Owning a 1 of 1 card, is to get something that no other person in the world has. Figuring out what price to purchase one of those rare hits for isn't easy. After all, what can you use for a price comparison? They're one of a kind. The value winds up being essentially whatever the market interest might be at the time. Still, educated collectors who do a little research can guess pretty accurately. A study of prices for 1/1's also reveals the potential for investment.
What collectors can do to approximate the value of a 1/1 basketball card (or one from any other sport for that matter) is to study what the player's other 1/1 cards have sold for, if he has any, and to compare the selling prices from similar players.
Dwyane Wade collectors can look at the price his Black 1/1 from 2010-11 Panini Totally Certified went for on eBay. It sold for $1,200. That gives a good idea for what the same hit in Gold Standard could go for. If there is a 2012-13 Totally Certified 1/1, Wade collectors will know how much money they may need to acquire it. Knowing what a Wade card sold for also gives a starting point for the possible prices of other superstars' 1/1 cards. LeBron James and Kobe Bryant will be a lot more, while Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose may be just a bit ahead of him in price. Other Black 1/1 cards from Totally Certified that sold recently were the Jason Kidd, for $300, and Rodney Stuckey, at $230.
In July of this year, a 1/1 of Mark Jackson from 2011-12 Panini Limited sold on eBay for $102.50. Knowing this can give collectors an idea of prices for similar players and just a couple of months later the Charles Oakley 1/1 from the same set sold for $90. Fans of the Knicks can easily figure out approximate prices for other Knicks in the set, like the John Starks card. Other players in the same set, who played in the same era, like Rolando Blackman and Xavier McDaniel, might also go for a similar price.
Printing Plates can be an affordable way to find a 1/1 card. For an unpopular NBA bench player, the price can be as low as $10 to $20. A Joel Przybilla Printing Plate from 2006-07 Topps sold recently for $10. Star players go for higher prices. A Kobe Bryant sold for around $100. A LeBron James Printing Plate sold for $450 but that was out of the pricey 2004-05 Exquisite Collection.
There are many 1/1 cards to look for, with parallels of the base cards as well as memorabilia and autograph cards. They are all unique, and it's not out of the realm of possibility that we'll see a good market develop for many of them years down the road much like we're seeing today with some of the 1990s basketball inserts. In fact, one of those resurgent insert sets from the 90s, SkyboxPrecious Metal Gems, is back in Fleer Retro, issued by Upper Deck. A Bill Russell 1/1 recently sold for an astonishing $4,050 and generated 55 bids. That helped raise the bar for other cards from the series and set prices higher.
$10,000 was the price paid for a UD Black Quad Autograph card featuring the signatures of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Magic Johnson. Another card from UD Black that sold on eBay recently was a signed Bill Russell 1/1. Featuring a great design with a manufactured patch of the NBA Championship trophy, it sold for $810. The John Wall 1/1 from 2011-12 Panini Gold Standard changed hands for the price of $132.60. If he can someday win an NBA MVP award, that card could be a great investment.
There was a time when 1/1 cards were out of reach of most collectors, but they are becoming more prevalent and while the superstars of the NBA could still cost too much for many collectors there are some bargains around. Danilo Gallinari's 1/1 Artist's Proof Black from 2012-13 Hoops only cost $26.88, a low price for a unique card of a young player who could score enough points to make some All-Star Game appearances in the future.
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