I have posted many of my feelings regarding serially numbered cards, but one thing we have never discussed is whether serial numbers are ever representative of the actual NUMBER OF CARDS PRODUCED. I have ofted blasted both Topps and Panini for their use of parallels, even to the point where 1/1s can be devalued solely due to the number available. Its gotten so bad that base cards can be serially numbered now, and even though a card is numbered to 999, there are usually 10-15 parallels that make the actual number closer to 1500. One reason why I always loved SPA and Exquisite patch autos were because of how few parallels there were. Each patch auto only had two parallels, and due to this lack of parallelery, each carried significant more value. This is completely the opposite of Triple Threads, Limited and Certified, all of which have excessive problems with Parallels.
Aside from the issue of actual production vs serial numbers, who is to say the number on the back of the card is actually correct? Over on FCB, someone posted this auction of a Mike Stanton orange refractor out of Bowman Draft Picks that is numbered in a odd way. This comes after previous years of Topps creating multiples of serially numbered chrome cards, with some of the rare red refractors having duplicates inserted into retail for the normal 5 copies. Although damning evidence was presented (email me if you have the posted pictures from a few years ago) by a frequent and trusted board member, no one at Topps ever responded to the fact that the number on the back may not be truly the correct representation.
I think that the Stanton above is just a typo mistake with the machine that serially numbers the cards, but if past experience is any inidcation, we arent privvy to all information we should be privvy to. How many times have we seen complete uncut sheets of Superfractors and Red 1/1 parallels show up on eBay in the hands of some guy who should own them? Im actually curious to know what we don’t know, mainly because in this industry, the truth is rarely a positive thing.