryant Card That Had Color Added

Posted on 3/31/2021

CSG discovered the altered card by using its state-of-the-art equipment and forensic technology.

Sports cards authenticated and graded by the experts at Certified Sports Guaranty™ (CSG™) go through a process designed to ensure accuracy, consistency and integrity. CSG also backs every card that it certifies with the CSG Guarantee, which assures collectors that a card is authentic and not overgraded. With CSG’s strict standards and rigorous evaluation procedures, some cards will not be certified, including those that show evidence of alteration, such as the addition of color.

A 1996-97 Fleer Ultra #52 Kobe Bryant card recently submitted to CSG was discovered to have evidence of color added. This is typically done to enhance the appearance of a card in the hopes of getting a higher grade and, ultimately, a higher value in the marketplace.

The altered card detected to have color added.
Click image to enlarge.

The experts at CSG detected the re-colored card through the use of CSG’s state-of-the-art equipment and forensic technology. The following images were taken with specialized machinery that uses different wavelengths of light to highlight the areas where the color is not genuine.

The altered card is shown here under various lighting tests,
which highlight areas where the color has been altered.
Click images to enlarge.

Cards submitted to CSG undergo a variety of forensic tests, including analysis with ultraviolet and infrared light. CSG uses other tests to examine the ink composition and printing patterns as well as the thickness and core of a card (to determine if its layers have been altered). CSG also utilizes an X-ray fluorescence scanner to assess elemental composition. If a card fails any of the forensic tests, it will not be certified by CSG.

CSG, the newest affiliate of Certified Collectibles Group® (CCG®), is a leading expert and impartial grading service for basketball, baseball, football and other sports cards. Since 1987, CCG has certified more than 60 million collectibles, including sports and trading cards, comic books, coins, banknotes, magazines, concert posters, stamps and estate items.

Ready to submit your collectible cards to CSG? Click here to learn more.


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