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1986 Star Michael Jordan Set: Spotting Type II Counterfeits 

 March 20, 2021

By  Star Basketball Cards

We've spoken about the Type II Counterfeits on the blog quite a bit, but if you need a refresher, you can read our 'History Of Star Cards' piece.   Long story short, a former Star employee released factory rejects into the hobby.  These were not authorized issues. 

The good thing is that identifying the Type II Jordan cards is fairly easy--as the same characteristics apply to the Patrick Ewing rookie card and other cards from the 85-86 Series Two Star Issue. 

The important thing that I will note on these cards and all of the other Type II's--is that the grading companies, early on, missed these cards.  Thus, even when buying a graded copy, be sure to make sure it is not a Type II.  Hopefully this guide will help educate you on the differences. 

The key to telling the difference between a Type II Michael Jordan counterfeit and the real card, has to do with the borders.  On the Type II cards, the white border is spilled out (mostly) all the way around.  The originals do have some spillage on the borders, but not all the way around.

The key in identifying the Type II's is to compare the card in question to an original card.  As a reference, please see our profile on the 1986 Star Michael Jordan set which features a gallery of authentic cards you can use as a comparison.

Here is one example.  The card on the left is a Type II -- look at the left border--see how the white is extending over the left of the black line on the outside?  This isn't the case on the real card next to it.  Then if you look at the right side of the border, you'll see on the Type II, that the white border extends on the inside, whereas on the real card, it only overlaps a bit on the outside.

Type II Counterfeit Jordan

star-jordan-roy

An authentic STAR Jordan ROY

Here's another example-- with the 'Pro Stats' card from the set.  Take a look at how on the top white border surrounding the image, the white spills out over the top...and the same thing on the inner left and bottom borders...also surrounding the Bulls logo.

A Type II 'Pro Stats' Jordan Counterfeit

Now if we compare this to the real card, you can hopefully notice that the border is a lot cleaner.  There is some white overlap, but not as much. 

real-pro-stats-jordan

An authentic Star Pro Stats Jordan card

Here's one more example.  Check out the pure sloppiness of the white in that border---all over the place.

type-ii-jordan-checklist

A Type Two #1 1986 Star Jordan

And then compare it to the real card below.  Again, note that the real cards, due to tend to have some white border displacement.  The common area on this card is that small little white spot below the Bulls logo on the outside border.  

Also be sure to note that an authentic 1986 Star Jordan #1 Checklist card has a small little black dot above the H on the bottom border.  If this is missing, it is a fake or a Type II counterfeit.

star-1-check

A real #1 Star Jordan

Another important area to examine is on the back borders of the card.  On an original card, there will be red ink bleed typically on the top and right side of the card as shown with this authentic copy.  The Type II counterfeits will not have this sort of ink bleed, unless artificially added after the fact:

A real Jordan Star 86 card, note the ink bleed on the top and right side of the card.

As always if you run across any different fakes, please let us know at help@starbasketballcards.com so we can update this guide.

Most Watched 1986 Star Michael Jordan Set on eBay

Most Watched 1986 Star Michael Jordan Set on eBay

Star Basketball Cards


After a successful journey with All Vintage Cards, the owners decided to branch off and create a resource for Star Basketball Cards. This here is our effort to educate the masses that have any interest in collecting Star Basketball cards.

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