The Case of the Altered Luka Doncic Card: When High-End Meets Deception

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What Happened?

SuperDan, a member of the Blowout forum and one of a handful of prominent members who called out trimmed cards in 2019, recently came forward with information about a highly valuable Luka Doncic card.

The card in question is a 2018-19 Panini Prizm Luka Doncic Neon Green RC serial-numbered 5/5, that in 2020, was up for grabs on eBay through Probstein for a staggering $150,000. The card had been graded as SGC 9.5 and further certified as “Gold” by Mike Baker Authenticated.

Other versions of the card have sold for $12,500 in December 2019 to as high as $144,000 in May 2021.

> Original Forum Thread

The Tip-off

SuperDan received a tip back on November 6, 2020, indicating that the card, previously offered for sale in a raw state on Facebook, had a dinged corner and a surface issue. A Facebook group discussion in “NBA Hot Spot Worldwide Trade & Sell Cards” corroborated this, revealing that the card indeed had damage to its bottom right corner along with a surface flaw.

Connecting the Dots

Here’s where it gets interesting—a close comparison of the card before and after grading suggests that the card has been altered.

Images: Blowout Forum

Further Issues

As of September 2023, it’s not just SGC that missed the alteration; PSA joined the list as well.

The images provided on the PSA Certification number lookup were sharper than the ones in the SGC holder. SuperDan was able to adjust the brightness to get a better view of the black ink halftone dots used in the printing process. After counting the dots, it became evident that a portion of the card had been trimmed.

According to SuperDan, approximately the width of a dot was removed from the right back edge of the raw card.  The bottom has been trimmed slightly less.

What Does This Mean for Collectors?

In an era where cards can easily command six-figure sums, the credibility of grading companies like SGC and PSA is of the utmost importance. The Luka Doncic card saga serves as a lesson that due diligence is a necessity. Even when a card is graded and authenticated by renowned firms, there can be glaring oversights.

About the author 

Grayson Bryce-Thompson

  • Mike Baker looked at the card and said – hey it looks like the cards I used to grade at GAI!!!!! Another worthless hobby “icon” that literally stole from people when GAI went BK. And then did it again at Global Athenticators or whatever it was called a few years later. After a brief break he crawls back from whatever rock he was hiding and starts grading graded cards.

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