Counterfeit Card Alert: 1887 Buckner Gold Coin Charles Comiskey

Posted on 9/8/2022

The CSG grading team determined this card highlighting a baseball pioneer was not printed in the 1880s.

Charles Comiskey played for and managed the St. Louis Browns (the forerunner of the St. Louis Cardinals) to four pennants in the 1880s. He was later the owner of the White Sox, who have played in Chicago since 1901 — most of that time in a pair of ballparks named Comiskey Park (the newer of which is now called Guaranteed Rate Field).

Comiskey’s success with the Browns overlapped the beginning of the baseball card era. Buchner Gold Coin Chewing Tobacco issued the 1887 N284 Buckner Gold Coin set in 1887, which included dozens of players from teams whose names are mostly forgotten today: The Boston Beaneaters, the Philadelphia Quakers, the Brooklyn Bridegrooms and the LaCrosse Freezers.

The Comiskey card submitted to CSG.Click images to enlarge.

Cards from this set are generally worth hundreds of dollars in lower grades and thousands of dollars in higher grades. So, it’s important to know that you have a genuine card. Recently, a purported example of a Charles Comiskey card from the 1887 N284 Buckner Gold Coin set was submitted to CSG for authentication and grading.

The CSG experts noticed several red flags, each of which alone is enough to condemn the card as a fake. Authentic cards are printed on a thick card stock, but the submitted card is on a thin stock. Authentic cards measure roughly 1.75 inches by 3 inches, and the fake is significantly smaller in size.

Close-ups of the Comiskey card submitted to CSG.
Click images to enlarge.

The card submitted to CSG was produced using a modern type of printing. Design devices such as names and borders are not made up of solid ink, but instead of magenta, yellow, cyan and black pixels — or small dots. Under magnification, colored dots are also visible on the back of the card; only black ink would be expected there on an authentic version.

This Ed Hanlan card (below) from the 1887 Allen & Ginter N28 set shows what text printed during this era ought to look like. Notice the consistent, smooth solid black or blue color on the letters throughout this card, which CSG certified as authentic and graded CSG 4.5.

Genuine Ed Hanlan card from the 1887 Allen & Ginter N28 set
Click images to enlarge.

CSG uses world-class expertise, advanced technology, innovation and operational excellence to provide sports card collectors and dealers with accurate and consistent certification services. CSG backs these determinations with the industry-leading CSG Guarantee, which adds significant confidence, liquidity and value to the hobby.

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