Identifying Fake Cards


Let’s compare some conterfeit cards to the genuine article, shall we?

This is an experiment long in the making. It consists of the following ingredients:

  • 1x Magic: The Gathering card
  • 1x counterfeit version of the same card
  • 1x jewler’s loupe
  • 1x quality flashlight

Here are the results.

This is the real deal:

actual card

Look at that crisp ‘0’. Much of the black text on Magic cards is actually printed as its own layer on top of the rest of the card. Because of this, the text should lay on top of the color “rosettes”.

This is the imitation:

fake card

and here are the tools:

an inexpensive jeweller’s loupe

jeweller's loupe

a decent flashlight


This is the EAGTAC D25AAA. It’s one of the cheapest flashlights you can get with a quality, high color rating index LED. There are versions available with the CREE XP-G2, but I like the Nichia 219 version for the better color. Fun fact: It also has a magnet on the back. :)

Most certainly overkill, but it’s part of my everyday carry anywho, and the LED on the loupe doesn’t really cut the mustard for the light test.