Pictures of new counterfeits emerge

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Today someone got their hands on the latest round of Chinese counterfeits, and you can see the side-by-side comparisons to the real thing here.


As you can see (the ones on the left are fake), these look close but are still pretty distinguishable on closer examination. In addition — and this is important — these feel super glossy when you hold them. I wouldn't be super worried about finding these in the wild, but if you find anything that that's on this list and is darker and duller, while also feeling glossy, it's worth looking over.

And, to look them over, you should use the light test. There are many tests for fakes, and these fakes pass some of them, but they still have this issue: They fail the light test. To perform the test, shine a bright light through the card. On a real Magic card you can find the small "blue line" that runs through the cards and is revealed if you were to rip one open. On the counterfeits, that line is black.

Hope that helps. Again, you're extremely unlikely to actually run across these, but if you do now you know a little more. Stay vigilant.

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Corbin Hosler

Corbin Hosler is a journalist living in Norman, Oklahoma (also known as the hotbed of Magic). He started playing in Shadowmoor and chased the Pro Tour dream for a few years, culminating in a Star City Games Legacy Open finals appearance in 2011 before deciding to turn to trading and speculation full-time. He writes weekly at and biweekly for LegitMTG. He also cohosts Brainstorm Brewery, the only financial podcast on the net. He can best be reached @Chosler88 on Twitter.

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8 thoughts on “Pictures of new counterfeits emerge

  1. I would be clear to let people know that counterfeits have previously had a blue line rather than a black line. I would be surprised if batches in the near future do not include a blue line and are less glossy – both things that are easily changed.

    1. In fact real and counterfeit Magic cards have both had a blue or black layer. Blue is far more common in Magic cards, but you can’t conclude that a card is fake based on a black layer alone.

    1. Why are you assuming that WotC isn’t doing anything about this?

      They’ve made statements in the past that they continue to “work with” the Chinese govt to shut these places down — but I imagine it’s insanely easy for them to pop back up again.

      It’s a constant struggle and not something that they’ll ever be able to stop entirely.

  2. I’d be curious if these counterfeits “glow” under UV. I have a small loupe and UV light I bring whenever I plan on trading for or purchasing high-end cards. They don’t take up too much space or weight and are simple to use.

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