Multiple Alterations Revealed in 1954 Topps Hank Aaron Rookie Card

Posted on 4/23/2021

The modifications include power erasing, re-coloring and trimmed and rebuilt corners.

As sports card trading continues to grow at a rapid pace, careful and thorough examination is essential to ensure that a card is authentic. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology and keen knowledge of the many ways that a card may be manipulated, the experts at Certified Sports Guaranty™ (CSG™) can detect the most advanced alterations.

After an initial close inspection, a 1954 Topps Henry “Hank” Aaron Rookie Card recently submitted to CSG for grading appeared to have extensive work performed on it. Some of the detected alterations include trimmed edges, rebuilt corners, pressing, re-coloring, power erasing and inpainted surfaces and borders.

“When we get an awesome vintage baseball card like a Hank Aaron Rookie Card in the grading room, of course we all get excited,” commented Andy Broome, CSG Senior Grading Finalizer. “But these highly sought-after cards are also the ones most likely to be altered to give the impression that they are even more valuable. Unfortunately, that was the case with this card. If a card is CSG-certified, collectors can be confident that it is genuine and in original condition.”

When tested under different wavelengths of UV lighting, it was clear the border had been power-erased, and new borders were painted on in an attempt to cover the power erasing. The inpainting is revealed as a dark purple-gray color under the UV light test.

Click images to enlarge.

Other modifications employed were re-coloring, which is done to try to “restore” the surface color on the card; and trimmed edges and corners, which was done in an effort to reconstruct the corners to make them seem sharper than they were.

Sports cards are altered in an attempt to receive a higher grade and, in turn, greater value in the marketplace. Some alterations can be done so skillfully that they are invisible to the naked eye. The CSG Guarantee gives sports card collectors peace of mind, ensuring every card certified by CSG’s experts is authentic and not overgraded. A rigorous evaluation process that uses forensic technology and advanced equipment puts cards to the highest test. If an altered card is detected, it will not receive a grade.

Are you a sports card enthusiast interested in card grading? Do you want to expand your knowledge and be part of a team of qualified experts? Look no further — CSG is now hiring graders! Click here to learn more about this incredible opportunity or to explore other careers at the Certified Collectibles Group.

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