Counterfeit Card Alert: 2009-10 Topps #321 Stephen Curry Rookie Card

Posted on 1/11/2024

Several factors enabled CGC Cards' experts to identify this Steph Curry rookie card as a fake, including the color tone, foil stamping, logos and more.

While counterfeit and altered sports cards are often based on vintage cards due to their rarity and high values, some valuable modern cards from today's superstar athletes can also be susceptible to fakes. For example, nine-time All-Star and four-time NBA champion Stephen Curry has numerous high-value cards from his already-iconic pro career. Particularly in demand are rookie cards like the 2009-10 Topps #321, which are a top target for counterfeiters.

Side-by-side view of the front of the fake 2009-10 Topps #321 Stephen Curry (white) and an authentic parallel (gold).

CGC Cards recently received an example of this card, which they identified as a counterfeit. Upon inspection of the fake Stephen Curry base rookie card with a white border, CGC Cards' grading experts were able to identify it as counterfeit based on several red flags, including the card's color tone. On the counterfeit, the color appears "washed out," whereas the color appears more natural and vibrant on a genuine card. The difference in color tone is noticeable even without magnification and is a telltale sign that the card could be a fake.

Close-up views of the front bottom right showing the silver foil stamping of the fake (top) and authentic (bottom) cards.

The graders also noticed an issue with the silver foil stamping on the front of the card, which is used on the Topps logo, player name/position and basketball on the front of card. It is clear that the foil stamping is too heavily impressed into the card stock on the counterfeit card. Take notice of the heavy indentions around the letters of Curry's name and position.

Close-up views of the Golden State Warriors logo on the authentic card (left) and the fake card (right).

Further inspection of the counterfeit points to issues with the Golden State Warriors logo, as well. Just above Curry's name and position in the bottom right corner, the team logo looks very different under magnification. The counterfeit's team logo is far more pixilated and grainier in comparison to the genuine example. The colors are brighter, and the image is more defined on the authentic card.

Close-up views of the "Rookie Card" logo on the authentic card (top) and the fake card (bottom).

Finally, the Rookie Card logo at the top right of the card shows some major differences, which helped identify the base rookie card as counterfeit. The authentic example shows a very faint black line around the red border of the logo itself. When magnified, the logo overall is slightly "crisper" and more defined than the counterfeit copy.

Each of these red flags stood out, making this a clear case of a counterfeit attempt. Education is the most important tool when collecting cards. The more collectors know about the printing and manufacturing process of cards, the fewer mistakes will be made when buying cards.

CGC Cards authenticates, grades and encapsulates authentic examples of cards, making the hobby a safer place for collectors, traders and sellers. To do this, CGC Cards uses world-class expertise, advanced technology, innovation and operational excellence to provide sports card collectors and dealers with accurate and consistent certification services. CGC backs these determinations with the CGC Guarantee, which adds significant confidence, liquidity and value to the hobby. To learn more about CGC's industry-leading services, visit

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