Counterfeit Card Alert: 2000 Pacific Aurora #84 Tom Brady

Posted on 5/9/2023

The card's color, pixelated images, texture and more enabled the CSG experts to identify this Tom Brady rookie card as counterfeit.

Many consider NFL star Tom Brady to be the greatest quarterback of all time. While football fans and analysts love to debate the subject, at a minimum there is no denying that the seven-time Super Bowl winner is in rare company. Selected by the New England Patriots late in the 2000 NFL Draft in the sixth round, Brady may not have been on many teams' radar, but he became a household name within a few years of entering the league.

Brady would go on to have an unmatched pro career by the numbers, as the most successful QB of not only his generation, but in the history of the NFL. He is the only player to ever win seven Lombardi Trophies: six with New England and one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His long list of career accolades includes five Super Bowl MVPs, three NFL MVPs and 15 Pro Bowl selections.

There is no doubt that Brady will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer now that he is officially retired following the 2022 season. The caliber of his pro career is basically unmatched, and for that same reason, his trading cards can command big money. Anything with the value of a Brady rookie card creates an incentive for counterfeiters looking to cash in on certain players' popularity.

An authentic 2000 Pacific Aurora #84 Tom Brady graded CSG 9.5
Click images to enlarge.

In fact, Certified Sports Guaranty® (CSG®) recently received a submission of a purported 2000 Pacific Aurora #84 Tom Brady rookie card. Genuine Gem Mint examples of this card generally sell for hundreds of dollars. But this particular card raised some questions during the authentication process.

There are several red flags that CSG experts noticed when analyzing the card that identified it as counterfeit. It is printed on a thicker card stock compared to an authentic one. The card is also glossier and more pixelated than a genuine example, which is evident once you zoom in on the details of the card.

For example, take a closer look at the upper-right sepia-toned image of Brady in action on the front of the card. It is easy to see the difference between the two cards, with the top version being more pixelated and shinier than the genuine card below it. Additionally, you can see similar differences on the back when analyzing the Patriots logo.

Close-up views of the front and back of the counterfeit card (top) and an authentic example (bottom).
Click images to enlarge.

Looking closer at the back of the card under various lighting, CSG experts also noticed some stark differences. The image of Brady is much clearer and less pixelated on the authentic example. Plus, the colors are much more vibrant on Brady's helmet and jersey.

Zooming in even further on the Aurora logo in the top right, the blue dots surrounding the logo are more prominent on the authentic version and are much less defined on the counterfeit card. Even the borders surrounding the logo and player information on the back are crisper and less pixelated on the authentic version.

Close-up views of the back of the counterfeit card (top) and an authentic example (bottom).
Click images to enlarge.

When sheening the counterfeit card back and forth under good lighting, it is clearly evident that this is not a genuine example of the 2000 Pacific Aurora #84 Tom Brady rookie card.

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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