All Time Set: The Collections of JDL
GPA with Top8.506
This is truly a set that is shrouded in mystery! Not much is known about the 1990 Donruss Aqueous Test cards. It is hypothesized that the cards were part of a test run that was used as an experimental water based high gloss coating (aqueous test). In appearance, the Aqueous cards look almost identical to the regular 1990 Donruss set, however they are easily distinguished from their common twins by the words “AQUEOUS TEST” printed (not stamped) diagonally across the back of the cards. Additionally, the Aqueous set consists of 264 cards, which is significantly shorter than the 716 card regular set. Although never officially distributed, there are rumors that the Aqueous cards were packed out in either cello packs or traditional wax packs. Donruss has never released population numbers, but it is generally accepted by most collectors that only 2,000 to 2,500 total cards were produced. If you do the math, you will see that this equals to less than 10 copies of each card. Because of this scarcity, the Aqueous set is very popular with set collectors. Little was known about this mystery issue until the last few years. What do we know? There are 264 of the 716 regular issue cards represented (Two 132-card sheets). Nine Diamond Kings, nine rated rookies, 10 MVP cards (BC1-BC10), and 236 regular issue cards (48-283), which comprise the complete set. Cards were found in wax packs, probably accidentally inserted in the year of issue. A large find of packs and singles surfaced in 2013, mostly from a single source; rumored to be an ex-employee of the now defunct Donruss Corporation. Packs have since dried up, and single card prices, still command strong premiums from single-player and set collectors. Be aware that these are now frequently faked. The Aqueous test slanted print on the back of the card is always in the same place for every player. Every Orel Hershiser will have the test words printed in the same place with the same slant, but other players may have different placement. The words “Aqueous Test” are printed on the card. This is not a stamp, and it will not look like it is thrown on top of other inks on the back of the card. Mind the font face, because all the real cards use the same size and style. 1990 Donruss was the epitome of junk wax; It was incredibly over produced. The mysterious Aqueous Test issue cards are some of the rarest cards from the early 1990’s. Is it not ironic that one of the most mass produced cards of the early 1990’s has some of the rarest cards of the era? How could something so over produced have some of the rarest cards?
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