The Best Michael Jordan Cards: Guide & Advice 

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Michael Jordan cards have been hit by massive volatility in recent years, culminating in hype that saw ​​two 1986 Fleer PSA 10s sold for a record $738,000 each via Goldin Auctions in January 2021. 

It was predicted that their price could rise to over $1m. Instead they crashed to $200,000 in the weeks that followed. As of November 2022, the most recent sale price was for $191,563.

Prices appear to have stabilised over the past 12 months, so here’s a rundown with the best Michael Jordan cards that money can buy. 

The Best Michael Jordan Cards Ever 

Any piece of MJ merch released during his playing career is likely to sell for a large sum. Especially if it has been graded by the likes of PSA or BGS. 

We’ve come up with a list containing five great options that have attracted a lot of interest in recent months. 

5. 1985-86 Star All-Rookie Team Michael Jordan RC #2 (eBay)

The first card to make the list is an XRC (eXtended Rookie Card), and one of the earliest to feature the focus of The Last Dance

The 1985-86 Star Rookie is one of a number of early Jordan collectibles released by the company between 1984 to 1986. It includes a red-framed #101, a blue-framed Rookie of the Year (#288) and an Olympic team (#195) card. 

Historically they’ve been disregarded in favour of the famous 1986 Fleer, but it’s a solid collection that is far cheaper.

4. 1986 Fleer Sticker Michael Jordan RC #8 (eBay)

The 1986 Fleer sticker is another viable option for fans who are looking for a cheaper Jordan RC. 

Fleer released a sticker set to accompany their cards in 1986, including Jordan in an action shot as he dribbled along the court. There aren’t many collectors who would prefer a sticker over a card, so it plays second fiddle to the sturdier alternative. 

However, it started to gain popularity as the price of the Fleer card rose rapidly, even if it’s a slightly less prestigious option.

3. 2001 Upper Deck Legends Michael Jordan/Kobe Bryant RC #57 (eBay)

This 2001 Upper Deck Legends dual patch auto is definitely worthy of a spot on the list. 

As well as MJ, Kobe Bryant makes an appearance on the ‘Legendary Jerseys Autographs’ card, doubling the star power for anyone interested in the rarest basketball collectibles. 

There’s an unsigned silver backed version, while the Gold card seen above is limited to just 10 copies. 

It might have been released after the turn of the century, but it’s still one of the most valuable when looking at graded copies. 

2. 1998 Fleer Classic ’61 Michael Jordan /61 #142 (eBay)

The late 1990’s saw the release of a number of rare Michael Jordan cards, including the 1998 Fleer Classic. 

An understated option, it uses the legendary 1961-62 Fleer basketball card design, with the added bonus of being limited to just 61 copies. 

(There’s also another version of the 1998 Fleer ’61, with no sign of the serial number found on the reverse.) This card is especially difficult to locate on the market. It’s no surprise given the tiny print run.

1. 1986 Fleer Basketball Michael Jordan RC #57 (eBay)

The 1986 Fleer RC is one of the most popular base cards ever created. It’s also the most coveted Michael Jordan collectible by a wide margin. 

Prices have fluctuated wildly in the past, and are currently in the $200,000 range. (PSA notes the last sale of a gem mint card was for $191,563.) This is down roughly $100,000 from last year.

PWCC Marketplace reported the record sale for a PSA 10 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie card was $840,000 in July 2021.  

To give some idea of the scarcity, there are currently 323 Michael Jordan rookie cards that have earned a 10 grade according to PSA’s Population Report. 

The Best Michael Jordan Cards: Buyers Guide 

Graded Jordan rookie cards are a decent value proposition at the moment. That’s as long as you’re aware that they can fall in price as well as rise

A number of investors were caught out by pure FOMO during lockdown. Prices increased to unprecedented levels at a rapid rate. The bubble appears to have burst to an extent, although Michael Jordan cards are still far more expensive than they were a decade ago. 

Jordan collectibles from the late 1980’s are often underrated, and could be some of the best cheap options overall. However, the average graded Jordan card released during his early career is still going to be relatively expensive compared to any others, due to his enduring legacy. Also, be wary of any fakes or forgeries, especially if you’re looking at the famous 1986 Fleer RC.

Even Jordan sneakers can sell for massive amounts, never mind his best ever cards.

The best MJ investment card is still the 1986 Fleer RC, even if the bubble has burst in recent months. The most recent sale is over 50% less than the ATH, so it’s a great time to buy. However, it’s not ideal for those who purchased the card as an investment at the peak. 

Anything with a serial number and a signature is also sure to be popular with collectors. If in doubt, stick with parallels.

Frequently Asked Questions About Michael Jordan Rookie Cards

  1. How many Jordan rookie cards exist? The most recognized Michael Jordan rookie card is from the 1986-87 Fleer basketball set. However, there are multiple variations and subsets within this set, such as the regular base card, stickers, and the coveted Fleer Basketball All-Star card. The exact number of Jordan rookie cards in existence is difficult to determine, but it is estimated that there are thousands of them available.
  2. Are any Michael Jordan cards worth money? Yes, many Michael Jordan cards hold significant value. His rookie cards, especially those in good condition, are highly sought after by collectors and can command substantial prices. Additionally, cards from later years, including autographed or limited-edition inserts, can also hold considerable value.
  3. What was Michael Jordan’s rookie card? Michael Jordan’s most iconic rookie card is from the 1986-87 Fleer basketball set. This card features a young Jordan in his Chicago Bulls uniform and is widely considered one of the most valuable and desirable basketball cards of all time.
  4. What is a Jordan rookie card worth? The value of a Michael Jordan rookie card can vary greatly depending on its condition, rarity, and market demand. A graded, high-quality 1986-87 Fleer Jordan rookie card can be worth thousands, potentially even reaching six figures for exceptionally rare or pristine examples. However, ungraded cards or those in lesser condition may have lower values.
  5. Will Michael Jordan cards go up in value? While it is challenging to predict the future of the market with certainty, Michael Jordan cards have consistently shown strong value appreciation over the years. Jordan’s status as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, coupled with his worldwide fame and ongoing influence on the sport, suggests that his cards may continue to rise in value over time.

Final Thoughts

You’re getting a lot more bang for your buck if you’re on the market for MJ cards in the latter stages of 2022. Prices also seem to be recovering in the meantime, which is good news for potential sellers. With high-value items, we’d stick to reputable eBay sellers and graded copies if you’re looking online.  

It might take a long time to reach the $1m mark, but you can never say never with a collectible like the Jordan RC. From the popularity of the Air Jordan brand to his legacy on the court, he’s still unmatched for many fans. It’s unlikely to happen anytime soon given the number of PSA 10 graded copies on the market. (There are 323 the last time we checked.)

Michael Jordan, the basketball icon and global phenomenon, continues to be a driving force in the trading card market. With his unmatched talent, numerous accolades, and a legendary career, Michael Jordan cards hold a special place in the hearts of collectors and fans worldwide. In this article, we’ll delve into the allure of Michael Jordan cards and explore why they remain highly sought after.

One of the primary factors that make Michael Jordan cards so valuable is his status as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Jordan’s electrifying playing style, six NBA championships, and countless individual achievements have cemented his legacy as an icon of the sport. Collectors covet his cards as a way to capture the essence of his greatness and own a piece of basketball history.

Another key aspect that adds to the allure of Michael Jordan cards is their scarcity. Due to their age and limited production numbers, finding pristine, well-preserved Jordan cards from his playing career can be a challenging task. This scarcity drives up their value, making them highly sought after by collectors who recognize their rarity and historical significance.

Furthermore, Michael Jordan’s transcendent fame extends far beyond the basketball court. His impact on popular culture and global recognition have elevated the desirability of his cards. From his signature slam dunks to his iconic Air Jordan sneakers, Jordan’s influence spans generations, attracting collectors from all walks of life who admire his athletic prowess and cultural impact.

It’s important to consider various factors when collecting Michael Jordan cards, such as the card’s condition, edition, and specific design variations. Cards from his rookie year, such as the 1986 Fleer rookie card, hold significant value and are often regarded as crown jewels of basketball card collecting.

In conclusion, Michael Jordan cards represent the epitome of basketball card collecting. With his unrivaled talent, remarkable achievements, and enduring legacy, Jordan has become a timeless figure in sports history. Collecting his cards allows fans and collectors to celebrate his greatness, preserve a piece of basketball nostalgia, and participate in a thriving market that continues to elevate his cards’ value. Whether you’re a passionate collector or an avid basketball enthusiast, owning a Michael Jordan card is a testament to his lasting impact and an investment in one of the most iconic figures in sports.

Published by James Milin-Ashmore

Journalism gradate, freelance writer. Sports, tech, online security, collectibles.

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