Why Does this 2004 Donruss Timelines Platinum Not Look Like the Others?

A visitor sent me front and back images of what appears to be the Nomar Garciaparra 2004 Donruss Timelines Platinum 1/1 and asked if I could provide some insights on it since it doesn’t look quite right. Here’s his message:

Hey Patrick! Was wondering if I could get your opinion on something. I got a card in on consignment and didn’t think anything of it at first. I went to re-sleeve the card and it just looked off. The stamping on the back does not look real to me. I looked on eBay and there is also a 2004 Timelines Mussina Platinum 1/1 and the foil on the front is reflective. I am leaning towards this card not being the legit Platinum but I am not totally sure. I found a Roger Clemens that PSA graded on Google and it looks like the Nomar but they could have made a mistake. The other parallels in the set have reflective foil as well. This really looks like a base card with a stamp on the back.
-Chris S.

Nomar Garciaparra 2004 Donruss Timelines #36 Platinum Aftermarket
Nomar Garciaparra 2004 Donruss Timelines #36 Platinum Aftermarket
Nomar Garciaparra 2004 Donruss Timelines #36 Platinum Aftermarket
Nomar Garciaparra 2004 Donruss Timelines #36 Platinum Aftermarket

2004 Donruss Timelines is a high end product released in January of 2004 and issued in 5-card packs with a $50 SRP. The base set contains flat silver foil on card fronts and each card comes in a variety of parallels. Of those is a metallic parallel run:

  • Silver: Print run of 100 and features silver holofoil in place of the flat foil on the base cards
  • Gold: Print run of 25 and features gold holofoil in place of the flat foil on the base cards
  • Platinum: Print run of 1 and features blue holofoil in place of the flat foil on the base cards

Note that the metallic parallels all feature some form of holofoil in place of the flat foil on the base cards. Here’s what a legitimate 2004 Donruss Timelines Platinum 1/1 looks like. Notice the blue holofoil and bold 1/1 stamp.

Mike Mussina 2004 Donruss Timelines #34 Platinum /1
Mike Mussina 2004 Donruss Timelines #34 Platinum /1
Mike Mussina 2004 Donruss Timelines #34 Platinum /1
Mike Mussina 2004 Donruss Timelines #34 Platinum /1

The Nomar features flat silver foil but still contains a 1/1 stamp, albeit faint and somewhat different looking, which means we can make the following conclusions:

  1. The card isn’t the pack-issued Platinum parallel
  2. It’s aftermarket (legit or not but likely the latter)
  3. It’s an event release i.e., National 1/1; if it’s this variety, the card will have a debossed stamp somewhere on the front of the card indicating such

If no event stamp exists, I’d go with conclusion #2 and since no record of such card exists, we can conclude the 1/1 stamp was added aftermarket. What this means is that the card is in fact real but it’s been altered with the addition of some characteristic, in this case a 1/1 stamp.

How to Deal with Cards Like This:

If selling it for someone: In the description, be as honest as possible about what you know about this card and sell it As-Is.
Reject the sale: Reject the sale and send the card back to the owner. The only problem with this is it posses the risk of the card still entering the market somewhere down the line.
Buy the card from the owner. It would be wise to make an attempt to buy the card from the owner and just shelve it to prevent it from being used to rip off future buyers.

Here’s the Roger Clemens that was graded but should’ve been rejected by PSA:

Roger Clemens 2004 Donruss Timelines #41 Platinum Aftermarket
Roger Clemens 2004 Donruss Timelines #41 Platinum Aftermarket | Source: comc.com
Roger Clemens 2004 Donruss Timelines #41 Platinum Aftermarket
Roger Clemens 2004 Donruss Timelines #41 Platinum Aftermarket | Source: comc.com

To see what’s currently on eBay from 2004 Donruss Timelines, click here.

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