Back in the 1990s, the hobby was a lot different. Not every card was serially numbered the way that they are today, and for the most part, autos and relics were very rare items. As a result, when a serially numbered card was produced, they had extreme value to the collecting public. As a novel idea, it was crazy to believe that only a certain amount of one card were available, and it made the prestige of owning those rare cards that much greater.
Basketball cards used this idea sparingly enough that even today, the serial numbered cards from the 1990s carry EXTREME ending prices with them. Obviously, cards from Michael Jordan reign supreme, as I have commented on before, so much so that my mouth hangs open when I see how much they go for.
Check these out:
These cards are so sought after, that any similarity in concept drives ridiculous clamoring for the cards. Panini released Totally Certified with a foil and rarity that hearkened back to the days of the Fleer Precious Metal Gems, and collectors went nuts for them. This shiny and ugly foil is like an addiction for some collectors, and the prices they sell for solidify that observation.
With the release of 2012 Upper Deck Fleer Retro, we can expect that the aura of these cards from the 1990s will carry the product to incredible heights. Some of the cards, mirrored after the famous inserts from this era have already hit eBay, and are generating prices usually not seen for similarly numbered cards today. Its crazy to believe that a card numbered to 150 or 50 in a recent product would be worth any money due to commonality, but the brand speaks for itself.
Here are some of the first ones:
As I was shocked to see the popularity of the gaudy inserts from previous decades, I guess I will need to maintain a similar level of shock with these cards too. Im still waiting to see what happens when the first 2012 Precious Metal Gems Jordan gets posted. Mayhem might ensue.
UPDATE – FIRST JORDAN PRECIOUS METAL GEMS IS UP!