One of the 23 copies of Michael Jordan’s first autographed relic card has sold for $2.7 million. It’s the most expensive Jordan item ever sold in the hobby according to Goldin Auctions, which facilitated the transaction through its new Private Sales Division.
The record-breaking card is an autographed 1997-98 Upper Deck Game Jersey Jordan, numbered 6/23. The card carries a swatch of Jordan jersey from the 1992 NBA All-Star Game and is graded BGS 8 with an 8 autograph grade.
Memorabilia cards were a new concept more than 20 years ago and Upper Deck utilized its exclusive contract with Jordan to create both game-used cards and a group of 23 hand-numbered cards that also included Jordan’s signature. Those 23 are among the most sought after modern era basketball cards today. In May of this year, Goldin sold another copy (#21/23) graded PSA 8/9 for $2.1 million at auction. In February, another ’97-98 Game Jersey Jordan (rated near mint 7 by PSA with an 8 autograph grade) sold for $1.44 million through Heritage Auctions.
The sale is the latest illustration of the explosive market for trading cards. As recently as 2014, a BGS 8.5/10 example of the card (#19/23) sold for $45,988, considered at the time to be an impressive price.
“Michael Jordan was one of the most pivotal athletes of all time,” said Goldin Founder and Executive Chairman Ken Goldin. “It makes sense that this card – and the innovative new designs and cards styles that it spawned in the industry – is one of the most pivotal in our hobby. Owning this card is like owning a sliver of MJ’s legacy and we were very proud that we were trusted with this record-breaking transaction.”
The name of the buyer and seller weren’t released.