What Michael Jordan card is worth the most?
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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.”
3. 1997 Michael Jordan Metal Universe #23 (Red) (Available on Otis)
Sold in February 2021 for $480,000 by Heritage Auctions (Otis Purchased This Card)
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.
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.
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18+ Intriguing Michael Jordan Sports Cards Statistics
Michael Jordan sports cards are highly sought after by collectors around the world. Big card brands have continued to create MJ cards well beyond his retirement given his undying popularity and collectibility. With an NBA playing career that spanned almost 20 years, multiple retirements, and a lot of winning, there’s no shortage of choice for collectors in the sports card market.
We’ve put together some of the most fascinating facts about Michael Jordan’s sports cards, including valuation breakdowns of the 1986 Fleer rookie, sticker rookie, MJ’s first refractors, the popular 1997 game used jersey card, and so much more.
1. Approximately 6,000 different Michael Jordan sports cards exist as of May, 2020.
(Nat Turner, President of PSA authentication, via Chicago Tribune)
According to Nat Turner, the President of PSA Authentication, there are approximately 6,000 different Michael Jordan cards as of May 2020. There are several million printed commutatively in all likelihood.
2. The most valuable Michael Jordan sports card is worth approximately $1.36 million dollars.
The Michael Jordan 1997 Skybox Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems (PMG) Green version, numbered to just /10 copies is worth around $1.36 million dollars according to CardLadder’s estimate (PSA authenticated). It last sold in December, 2020 for $915,000.
Be sure to take a look at the top 10 most valuable MJ cards in raw condition (not graded).
3. There are 24,650 PSA graded 1986 Michael Jordan Fleer #57 rookie cards.
According to PSA, 24,650 graded Michael Jordan rookie cards exist in their population report. Only 318 of them are rated with a PSA 10 “Gem Mint” condition, and 2,901 are considered to be in “Mint” condition, PSA 9.
4. There are 13,246 BGS graded 1986 Michael Jordan Fleer #57 rookie cards.
According to Beckett grading, 13,246 Jordan rookie cards have been graded and registered within the BGS grading population report. Only 6 of them have been rated BGS 10 “Pristine” condition, followed by 535 in “Gem Mint” condition, BGS 9.5. There are also 1,819 BGS 9 “Mint” condition copies.
5. The total value of PSA graded 1986 Michael Jordan Fleer #57 rookies is $200 million.
Using CardLadder estimates and PSA’s population report, the estimated value of the 24,650 Jordan rookies graded by PSA is approximately $200 million dollars.
6. Average value of a 1986 Jordan Fleer RC is $8,100.
With 24,650 graded PSA copies, and a total cumulative value of $200,000,000, the average Jordan rookie #57 graded by PSA is worth $8,100.
CardLadder estimates the raw version of the #57 rookie card (ungraded) is $955. Keep in mind there are a ton of counterfeits in the market so this could lend to a lower value for the card when purchased unauthenticated.
7. The 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan RC sold 262 times in January, 2023.
As one of the most popular basketball cards of all time, it’s no surprise the Jordan Fleer RC sells often. In a given day, that means there are approximately 8 Jordan Fleer rookies sold — and that’s just publicly through auction houses, including eBay. Imagine how many additional sales happen privately at card shows, local card shops, and through social media across the country, let alone the world!
8. PSA has authenticated 67 autographed Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer #57 rookie cards.
For having graded over 24,000 Fleer rookies, PSA has only 67 registered as signed by Michael Jordan himself. Only 3 of the copies are in “Mint” PSA 9 condition.
9. There are 17,909 PSA graded 1986 Michael Jordan Fleer Sticker #8 rookie cards.
Jordan’s Fleer Sticker rookie card doesn’t get as much attention as the ever popular Fleer #57, however it is more rare and tougher to get in a high grade relatively speaking. PSA has only 121 Gem Mint 10 copies registered in its population report vs. 318 for the Fleer #57.
10. The total value of PSA graded 1986 Michael Jordan Fleer Sticker #8 rookies is $22 million.
Using CardLadder estimates and PSA’s population report, the estimated value of the 17,909 Jordan stickers graded by PSA is approximately $22 million dollars. The card has appreciated 1,383% since 2006.
11. Average value of a 1986 Jordan Fleer Sticker RC is $1,200.
With 17,909 graded PSA copies, and a total cumulative value of $22,000,000, the average Jordan sticker rookie #8 graded by PSA is worth $1,200.
12. Michael Jordan’s first appearance on a basketball card was the 1984 Star Rookie Card.
Jordan was drafted by the Chicago Bulls as the #3 pick in the 1984 draft. His rookie card is widely considered the popular 1986 Fleer #57 card, although as Jordancards.com argues, the 1984 Star Co. Michael Jordan #101 is his true rookie card given it was licensed, printed, and depicts Jordan during his rookie year in the NBA.
13. 1997 Upper Deck Game Used Jersey #MJ is Jordan’s first pack-pulled jersey card.
The 1997-98 Upper Deck Game Jersey card was the first basketball card produced to feature a piece of an NBA game-worn jersey. The Jordan card includes a swatch of his 1992 All-Star jersey. A BGS 9.5 Gem Mint copy of the card recently sold via PWCC Premier Auctions for $84,000.
Upper Deck subsequently launched a series 2 version of the Upper Deck product that included a signed version of the Jordan Game Jersey card. Only 23 hand-numbered autographed Game Jersey cards were randomly inserted into packs. A recent copy — specifically numbered 18 of 23 in BGS 8 Near Mint-Mint condition — sold via PWCC Premier auctions in the same January 2023 auction for $840,000.
14. Michael Jordan’s first Refractor card is the 1993 Topps Finest Refractor #1.
Michael Jordan’s first refractor card was produced by Topps in 1993-94 as part of the inaugural Finest basketball set. The reflective design of the cards was unique at the time, and set the tone for premium-level stock on future basketball cards for years to come. The 1993-94 set included base cards and shiny refractor versions of many future hall of famers, including Shaquille O’Neal, Scottie Pippen, and Hakeem Olajuwon, and popular rookie cards of Chris Webber, Anfernee Hardaway, and Alonzo Mourning, to name a few.
15. Michael Jordan’s first Topps Chrome Refractor card is the 1996 Topps Chrome refractor #139.
The Topps Chrome brand is one of the most popular card brands ever produced by Topps. It’s first launch was in 1996, coinciding with arguably one of the best NBA draft classes of all time. The cards are condition sensitive and especially prone to greening or “hulking” over time, making it even more difficult to find an MJ in gem condition. Only 7 Gem Mint PSA 10 Jordans have ever been assessed out of a total of 140 graded.
16. The Michael Jordan Player Index (CardLadder) is up 1,094% since inception in 2004.
CardLadder first started the Michael Jordan player index at a point value of 1,000 in 2004. Since then, the index which currently contains 1,741 cards is up to 11,938 for a total return of 1,094% (almost 12-fold increase in value). Imagine how much the Jordan index is up if you started counting back from day 1 in 1984 — probably 100,000%!
17. Average Daily Sales Volume of Michel Jordan Cards is $155,000.
Over the last two years, CardLadder estimates $155,000 worth of Michael Jordan cards are sold on average per day. While there are huge peaks and troughs depending on the card or auction ending on a given day, hundreds of cards are selling on average with almost $700 million in total market cap combined.
18. There are 51 BGS 10 Pristine “Black Label” Michael Jordan basketball cards ever graded.
It’s extremely difficult to obtain the BGS “Black Label” grade from Beckett. So much that, BGS has graded hundreds of thousands of Michael Jordan cards manufactured during his playing career from 1984 through 2003, only to assess 51 of those cards with the illustrious BGS 10 Pristine Black Label condition. If you’re unaware of the designation, it’s essentially a rating of BGS 10 “pristine” for all four categories assessed by BGS for any given card (Centering, Corners, Edges, Surface).
Since we went through the pain staking effort of scouring the BGS population report already, here is a breakdown of Black Labels per year of Jordan’s career.
|Card Year||BGS 10 Pristine Black Label Total|
|1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992|
1993, 1994, 2000, 2001, 2002
|All Years Combined||51|
BGS 10 Pristine Black Label MJ Cards by Year; Source: Beckett
Michael Jordan Cards: The Most Expensive of All Time
Today, we take a look at the most expensive Michael Jordan cards ever sold.
On July 18, 2021, a 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan PSA 10 rookie card sold for $840,000. This left both casual fans and hardcore collectors asking the same question: why? The card wasn’t comparatively rare, and it has sold for a fraction of that price both before and after July 2021.
Regardless, the truth remains: MJ is a GOAT within the hobby. $840,000 may be a little high today for that ‘86 Fleer, but it was these sales that helped take the trading card world to a whole new level. In terms of cardboard, his name is as iconic as Mickey Mantle and Honus Wagner.
Today, we are highlighting the 12 most valuable Michael Jordan cards. To keep the list fresh, we are only allowing an individual card to appear once. Let’s jump right in and show off the best of His Airness!
1. 1997-98 Upper Deck Michael Jordan Game Jerseys Autograph /23 BGS 8/Auto 8: $2,700,000
Air Jordan was drafted in 1984, yet it wasn’t until 1997 before he had a pack-issued autographed card. This game jersey auto from 1997 Upper Deck is limited to only 23 copies. Each copy also includes a patch from his 1992 NBA All-Star Game uniform, a game famous for being Magic Johnson’s farewell from basketball. The perforated design and rounded edges were incredibly unique at the time, but they also made the card a notoriously tough grade.
In a PSA 8 grade, the card sold for nearly $2.1 million in May 2021. However, it was a private sale in October 2021 that makes this the most expensive of all the Michael Jordan cards to date. The colors on the patch are key for this card. If another three-color jersey auto comes up for sale, there is no telling how high the bids could go.
2. 2006-07 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection All NBA Access Triple Logoman Michael Jordan/LeBron James/Kobe Bryant (1/1): $1,680,000
If you ask for a top 10 list from a basketball fan, it’s likely that all three of these players will be on it. The card above is the only triple logoman of Jordan, Kobe, and LeBron to ever hit an auction, and it is a stunner. While many were awing over the infamous LeBron Triple Logoman, it seemed as if this one flew under the radar. This trio hasn’t appeared on cardboard together since the 2000s, and rare memorabilia like this almost never surfaces.
Nevertheless, this PSA-graded copy sold during an August auction at Goldin for $1.68 million. All three logoman patches are game-worn, and it is unlikely that a card like this will be made ever again.
3. 1997 Metal Universe Michael Jordan Precious Metal Gems Green /10 PSA Authentic: $915,000
Number three includes one of the most heralded sets in all of card collecting: Precious Metal Gems. 1997 Fleer Metal Universe, a 123-card set, included a PMG parallel that was limited to 100 copies. The first 10 of those copies were green, and the other 90 were red. That immense rarity and unparalleled eye appeal have made the PMGs a grail for many Jordan collectors.
The shiny green foil made these cards increasingly hard to grade over time. This PSA Authentic MJ sold for $915,000 in 2020.
4. 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie Card PSA 10: $840,000
PWCC Premier Auction
Forget Michael Jordan cards, there are few trading cards more recognizable than Jordan’s ‘86 Fleer rookie. Tongue out, a high-flying dunk, that cursive “Chicago” lettering – this card has everything. It encapsulated the playstyle of the Bulls’ budding star incredibly well. So, it’s no surprise why this card is so sought after 36 years later.
As a PSA 10, this slab currently sits as a POP 322. At its peak in 2021, it sold for $840,000 in a PWCC Premier auction.
5. 2003 Exquisite Collection Limited Logos Michael Jordan Patch Auto /75 PSA 9: $780,000
You won’t find a game-worn patch auto that looks much better than this. With a stunning PSA 9 grade and MBA certification, this 2003 Exquisite Michael Jordan deserves to be in a museum. Surprisingly enough, this is only the 18th biggest sale to come from a 2003-04 UD Exquisite Box. The other 17 feature a young rookie phenom named LeBron.
This card also features a perfect 10 autograph grade, and it last sold for $780,000 in 2021.
6. 1997 Metal Universe Michael Jordan Precious Metal Gems Red /100 BGS 8.5: $564,000
While the aforementioned green PMG may be rarer, you cannot go wrong with the sheer eye appeal of the red parallel. The colors are sharp, and they contrast against that iconic Bulls uniform perfectly.
These cards only come up for sale about once a year, so there is typically a good premium paid by avid collectors. Case in point, this beautiful BGS 8.5 copy sold for $564,000 earlier this year.
7. 2000 Upper Deck Michael Jordan/Kobe Bryant Game Jerseys Combo Patch Auto BGS 8.5/Auto 10: $516,000
At seven we have a classic patch auto of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. This is the first set where the pair have dual autographs, so it is still widely collected to this day. For us, it symbolizes a passing-of-the-torch for two of the greatest shooting guards in NBA history.
The card contains two game-worn patches and on-card autos of Air Jordan and The Black Mamba. It last sold at a Heritage auction for $516,000 in 2021.
8. 2003-04 UD Exquisite Collection Emblems Of Endorsement Michael Jordan Patch Auto BGS 9.5/Auto 10: $511,200
The next three entries on the list all stem from the coveted 2003-04 Exquisite set. The first of three is an “Emblems of Endorsement” auto, and it’s limited to just 15 copies. It features a two-color patch and a sweet on-card signature of His Airness.
It is always rare to see a thicker patch auto receive a BGS 9.5 grade, which may be why this stunner sold for $511,200 in August 2021.
T-9. 2003-04 UD Exquisite Collection Number Pieces Michael Jordan Patch Auto /23 BGS 9.5/Auto 10: $456,000
We have another striking BGS 9.5 patch auto at the number nine spot. This one shows Jordan making an acrobatic move during one of his six Finals appearances. It also has a nice two-color patch and an on-card autograph.
Numbered cleverly to 23, this card last sold for $456,000 in September 2022, making it the most recent entry to the list.
T-9. 2003 UD Exquisite Collection Noble Nameplate Michael Jordan Patch Auto PSA 10/Auto 10: $456,000
Rounding off the series of Exquisite patch autos is this horizontal copy that was awarded a PSA 10/10 grade and a gold MBA sticker. It’s pretty much impossible to have a card in better condition than that. And it just so happens that this one has a three-color patch and auto of one of the greatest to ever do it.
This card, numbered to 25, also sold last for $456,000 during a September PWCC auction.
11. 1984-85 Star Michael Jordan PSA 9: $444,000
Earlier this year, Collectors CEO Nat Turner announced that PSA would begin grading Star basketball cards. He even went as far as to pin the ‘84 Star as “MJ’s true rookie card.” While that may still be up for debate, the card is still Jordan’s first in a Bulls uniform. It features action from his rookie campaign, a season where Mike averaged 28.3 PPG.
This card currently stands as a POP 1, and none have been graded higher. The Star set was often handed out as a promotional tool during Bulls games, so a PSA 10 grade will be hard to come by. Even still, this mint copy sold for $444,000 in September 2022, which is more than any 1986 Fleer sale this year.
12. 2004-05 UD Trilogy 1-2-3 Combo Clearcut Autographs Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant BGS 10/Auto 10: $387,600
Much like the triple logoman of these three, this card is also not one you see very often. And even if they all are on an autographed card together, it probably won’t be accompanied by a BGS 10 grade. Jordan, Kobe, and LeBron are woven into the fabric of basketball’s lore. Each has inspired millions, and we’ve all spent hours trying to emulate their moves in the driveway. This incredible gem last sold for $387,600 during a Goldin auction.
Which of these Michael Jordan cards is your grail? Let us know @CardTalkPod on Instagram and Twitter!