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Can someone please help me clear up the confusion with the 2011-12 SP Game Used Gold Swatch Cards. On the back of the Gold Alex Ovechkin Authentic Fabrics card [printed card number of AFAO] it indicates the variations spell out G R 8 8. I have several issues with these cards :
1. The 'G' card looks like the letter 'G'. The 'R' card looks like the letter 'R'. The other card I've seen several of looks nothing like the number '8'. The top left/right edges are rounded while the bottom left/right edges of the swatch are sqaured off. The should be more rounded to look like an actual number '8'.
2. Are there actually 2 differerent number '8' cards and if so, how can I tell the difference between the two 8's so I have one of each? The arbitrary numbers Beckett assigns [AFAO1 and AFAO2] imply I need 2 different '8' cards. I don't see a difference on any of them and how to tell which is AFAO1 and which is AFAO2? Which do I select in Beckett as available for trade and which do I select that I want?
3. Since the AFAO1 - AFAO4 card numbers in Beckett are made up [not printed on the card] why don't the numbers match the order of how the characters line up [as indicated on the back of all the cards G-R-8-8 in the case of Ovi? In Beckett the 8's are listed as AFAO1 and AFAP2. The G is AFAO3 and the R is AFAO4. Since the card number printed on all of the cards is actually just AFAO, the extra numbers being added by Beckett, wouldn't it be less confusing to
call the first letter ['G'] AFAO1 and the second letter ['R'] AFAO2 with the 8's being AFAO3 and AFAO4.
4. If there is no difference between the '8' cards, did they print twice as many of the '8's assuming people might want to collect 2 of the '8's to spell out the 'G-R-8-8' ? If there are twice as many '8' cards [with no means of distinguishing AFAO1 and AFAO2] then '8' cards should theoretically have a lower value as there's more of them available [the 'G' and 'R' would be more rare and should be priced higher]. Or did they produce the same number of '8' cards [despite needing 2 of them to spell out the 'GR88' as indicated on the back] thus requiring some collectors to need 2 of the '8' card making it the more sought after card [theoretically causing it to have a higher price].
5. What does the 'C' stand for in the card description on Beckett? It seems confusing enough that they [a] add arbitrary numbers to the printed card number making it close to impossible to locate any card by the printed card number, [b] then is the swatch letters [in a different order then the card indicateds] [c] with another, in Ovi's case a 'C' at the end. What is the 'C' meant to indicate? All of the Ovi gold swatch cards have the C at the end of the Beckett description. The front of the card actually has the letter 'A'' printed as part of the card design [I guess for 'A'uthentic Fabrics?] but I don't see a 'C' anywhere. Isn't it confusing enough with the made up card numbers and multiple instances of the same card ['8'] that adding other random charcters to the end of the card description isn't really helpful?
6. Did Upper Deck really lack the creativity to do anything better with 4 letters then repeat the '8'? [Idea for next year... 'ALEX' has 4 letters and there all unique...] Did they need to repeat the '8' twice without giving any indication if i have the first or the second '8'? Or did they intentionally try to create a false demand for multiples of the same card [the '8'] by repeating the 8? [In which case why does Beckett imply there are 2 different 8 cards?] Or considering the remaining character [not the 'G' or the 'R'] in no way resembles the number '8' was it some sort of major screw up on the part of Upper Deck? You know the '8' die to cut the cards went missing so instead they used a die from some sort of abstract shape that didn't look like anything and rather then have people complain about it, they decided they'd distract people by convincing them they need to collect two of the '8' cards, hoping the false demand would drive up the price of the screwed up card causing most people to somehow overlook the fact that it doesn't look anything like the number '8'.

All of the other players seem to have swatches die cut to resemble actual letters / numbers or symbols [ the '#' symbol looked a little weird for one of the player's, but once you know what its supposed to be you can at least see the resemblence.

Here's another example of the arbitrary numbering issue with Beckett for these cards....
Steve Mason is supposed to spell out C - B - J - 1
except AFSM1 is the '1' card, AFSM2 is the 'B' card, AFSM3 is the 'C' card and AFSM is the 'J'.
As if that wasn't confusing enough, AFSM1 [the '1' card has a letter D randomly added to the end of their card description. AFSM2, AFSM3 and AFSM4 have a random letter 'C' at the end of their card descriptions. So when your trying to figure out which one to select that you have or need, and you look for which card description is meant to match up with the shape your swatch resembles, you'll see your die cut swatch letter in several of the option. You actually need to figure out what ALL of the letters are supposed to spell then determine which of the characters in the card description doesn't represent the swatch shape and try not to look at that portion of the card description when looking for your card.

Watch how much fun this is :
I have a 2011-12 SPGU Steve Mason Gold Swatch Card in the shape of the letter 'C'. I want to indicate in my organize that I have the 'C' swatch and need the B, J, and 1 swatches. Here are the available options:

2011-12 SP Game Used Authentic Fabrics Gold #AFSM4 Steve Mason J C
2011-12 SP Game Used Authentic Fabrics Gold #AFSM2 Steve Mason B C
2011-12 SP Game Used Authentic Fabrics Gold #AFSM3 Steve Mason C C
2011-12 SP Game Used Authentic Fabrics Gold #AFSM1 Steve Mason 1 D

After wasting 20 minutes wondering why the results when I enter the printed card [AFSM] results in a card that indicates there should be a serial number, I realize that Becket's AFSM is the Silver version [that I dont have and didn't know existed] and my card uses a random arbitrary numbering scheme, I can finally figure out the random array of keyword to use to narrow down the search results to the die cut swatch variations. Beckett feels you should either perform multiple slow searches to locate your card or know in advance what the random arbitrary number the append to the end of the printed card number is.
Since Beckett doesn't indicate what the cards are supposed to spell out [their numbering doesn't match the order] it's good thing I knew to look at the back of the card and see all of the available option, since my 'C' is listed in 3 of the possible options for the cards above. Now armed with the full set of option C-B-J-1, I can determine that the last 'C' randomly added to the card description is the character to secretly ignore when determining which card I have and can focus on the previous character, looking for my 'C' card.

It doesn't have to be that difficult. All Beckett needs to do is use the printed card number and include the die cut charcter in the description [without the additional confusing random letters at the end of the description]. To be even more helpful, they could include in the card description what the cards are supposed to spell out.
Like this:
2011-12 SP Game Used Authentic Fabrics Gold #AFSM Steve Mason C (Spells CBJ1)
2011-12 SP Game Used Authentic Fabrics Gold #AFSM Steve Mason B (Spells CBJ1)
2011-12 SP Game Used Authentic Fabrics Gold #AFSM Steve Mason J (Spells CBJ1)
2011-12 SP Game Used Authentic Fabrics Gold #AFSM Steve Mason C (Spells CBJ1)

If they absolutely have to add arbitrary characters to the end of the printed card number, why not use the actual characters from the swatches like:
2011-12 SP Game Used Authentic Fabrics Gold #AFSMc Steve Mason C (Spells CBJ1)
2011-12 SP Game Used Authentic Fabrics Gold #AFSMb Steve Mason B (Spells CBJ1)
2011-12 SP Game Used Authentic Fabrics Gold #AFSMj Steve Mason J (Spells CBJ1)
2011-12 SP Game Used Authentic Fabrics Gold #AFSM1 Steve Mason C (Spells CBJ1)
Then at least after figuring out they're not using the printed card numbers, the numbers they do use at least wouldn't be arbitrary [and out of order].

I still have no idea what the random characters at the end of the card description are meant to indicate, but at the very least NOT INCLUDING THEM would help 95% of the people figure out what card they have.

If Beckett insists that they MUST append a random arbitrary numbers at the end of the actual printed card number and it can't match the represented card, why can't the order be consistent so rather then figure out why 3 of the card descriptions contain the letter 'C' I would [from the back of the card] that the 'C' is supposed to be the first letter so I could have the card with the '1' randomly appended to the end of the card number. Instead, the last character in the series is listed as AFSM1 and the 'C' on my card shows up in 3 different card descriptions.
WOW... just... WOW.

You are one heavy thinker. This is quiet an in -depth posting. But, it makes sense to me.
That is the most detailed analysis of a single card I have ever seen. Those are all great questions, but I don't have the answers. Good luck!
i agree with what your saying 100%,it is confusing to the point i refused to collect them as a result.
this thread link should be sent to them as an indication that it has been noticed by members that the
guide needs to be clear in what its protraying, i always thought it was clarification of the finer details
is what im paying for in beckett yet as of late i feel more questions than answers arise as you dig deeper.
great post man, i think it would be very beneficial to the opg if we could tag thread posts and comments
to the cards/sets in question while searching.
that was a read

but it does make sense to me and I wish i can answer it but we can't as it is not given for the most part
I didn't read it all as it is Saturday nite, but I hear ya. I hope I entered mine right!
i found it quite confuseing as well, especially like your example of the mason, i still dont fully understand what the second letters mean, i know on the UD blog they did say that there are Short Printed jerseys, we came to the assumption that the other letter (ie CC) is maybe related to the print run of the specific card. A, B, C, D. which one is the SP i dont know, but UD seems very good at answering questions