An often-counterfeited issue goes under the microscope as Beckett jumps into the Star Company basketball grading business.
A request from a major collector of Star Company basketball cards apparently convinced Beckett Grading Services to announce it will begin to grade and authenticate 1983-86 Star Company basketball cards beginning next Monday.
According to Beckett, the move was initiated through a request from The Schonco Sports Collection to have BGS grade their inventory of Star Co. basketball cards prior to its release onto the market.
BGS says it has recruited the help of Star Co. expert and basketball card dealer Steve Taft to train its staff on the nuances of the series. Taft will not be involved in the grading process itself. Beckett will slab the cards in the collection before its official release with the labels carrying a designation recognizing the cards as originating in The Schonco Sports Collection.
BGS had not previously offered grading services for this product as many in the industry believed that many existing cards on the market were counterfeit, or possibly reprinted, long after their original runs. Among the most counterfeited cards were mid-1980s Michael Jordan cards. SCD Authentic graded Star Co. cards during its short tenure but other companies such as PSA and SGC chose not to examine them.
After Topps failed to reach agreement with the NBA on a trading card license following the 1981-82 season, Star Co. became the exclusive licensed distributor of NBA cards beginning in early 1983. After issuing All Star game sets in the winter of ’83, the company’s first full set arrived the following year. The cards were usually sold by team, in individual bags. The limited edition sets were never sold in retail stores and feature some of the earliest and most valuable Jordan rookie cards available as well as early issues of other players who made their NBA debuts while Topps and the other trading card manufacturers were on the sidelines.
According to BGS, the Schonco Sports Collection cards will include some of the rare Jordan cards as well as many key sets like 1984 Boston, Dallas, Detroit and Philadelphia team sets.
The new BGS services available to the public on Dec. 1 will include grading for all un-bagged basketball card singles including the three mainstream sets, insert sets, subsets, promotional sets such as "Gatorade" and "Crunch ‘N Munch”, and 5×7 oversized cards.
Beckett says "Best of the Best" and "Magic Johnson" sets will only be graded out of the pedigreed Schonco Sports Collection, and public grading of bagged sets may be offered in the future.
Star Company basketball cards