Saturday, March 28, 2015
1990 Donruss Aqueous Test #220
Card Review: 8.9 This card is identical to appearance to the standard 1990 Donruss but for the "Aqueous Test" printed across the back. Aqueous is a reference to the gloss used on the front. That seems to be a universally agreed upon element of these aqueous test cards. There seems to be little consensus on much else about them. Most people seem to agree that these were printed by Donruss in 1990 in effort to find a different coating for cards. Depending on who you ask it was either an attempt to cut cost, improve duribility, improve appearance, differentiate from the standard set for a Canadian issue, just done in the name of science, or some combination of those factors. Some collector's seem to be pretty invested in their respective theory, and willing to grossly over pay for a few of the Hall of Famers.
Allegedly only 224 of the 660 cards in the base set were done in this aqueous test format. How and why they were distrubted also seems to be a matter of some dispute, but I think it's safe to say they were leaked out the back door in the form of unopend packs (maybe cello packs) by a donruss employee and sold to private collectors.
I've seen this Wallach "Aqueous Test" pop up on ebay on and off for years. Usually it had an asking price of $9.99 and a few times at $19.99. I never bit, and always let it pass. It just seemed like way too much. My patience paid off, as this card was recently sent in by a very generous reader in Texas. It's one of only a couple of cards that I obtained my first copy of in that manner.
Number of this card in my collection: 1