Someone wanted this one really bad.
PWCC Marketplace announced Monday that it had brokered the private sale of a BGS 9 (mint) 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite Jersey Patch Parallel autographed card of LeBron James for $5.2 million. The price not only makes it the most valuable basketball card ever sold, but ties it with a PSA 9 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle for the most expensive sports card ever sold.
According to the Director of Business Development Jesse Craig, the card and the seller were located in Europe. PWCC rep Landon Bailey flew to the United Kingdom to facilitate the transaction.
Of the 21 LeBron patch parallels numbered to 23 on the BGS Population Report, just four 9s exist with two higher at 9.5. The card sold through PWCC is the best of the four 9s based on subgrades. It’s numbered 7/23.
One of the 9.5s sold through Goldin Auctions last July for $1.8 million, which at the time set a record for the most expensive basketball card, so the most recent sale marks a mammoth price hike for the card. Craig believes if one of the two 8.5s were to come on the market again, it would bring $7.5 – $8 million.
“The reason for value increase is there are only 23 of these in the world and most aren’t willing to part ways with them,” Craig told SC Daily. “So it’s a supply and demand issue. We had a buyer that really wanted one and a card that is very difficult to locate.”
Over the weekend, Goldin sold a base LeBron Exquisite RPA numbered to 99 for $1.7 million.
“Rarity is winning the day,” Craig stated. “These are basically fine art pieces and they are finally getting that recognition they have long deserved.”
The names of the buyer and seller involved in the most recent transaction haven’t been released. Actor/entrepreneur Rob Gough bought the PSA 9 Mantle card in another private deal a few months ago.