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.
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.
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.
Here's one more example. Check out the pure sloppiness of the white in that border---all over the place.
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.
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:
As always if you run across any different fakes, please let us know at email@example.com so we can update this guide.