CGC Trading Cards Certifies a Non-Holo Base Set 2 Charizard Error

Posted on 9/15/2020

A thorough analysis revealed that this card was meant to be holographic but, as a result of a production error at WOTC, it is missing the holographic foil layer.

CGC Trading Cards has authenticated and graded an amazing Base Set 2 Charizard error. The card, which is supposed to be holographic, is missing its holographic foil layer.

CGC Trading Cards is the first third-party grading service to authenticate and grade major errors within the trading cards market. Trading cards are evaluated by CGC Trading Cards’ experienced and highly knowledgeable grading team with the aid of advanced forensic machines.

Base Set 2 Charizard with Missing Holographic Layer
Click images to enlarge.

The incredible non-holo Base Set 2 Charizard error recently certified by CGC Trading Cards is completely original. It has the expected layers on the edge of the card, including the middle layer indicative of genuine Pokémon cards. This layer helps block light from transmitting through the card. Graders also confirmed that the size, weight and thickness of the card were correct for a Wizards of the Coast (WOTC) era card.

After performing a detailed visual examination, the graders subjected the card to numerous tests utilizing all of CGC Trading Cards’ advanced authentication equipment, including a specialized imaging machine and x-ray fluorescence analysis.

Missing Holo Error (left) and Holo Base Set 2 Charizards at 18.66x Magnification.
Click images to enlarge.

The specialized imaging machine utilized by CGC Trading Cards experts allows extreme close-up photos. As you can see from the photos above, which were taken at 18.66x magnification, the rosette patterns used for Charizard's head are exactly the same on the error card (left) and a non-error comparison card (right) that is known to be authentic. This pattern would be impossible to replicate without access to either the original printing plates or the original master files for this card, both of which are closely guarded by WOTC and Pokémon Company International.

Missing Holo Error (left) and Regular Holo (right) Base Set 2 Charizards under UV Light.
Click images to enlarge.

The imaging machine also allows for the use of different types of lighting. As you can see from the photos above, the error card reacts exactly the same as the normal example under UV light. A bit more texture can be seen on the Missing Holo card, which is expected considering the holofoil would be smoother than the cardboard surface.

From left to right, Missing Holo Error, Normal Base 2 Charizard, Counterfeit Card
Click images to enlarge.

The two cards are identical on the back as well, where infrared light shows the error (left) and normal Charizard (middle) matching perfectly, while a counterfeit card (right) looks completely different under the same light. Pay special attention to how the red at the top of the Poké ball looks across the three cards. The cards at the left and middle were clearly printed using the same inks, while the counterfeit card at the right uses inks that react very differently.

Edge photos of Base Set 2 Arcanine (1), Alakazam (2) and Missing Holo Charizard (3)
Click image to enlarge.

The graders also thoroughly examined the edge of the card to ensure that it had the proper core. They found that the core matched the blue core of holographic cards from Base Set 2 rather than the black core of the non-holographic cards. Therefore, it appears that the non-holo Charizard was printed on card stock that was intended to be holographic but instead was missing the holographic foil layer. The missing holographic foil layer coupled with the blue core results in more light being transmitted through this card.

Lastly, as another step in CGC Trading Cards’ authentication, the card was examined using x-ray fluorescence, which is a non-destructive analysis of elemental composition. This analysis showed that the ink and substrate of this card are aligned with the normal cards from the same set.

As a result of their comprehensive evaluation, the CGC Trading Cards grading team concluded that this is a genuine error produced by WOTC during the production of the Base Set 2 expansion. Every card certified by CGC Trading Cards is backed by the CGC Trading Cards Guarantee, which assures collectors that the card is both genuine and not overgraded.

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