Here’s a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) that I’ve dealt with in the past when I announced I wanted to start this project. I will keep updating this page whenever a question is asked that I think can be answered here for others to see.
Have a question? Want to report an error? By all means, contact me. I’d love to chat with other collectors.
1. What is a refractor card?
A refractor card is a chromium-based card that refracts light, giving it the appearance of a rainbow when viewed under normal lighting conditions.
2. How can I tell if I have a refractor?
Compare the card with another chromium-based card: if one appears to have a rainbow effect while the other doesn’t, then you have a refractor. You can even check the back of the card and look for the word “refractor” near the card number. Earlier releases were harder to tell apart, which is why Topps started adding the word “refractor” on the backs of the cards.
3. What is a chromium-based card?
A card that fall under one of the following Topps-brand cards: Finest, Topps Chrome, Bowman Chrome, Bowman’s Best (mid-to-late 90s), and Stadium Club Chrome (short-lived). These cards are usually heavier in stock, feel sharp, and have a metallic look to them. Most chromium cards have etching, which is usually an outline around the logo, player, and even the border.
In the case of Topps/Bowman Chrome, they’re usually exact copies of their base card counterpart, but updated with a chromium look to them. Other Topps brands have had the chromium treatment, but those were released in the 2000s and 2010s. Topps/Bowman Heritage, and Topps/Bowman Sterling are a few examples.
4. Why did you pick the 90s?
So much to say here. I chose the 90s because that’s the decade I grew up in and collected baseball cards. Therefore, I felt that it was only right to start with that decade for this project. I believe the chase for refractors in that decade was a lot more exciting than it is now, if only because refractors were usually found 1 or 2 per box; not every other pack like they seem to be today.
In other words, a pure case of nostalgia.
5. Will you expand to other decades?
I honestly don’t know. I have to complete my goal of one of every refractor made in the 90s from baseball, basketball, football, and hockey first. It would be fun and extensive for sure, but I have to focus first on my original goal. That won’t stop me from obtaining refractors from other years, however.
6. What’s the purpose of this site?
To showcase my collection with other collectors and anyone else who may stumble across the site. I just want to be able to create a collection I can build with my kids while reliving my youth days. Who knows, maybe it’ll strike a chord with other collectors that like refractors.
7. Are you looking for specific players?
No, unless the set requires it, such as the 1996 Bowman’s Best Mickey Mantle Refractor/Atomic Refractor.
8. Do you want cards that have the no-peel sticker?
Absolutely. If the card has the protective coating on it, I’d prefer to have that in the collection that way. It’s not about the value to me; rather, I want to be consistent with the collection.