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How to tell if a card has been trimmed
03-12-2014, 01:14 PM
Post: #1
How to tell if a card has been trimmed
Yes I know it's a bad scan, but I'm currently at the shop lol I'll get nice scans later, just wanted you to see the cards in question.
[Image: image_zps34d8d437.jpg]

The cards in question are the two mantles. I'm the only person my card shop would trade them to, simply because he's got concerns that they're trimmed. I traded him 300 in junk tradables (sv not bv) for them COMBINED, so even if they are, I think I still got a good deal on these PC pieces.

My question is though, how can I tell if they've been trimmed. My main giveaway is the fact that the edge looks...new lol. What else should I look for (yes edges are straight, no hand cutting here lol!

[Image: logo1_zpsad67d293.jpg]
current sets:
2004 Sweet Spot Signatures: 27/83 (33%)
96-97 Skybox Premium Autographics: 5/93 (5%)
11-12 UD Hockey w/ YGs: 438/500 (88%)

DO NOT TRADE LIST: chargers2427, mrmagnum75
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03-12-2014, 05:59 PM
Post: #2
RE: How to tell if a card has been trimmed
You would need to break out a ruler and measure it. That's what I would do. Got a magnifying glass? That will help as well. That '58 mantle card looks TOO perfect....But you never know!

Looking to complete the 2013 Archives Mets fan favorite Au's as I only need Ron Darling! Also new project for 2014: Topps Gypsy Queen set base (including minis). Please note that if you have less than 15 trades, I ask that you send first.
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03-12-2014, 06:12 PM
Post: #3
RE: How to tell if a card has been trimmed
(03-12-2014 05:59 PM)muz0 Wrote:  You would need to break out a ruler and measure it. That's what I would do. Got a magnifying glass? That will help as well. That '58 mantle card looks TOO perfect....But you never know!

Well the reason I ask is because it was looked at by psa and that grader decided it was trimmed (which I agree on). Obviously I got them for a steal knowing they were trimmed, but it seems weird to me that a card in such good shape would be trimmed ( colors are original and amazing, surface is great, etc). I just want to give it a measure and confirm that they are (I totally believe it, but I figured it's best to practice looking at one that is GUARENTEED trimmed

[Image: logo1_zpsad67d293.jpg]
current sets:
2004 Sweet Spot Signatures: 27/83 (33%)
96-97 Skybox Premium Autographics: 5/93 (5%)
11-12 UD Hockey w/ YGs: 438/500 (88%)

DO NOT TRADE LIST: chargers2427, mrmagnum75
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03-12-2014, 06:53 PM
Post: #4
RE: How to tell if a card has been trimmed
The problem with trimmed cards and doctored cards is that it depletes a lot of the value.
It doesn't lose all value, but even though it may look great, it might grade as good as if it had a tear in it. In essence, you could sell those Mantles but may get between $50 for the 1958 and $75-$100 for the 1956. Still not bad a deal as I would bet it would sell faster than the other stuff you had.
The Williams looks trimmed also as the left edge doesn't look straight and there is not much border on either the left or right side.

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03-13-2014, 06:04 AM (This post was last modified: 03-13-2014 06:24 AM by coimbre 21.)
Post: #5
RE: How to tell if a card has been trimmed
That 58 Ted Williams also looks trimmed, the left and right borders are too small. To me it looks more like kid did that one instead of a card doctor. Get a 10x loupe (or magnifying glass) under good light you'll see vintage card edges have a porous quality and you will see small fibers protruding from the edges. Trimmed cards will be smooth with no fibers protruding and often you can see a color difference where some of the older more porous edge may not fully trimmed away. If it has been fully trimmed away, try comparing the edge color to one of the other edges which may not have been trimmed or to a few cards from the same year and you can see that the trimmed card edge is much brighter due to the more recent cut. Simple test is to run your finger along the edge. An uncut card will have a slight roughness, a trimmed card will feel way too smooth by comparison.

Most of what I've said here though probably doesn't apply to the amateur job on the Williams since it was poorly cut, maybe with scissors, and if the cut was done decades ago, the edges will have toned to a vintage color.

Twitter: @Coimbre21 - Collecting Carl Yastrzemski Topps, Jimmie Foxx, 1966 Topps Venezuelan, 2010 Topps Tribute HOF Relics & Autos, L.A. Rams Autos
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03-13-2014, 09:02 PM
Post: #6
RE: How to tell if a card has been trimmed
Always keep a half dozen or so messed up cards from older issues. A good comparison is always a marker. Also, hardly anyone is going to bother altering a nobody or semi star. When it looks too good?????? it is...

I have been gone a long time, my ideas on collecting have changed as I have aged. Will only be here Off and On because things are different. Not going to do much Trading but will offer some items For Sale. As Always, Have FUN !...Mel
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03-14-2014, 05:25 PM
Post: #7
RE: How to tell if a card has been trimmed
(03-13-2014 06:04 AM)coimbre 21 Wrote:  That 58 Ted Williams also looks trimmed, the left and right borders are too small. To me it looks more like kid did that one instead of a card doctor. Get a 10x loupe (or magnifying glass) under good light you'll see vintage card edges have a porous quality and you will see small fibers protruding from the edges. Trimmed cards will be smooth with no fibers protruding and often you can see a color difference where some of the older more porous edge may not fully trimmed away. If it has been fully trimmed away, try comparing the edge color to one of the other edges which may not have been trimmed or to a few cards from the same year and you can see that the trimmed card edge is much brighter due to the more recent cut. Simple test is to run your finger along the edge. An uncut card will have a slight roughness, a trimmed card will feel way too smooth by comparison.

Most of what I've said here though probably doesn't apply to the amateur job on the Williams since it was poorly cut, maybe with scissors, and if the cut was done decades ago, the edges will have toned to a vintage color.

Yep after taking a closer look, williams was trimmed. I took it back into my LCS and the owner just felt awful. Like he was legitimately mad at himself. Apparently it's been in his display cabinet from ten years. It was part of his best friends collection, which his bfs widow sold him after his death (which would explain how one could miss it.)

After apologizing profusely, he let me keep the williams, tossed me this beauty
[Image: image_zpsebc293e1.jpg]

Along with a box of the new Tristar hidden treasures platinum (that yielded me a Jim Bunning auto ball /25), and some low end packs for my daughter. He would've given me another single instead of the ball, but I figured I'd rather have a shot at a Babe Ruth autographed ball

[Image: logo1_zpsad67d293.jpg]
current sets:
2004 Sweet Spot Signatures: 27/83 (33%)
96-97 Skybox Premium Autographics: 5/93 (5%)
11-12 UD Hockey w/ YGs: 438/500 (88%)

DO NOT TRADE LIST: chargers2427, mrmagnum75
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03-15-2014, 04:56 AM
Post: #8
RE: How to tell if a card has been trimmed
Trimmed or not, I'd be willing to trade something for that Williams. I have a 1959 Eddie Mathews base card in Excellent condition. Probably books around $20-$25.
As bad as the Williams looks trimmed I can't throw out something crazy, but I'm a set collector, don't have that, and for the most part, am just needing it to complete my set. If not, I will simply buy one.
Since I work on second sets as well and aren't as concerned about the condition on those, when I upgrade it I could move it over to that collection.

I can assure you the Mathews isn't trimmed.

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03-15-2014, 12:11 PM (This post was last modified: 03-15-2014 05:10 PM by coimbre 21.)
Post: #9
RE: How to tell if a card has been trimmed
(03-14-2014 05:25 PM)swjrp10 Wrote:  Yep after taking a closer look, williams was trimmed. I took it back into my LCS and the owner just felt awful. Like he was legitimately mad at himself. Apparently it's been in his display cabinet from ten years. It was part of his best friends collection, which his bfs widow sold him after his death (which would explain how one could miss it.)

After apologizing profusely, he let me keep the williams, tossed me this beauty
[Image: image_zpsebc293e1.jpg]

Along with a box of the new Tristar hidden treasures platinum (that yielded me a Jim Bunning auto ball /25), and some low end packs for my daughter. He would've given me another single instead of the ball, but I figured I'd rather have a shot at a Babe Ruth autographed ball

You have a good LCS owner, sounds like he more than made up for it. Good to hear.

Twitter: @Coimbre21 - Collecting Carl Yastrzemski Topps, Jimmie Foxx, 1966 Topps Venezuelan, 2010 Topps Tribute HOF Relics & Autos, L.A. Rams Autos
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03-23-2014, 07:14 AM
Post: #10
RE: How to tell if a card has been trimmed
Just reading Michael O'Keeffe's book "The Card" about the T206 Honus Wagner. It gives you a peek inside the hobby's dirty little secret. Highly recommend it.
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