93/94 is a format with very expensive and rare cards, many which fetches sums up to and above a thousand dollars. A friend once said that even though there were only 4300 black bordered Lotuses ever printed, and that a lot of them may be lost to time, there probably exists more than 4300 black bordered Lotuses. Faking magic cards is both easier and more profitable per unit than faking e.g. $100 bills. So how do we spot fake cards?
There are two obvious rules we can start with. First; fake cards tend to be in very nice condition, as it's both harder and less profitable to fake a card in a worn condition. Second; fake cards are pretty much always cards that have a secondary market value, you don't have to worry about your Giant Sharks being faked as it's simply not worth it.
|Very good fake Ancestral. Example found at apathyhouse.com|
One way to creating fake cards is to start with a real magic card, and then make it look like a more expensive version of the card. This is most commonly done by inking the borders to make a newer card look like a beta card, or by 're-backing'. Inked borders can be spotted fairly easily, as beta cards have a kind of 'double border', where only the out-most part of the border is completely black (there's also a white dot in the lower corners of the card between the borders). Re-backing is done by taking e.g. a Collectors edition card, cutting the corners, peeling of the back of the card, and then gluing a backside from a legal card to the CE card. If you have a card with a worn front, but a NM back, odds are that it has been rebacked. Re-backed cards tends to be slightly thicker than a regular card, so they can usually be detected via a bend test. Also, real cards tend to have thin blue line through the middle of the edge. When a counterfeiter have access to a high quaility printing press, things get a little harder though.
|A clumsy attempt to black-border a Revised card. Picture from apathyhouse.com.|
|Fake to the right. Picture from Apathy House.|
|Real Armageddon to the left, fake one to the right.|
|Fake card to the left, real one to the right.|
|Bend-testing a Mana Leak. As usual; picture from Apathy House.|
|Fake to the left. The real card has very defined black edges around the Magic logo, where the fake blends together.|
|Fake to the right here. Again note how the borders around the text is much more defined in the real card.|
|4 Lords works well even without the Pearl Trident crew.|