It wasn’t just sports memorabilia, but that category had a lot to do with a history making year for Heritage Auctions. The Dallas-based company says its 2021 sales totaled $1.4 billion.
It’s the first time in the company’s 45-year history that it surpassed the ten- figure mark.
The number includes sales across all of Heritage’s 40 categories including everything from trading cards to coins, luxury real estate and rare art. Heritage Sports had nearly $200 million in total sales.
The company added more than 270,000 names to its customer base in 2021, expanding to more than 1.5 million people worldwide. They are also younger than ever, as 37% of first-time bidders in 2021 were millennials, a marked increase over last year.
Heritage began 2021 by selling the world’s first million-dollar Michael Jordan card ($1,440,000); then three months later sold the only known Jordan game-worn University of North Carolina jersey photo-matched to his “Player of the Year” season for $1,380,000, making it the most expensive Michael Jordan jersey ever sold.
It was a private sale that copped headlines in May when one of two PSA 10 copies of Wayne Gretzky’s 1979 O-Pee-Chee rookie card sold for a record $3.75 million. Heritage also sold two 1909 Honus Wagner T206 cards for more than $2.2 million each. In between, Heritage Sports notched $42 million in sales during just one month.
Trading Card Games — which counts among its offerings Pokémon, Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh! — accounted for over $11.6 million in 2021.
“Heritage is built by collectors and for collectors,” says Heritage Auctions CEO and co-founder Steve Ivy. “Even when we are talking about serious money, the passionate pursuit of a collector is still a pursuit of fun.”
Heritage also sold the four most expensive U.S. Coins in its history, beginning with the finest-known 1787 New York-Style Brasher Doubloon that fetched over $9.3 million in January.