Altered Card Alert: Autographed Kobe Bryant Card

Posted on 11/3/2022

CSG determined the signature was altered on this card showcasing the Lakers Hall of Famer.

In his 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant helped the team win five titles and he was named to 18 All-Star teams. He holds numerous team records, including points (33,643), steals (1,944) and three-pointers (1,827). He was posthumously inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2020.

Basketball cards signed by Bryant remain highly popular with collectors, and the 2010-11 Panini Limited set included several. The run featured 25 examples of the #93 Kobe Bryant Monikers Gold version, including the 2/25 card certified by CSG shown here. The 24/25 card was sold in a Heritage Auctions sale in March 2022 for $3,000.

2010-11 Panini Limited Autographs #93 Kobe Bryant Monikers Gold graded CSG 7.5 and 10 for the autograph.
Click images to enlarge.

The Monikers Platinum version of this card would be expected to sell for significantly higher, because it is a 1/1. CSG recently received a submission that included that card. However, closer inspection by the CSG team revealed a significant problem: The signature was altered.

Images of the card submitted to CSG.
Click images to enlarge.

Upon first glance, the surface of the card appeared to have a slightly different surface as it was "sheened" — the process of examining a card as it is moved around directly under a light source. (See sheening demonstrated at the 1:10 mark in Episode 1 of CSG Grade School.)

Notice how under normal light, the end of the signature appears to end in a straight line. But when CSG placed the card under special lighting including infrared, it was revealed there was additional ink at the end of the signature that included a downward curl. For whatever reason, someone decided to erase that part of the signature!

Close-up of the signature under special light.
Click images to enlarge.

Unfortunately for the submitter, the alteration done to this card means it cannot be certified by CSG. Why anyone would make such a change is a mystery, but it was a very expensive decision.

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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