Trying to get a rare variant recognized
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6 posts in this topic

Good morning!

I am a collector/researcher of Pokémon promotional cards and am trying to get one of my cards added to the registry and graded by CGC. I had contacted CGC before submitting and was advised I couldn't be counseled on the possibility beforehand and the card must be submitted before a judgment can be made. I decided to submit the card along with an information packet about what it was, why it's different, and how I would like it labeled. The card is a stamped promo that features a silver variant of the foil stamp instead of the traditional gold.

The card was returned to me as ungradable due to the "questionable stamp color", which made me laugh. That's the whole point. So I'm not sure what to do from here. It's a very rare variant that affects foil stamped WotC promos from this era, and it's a pretty significant variation for this subset of promos in particular. The stamp is not questionable so much as it is decidedly a different color.

I wanted to ask what I needed to do to get this variant recognized, as it's something I'd really love to have slabbed. It seems my documentation and context provided was not enough.

Stamp.jpeg

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  • Administrator

Hello again @Stagecoach,

I have reviewed this with our grading team. Our head graders and error experts came together to review this card in question. The graders were unable to determine the authenticity of the color of the stamp which resulted in the Questionable Authenticity designation. Unfortunately we will not be able to offer a different designation at this time. I apologize for this inconvenience. 

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Hello @MattM CS - Thank you for your reply.

I admit I am perplexed by the conclusion of the team. Silver stamps are very rare, but they are certainly not unheard of. For example, here is another card from this era which was has a small population of silver stamps despite gold being the standard. The image is attached. Beyond that, different foils on various Prerelease cards featuring stamps are also, such as Prerelease Aerodactyl.

With my Electabuzz card in question, it was never distributed without a stamp. While some extraordinarily rare errors from this set of 4 cards exist with no stamp, the known population of errors printed with no stamp is believed to be in the single digits. So in order for my Electabuzz to be inauthentic, it would mean someone obtained one of the rarest and prestigious Pokémon errors from the era. This card would be worth tens of thousands of dollars. Instead of capitalizing on this, they chose to apply a perfect replica of the ordinary stamp featured on the $5 copy of the card using silver foil instead of gold.

Even with the scarcity of silver stamp variants, the alternate logic that would lead to their fraudulent creation is hard to buy in to. Somebody would have purposefully taken one of the most expensive English cards ever known and compromise it to a slight variation of the most populous English promo card. Unlike Dark Charmeleon or Fossil Aerodactyl, the Electabuzz #2 is not a set card with a novelty stamp applied. The only version of the card that was officially distributed was stamped with gold. Obtaining an unstamped candidate, something most people could never achieve, only to give it a stamp in a slightly different color is a dubious theory.

Could you give me some more information about what was inconclusive about the card I submitted?

Silver.PNG

Edited by Stagecoach
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  • Administrator

Hello @Stagecoach,

Unfortunately we do not offer any further insight into what caused this card to come back as a Questionable Authenticity as apart of the CGC Guarantee. Please note, this does not necessarily mean that the card is a fake or alerted. It means that our graders could not say for certain it was. Because of this, they chose not to encapsulate it and have it returned as is. We thank you for understanding. Have a great day!

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Thank you Matt.

I would still be interested in having the card encapsulated and having it entered in your registry. Certainly at some point all cards like this were under-documented and required research and context to verify, but they are a known variable in this section of the hobby I would like to see CGC recognize. If there is anything I can do to help clarify the card I would be pleased to provide it.

I am surprised that the card is unverifiable by your team as it strikes me as a particularly mundane card to verify. But there is not a good record of them and I was really hoping to begin that record with CGC.

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