(Toll Free)

Topps Takes Strides to Thwart Counterfeiters


In an effort to crack down on the growing number of Rookie Premiere Autographs singles bearing forged signatures, Topps officials have announced a procedural change in the way those cards – and others like them – will be handled in the authentication process.

The company revealed to Beckett Media that, going forward, all certified Rookie Premiere Autographs will be sequentially numbered in foil after they are signed.

“We take this issue very seriously and it’s something we’ve been looking into for some time,” said Clay Luraschi, Topps’ Director of Product Development. “We understand how important these specific cards are to collectors and the hobby community, so it is vital that we take measures to give collectors peace of mind.”

Since the history-making inception of Topps’ Rookie Premiere Autographs in 2000, the cards have annually become among the most sought after featuring the NFL’s top rookies. That overwhelming popularity, combined with the existence of unsigned “player’s issue” personal-use cards distributed to the rookies each year, have created ideal conditions for unscrupulous counterfeiters.

In essence, some of the special cards (those produced through 2005 featured no marked differences from their in-pack counterparts) intended to help the players enjoy collecting and trading with each other have ended up on the open market unsigned and without Topps’ 3M authentication hologram sticker (Topps ceased using the hologram stickers in 2008).

From there, all foul-intentioned collectors need to do the deed are a Staedtler pen and a peeled authentication sticker from a less-desirable (and less-expensive) Topps autograph.

It’s worth noting that in 2006, Topps added a “Player’s Issue” notation to the card backs (they moved that to the card fronts in 2007) to help differentiate the personal-use cards from their in-pack counterparts. That seemed to help eliminate some of the forgeries, but nowhere near enough of them.


Topps officials are hopeful that this new step will go a long way to rectifying a less-than-ideal situation.

Luraschi notes that only the autograph cards will be numbered in foil. The unsigned versions will not be numbered. “This way a collector will be able to immediately recognize the card’s authenticity,” he said.

From the vault:
Here’s an interesting story from May 2000 on the history-making premiere of Topps Rookie Premiere Autographs.

– Tracy Hackler



I would like to thank Beckett for finally bringing this issue to light and helping to do something to correct it.

Posted September 2, 2009 at 10:47 am | Permalink

Too bad you’re “taking the credit” for someone else’s work. Thanks for providing the story.

Posted September 2, 2009 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

It’s bigger than the “player issues” being forged.

I believe the actual card is being re produced…completely

Posted September 2, 2009 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

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