Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Cards Have Jaundice

As a collector you have some fears and concerns, and rightfully so. Along with the fakes and frauds out there we can also get distressed once the cards are in our hands. Will your cards get damaged or lost when you move, will that high dollar autograph begin to fade over the years or will the foil on a card stick to the card in front of it (or in the penny sleeve) and tear away when I take it out.

I came across a head scratcher today when I was going through my football cards that I have stored in a 5,000 ct. box. In 1994 Collector’s Edge released a new product called Excalibur football set. The set was what you would consider “high end” at the time, they were something like $5-7 a pack. It was a medieval themed set, hence the name “Excalibur”, and along with the base cards there were two inserts (though there were 4 versions of one of the insert sets).

There was the 25-card 22K Knight cards and the 7-card FX acetate cards (There were actually four different FX sets, three could only be collected through redemption while the base FX cards were inserted in to packs). There were also the letters redemption insert cards, but those are what you used to redeem the FX sets.

Today I am going through my 5,000-ct football box and I pulled out my Excalibur FX cards, I have 2 base FX cards and the 7-card Gold EQ Shield FX cards. The two base cards are fine and three of the Gold EQ cards are fine but the acetate on the other four Gold EQ cards has yellowed quite noticeably.  These cards have been kept in either a binder or the 5,000 ct-box for the past 20 years and they have been in penny sleeves the entire time. At no time have the cards been displayed in the sunlight so I am confused as to why the cards have discolored, I am wondering if there is the possibility of a different plastic used during manufacturing.

I put together a comparison of my cards, I left out the Rick Mirer card (which also yellowed) just so I would have an even 6 cards. The top row (Hampton, Bettis and Elway) are all still clear as the day I received them while the bottom row (Smith, Young and Aikman) have all faded and it is not just the clear center section, but the entire card. The interesting thing is that if you look through other 1994 Excalibur FX cards on eBay and COMC you will see quite a few yellow cards so it seems to be a common problem. 


  1. Interesting. Have you gone out and looked to see if there are any "yellowed" Hamptons, Bettis, or Elway cards? Or any "non-yellowed" Smiths, Youngs, or Aikmans? That would probably help you determine if different plastics were used.

    It's a shame... that set looks pretty awesome!

    1. I did see a couple of yellowed Hampton and Elway cards as well as clear Smith, Young and Aikman cards. But from I what saw while searching it does seem like the Smith, Young and Aikman cards are the ones that discolor more often.

    2. Hmmm... then maybe they had different runs of this product. And the first batches were made by one plastic company... and the second run used another. Just throwing out some guesses.