Jordan Rookie Card Fakes – Don’t Fall For It


This is a FAKE Jordan rookie card.

Since writing about authenticating Michael Jordan’s 1986 Fleer rookie card, I’ve been inundated with inquiries. 

When I offered up my services to anyone in need of help, I figured I might get a few responses. 

But when I say inundated, I mean I have been INUNDATED…multiple requests per week, often multiple times a day.

Thus, it’s clear there is a TON of demand for Michael Jordan’s rookie card.

But, the problem I’ve found, is that many collectors are getting scammed out of lots of money.

So it’s time for a follow-up. 

I will REPEAT that the Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer rookie card is the most counterfeited card in the hobby.  

So, my first recommendation to those who write me is to find a graded Jordan Rookie card, graded by either PSA, SGC, or BGS

Yet as I know many of you are the adventurous type, I write this article with hopes that we all can be more educated on the topic, and that the wide variety of fake Jordan cards are on display for the masses.

In this piece, I am posting many of the fake images that I’ve received while helping to explain some of the differences between the fakes and the real card.

Some are REALLY bad counterfeits and it’s super easy to figure out.

But some are quite good and it’s hard for even me to tell.  

I hope this helps everyone in their quest in securing a Jordan rookie card.

Fake Jordan Rookie #1 – Misplaced ‘Premier’ Arrow and Off-Colored Back

Here’s a decent Jordan fake that was recently sent to me.  At first glance, many of us might mistake this for the real thing.  But the front gives us one tell-tale sign that it’s a fake.   It’s all about the yellow arrow.


Here's a close up of the Fleer logo.  If you have one that looks like this, it's a fake...CASE CLOSED!  


Here's the Fleer logo on a real Jordan rookie below.  There are many differences (most which we discuss here) but that little difference in the arrow is the one major sign on this card.  We can see how on the real Jordan below the arrow doesn't quite touch the top of the yellow 'Premier' box.  Now take a look back to the fake above--the arrow is above the box.  


So this fake also has some good signs on the back of the card which can help us out.  Here's the back of the fake card.  Again, for those not handling Jordan rookie cards on a day to day basis...this looks pretty clean, right?


But then look at a real Jordan back and for me..there's one thing simple...it's the colors.  The fake card has a lighter red color on the top whereas the real card has a more distinct red (hard to explain in words)--but can you see it.  If you have doubts...just pull up this image below and compare the colors directly


Fake Jordan Rookie #2 – Bulls Logo Unclear Eyes

We discussed this in our last piece on authenticating Jordan’s card, but this is one of the more popular features of the counterfeit Jordan.

Here’s the Bulls logo on a fake.  Take a close look at the Bull’s eyes and you can the lack of definition on the Bull pupils. 


Now let's take a closer look at the bull's eyes on an authentic Jordan.  As we can see below, the definition surrounding the pupils of the bull is clear and there is white space between the pupil on the outer edge of the eye.  Compare this to the fake above and there's a clear distinction.


Fake Jordan Rookie #3 – Thin Borders

I see a lot of these counterfeits in circulation now, often sold on eBay as a reprint, but many times I get buyers that are in the midst of getting duped for thousands of dollars.   One collector told me he purchased this one at an auction house in Sydney where it was advertised as authentic. 

These should be an easy tell; compare this one to the back of an authentic Jordan and you should be able to eyeball the difference.  

So, here's the back of a fake 'thin border' Jordan reprint.  As shown there is minimal border padding between the edge of the card and both of the red boxes.  


Compare it to the authentic back in the prior section and you can easily see the difference. Now it could be possible that someone went on a trimming rampage, but not likely, so if you see one like this, move on.

Fake Jordan Rookie #4 – Wrong Yellow Arrow on Fleer Logo

As we pointed out on our first piece on detecting counterfeit Jordan rookies, the logo is one of the best places to look in order to find a fake. 

Now on a real card, the little yellow arrow near the Fleer logo is a mustard like yellow.  Some of the good fakes have the right color arrow.  But on some of the BAD fake Jordan’s, the yellow can be the same yellow as in the ‘Premier’ background (bad) or an even darker mustard yellow than on the original (also BAD).  

Here’s one version with the lighter yellow in the arrow:


 And now here's another one with the yellow that's TOO dark:


And well, then there's this disaster.  Do you even have to ask?


Fake Jordan Rookie #5 – Fake Authentication Label

I think for many this is an obvious red flag, but I’ve had numerous questions on this one.  Scammers will put Jordan reprints in a top loader and then cover the top with what looks like some sort of authenticity bar-code sticker.  These are easily purchased on eBay or Amazon, although I really wish they weren’t.  If you see a Jordan like this, it is a 99.9% probability there’s a fake card in that top holder.  Stay away.


This isn't all of the fakes, but these are the ones I seem to be getting the most questions about.  So, the goal of this article was to make sure you don't get ripped off!  Don't forget, if it isn't graded, there's a VERY good chance it is fake.  

Certainly feel free to continue emailing me at chris@allvintagecards.com and I can attempt to help identify the authenticity of your Jordan card.

We are also buying Jordan rookie cards as well (assuming they are real) so if you have one to sell, you can email me on that as well.

86-87 fleer basketball set partial graded plus Jordan sticker wax pack & Autos

End Date: Thursday Nov-18-2021 12:53:00 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $42,500.00
Buy It Now


$2,225.00  (10 bids)
End Date: Saturday Oct-23-2021 18:16:23 EDT


1986 Fleer Set 132 cards Graded PSA 9 OR better 9.23 Ave 86-87 Michael Jordan RC

End Date: Tuesday Nov-16-2021 15:26:21 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $99,999.99
Buy It Now

1986 86 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie Sticker PSA 8(ST) # 06300690 CAREER HIGH PTS

End Date: Sunday Oct-24-2021 22:18:11 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $6,700,000.00
Buy It Now

86 Fleer Basketball 57 Michael Jordan Rookie Card RC Graded Bulls Beckett PSA 9

End Date: Thursday Nov-11-2021 10:17:54 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $24,000.00
Buy It Now

1986 86-87 Fleer Basketball Set with Stickers 131 BASE + 10 STICKERS (NO JORDAN)

End Date: Saturday Nov-13-2021 22:55:41 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $12,999.99
Buy It Now

86-87 fleer basketball set complete with stickers both Michael Jordan’s included

End Date: Wednesday Nov-03-2021 09:21:40 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $17,000.00
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86-87 Fleer Michael Jordan #57 RC Rookie HOF BGS AUTHENTIC Clean, Should Regrade

End Date: Thursday Oct-28-2021 18:02:18 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $3,900.00
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End Date: Sunday Oct-24-2021 07:07:25 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $5,750.00
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2007 "86 Style" Fleer MICHAEL JORDAN Complete Box Set #1-100 GMA Graded 23x 10s!

End Date: Sunday Oct-24-2021 04:24:15 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $2,499.00
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Michael Jordan Star 1985 Gatorade BGS 8.5 - Great Investment!! Pre 86 Fleer RC!

End Date: Wednesday Nov-03-2021 13:59:53 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $2,450.00
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ROOKIE 1985-86 Michael Jordan pre Fleer Jordan Merchante clesa RC RARE

End Date: Sunday Nov-14-2021 06:17:46 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $1,749.99
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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Matt Stewart - January 12, 2021

Hi, after reading your articles on Jordan Rookies, I’m having a hard time validating authenticity for the following: https://www.ebay.com/itm/114625787712

Any chance you can take a look? Thanks!



    All Vintage Cards - January 12, 2021

    Hey Matt, thanks for reading. Sooo, i think it could very well be real. BUT that top left corner definitely looks like it has been re-colored to me. And other parts of the card look like they’ve been touched up. I also suspect that it might have been trimmed. I’d probably avoid.

Frank Distasi - January 31, 2021

Hi there, i want to say that your information is excellent trying to find out how to spot fake Jordans, there is a card that i think is real but it looked trimmed on the top can you please take a look if you can help to see if its fake or trimmed its on ebay


Mathew - August 8, 2021

Hello and thanks for your help, the 1986 and the 2006 rp look identical, is there anyway that you can spot the difference I think Flegle was absolutely stupid for putting in 1986 on the bottom of the reprints. once again thank you very much for your help.


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