PHOTO BY TOM BENDER
PHOTO BY TOM BENDER
2020 saw the unprecedented rise of trading cards as an asset class, with “...demand for trading cards - new, recent, and vintage - is outstripping supply by 10-to-1, sometimes 1,000-to-1,” according to Ken Goldin, owner of Goldin Auctions. At the forefront of this trend are legendary players whose records and emotional significance deeply resonate with investors. Michael Jordan, in particular, began setting records off the court with some of his card sales. Here are a few of the most sought-after Jordan cards sold to date…
1. 1997 Michael Jordan Upper Deck Game Jersey (Autograph) #GJ13S
In February 2021, an all-time high was set in the Jordan market after a PSA 7 of this card sold for $1.44M. This card was highly sought after given the large swath of game-worn 1992 all-star game jersey featured in the card itself, and autograph and numbering by Jordan himself. This is also a predecessor to the RPA card style that has been setting records for other players.
2. 1997 Michael Jordan Metal Universe #23 (Green)
Of the ten green foil Jordans produced, only six have been presented to PSA for grading. The card was only one of two cards ever graded as “Authentic.” The only other confirmed sale of this card was for $350k for a card graded as “Altered.”
PMGs are the holy grails of 90s inserts. Each card was limited to just 100 cards, 90 of which had the red-colored background. The card is one of the scarcest to find -- only 31 have been presented to Beckett for grading.
4. 1986 Michael Jordan Fleer RC #57
This card has become one of the most sought-after sports cards in all of sports. It has broken multiple records and has garnered international attention for its limited population and legendary athlete. Additionally, given its status, it has become one of the key components of the PWCC index.
5. 1984 Michael Jordan Star #101
The card is recognized as Jordan’s first NBA-licensed Rookie Card. There are no professional statistics featured on the back of this card, only stats from his time with the Tarheels. The card is relatively scarce, only 5,000 are thought to have been produced, and only 900 have been presented to Beckett for grading.
6. 1986 Michael Jordan Fleer Sticker #8
Finding this card in pristine condition is extremely rare. Of the 13,000 cards presented to PSA for grading, only 119 have achieved PSA 10. This Fleer set is incredibly iconic as it represents one of the most significant all-time investments. According to Card Ladder, a $10 box purchased at release sold for $91,000 in 2020 outperforming Microsoft’s return, which IPO’d in 1986 by several multiples.
7. 1987 Michael Jordan Fleer #59
The card is a must-have for collectors as it marks Jordan’s second year in the league. Only 2% of these cards presented to PSA have received a PSA 10 grade.
8. 1987 Michael Jordan Fleer Stickers #2
Only ~24 have received a PSA 10 grade. These cards were generally the last in the pack, and many tend to have a signature wax residue.
9. 2003 Michael Jordan Exquisite Collection #MJ
When the card sold in April 2021, it set an all-time high. The card received at 9.5 BGS grade by Beckett and was limited to /75. The card features a game-used patch and a blue ink signature.
10. 1998 Michael Jordan Skybox Molten Metal #41
The card is scarce and rarely comes to market. The card features a one-of-a-kind aesthetic with pinpoint-sized die-cuts. The card received a Beckett 9 grade and is limited edition /40.
Our weekly newsletter with fresh takes on the latest news in culture.