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This rare Michael Jordan trading card just set an eBay record, auctioneer says

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A rare 1997 Michael Jordan NBA trading card has set a record as the most expensive basketball card ever sold on eBay, according to the national online sports card auctioneer that put the card up for bid.

Michael Jordan Sports Card screen grab.JPG
A rare 1997 Michael Jordan NBA trading card set a record on Wednesday night, Feb. 20, 2019, as the most expensive basketball card ever sold on eBay, according to the national sports card auction house that put the collectible out for bid a week ago. Only 10 of the cards were produced, seller PWCC said in a news release. Screen grab of Michael Jordan basketball card eBay site

“In the world of trading cards, this is a ‘true holy grail’ caliber asset, Brent Huigens, CEO of PWCC said in a news release by eBay on Thursday.

The winning bid for the 1997 Precious Metal Gems Michael Jordan Green card? $350,100, according to its bidding site on eBay.

“Most advanced investors have never seen one before, and this was the first copy we’ve handled in 20 years,” Huigens said.

Only 10 of the Green cards were produced, according to PWCC.

The cards were inserted into Skybox’s Metal Universe packs, The Chicago Tribune reported. The card on eBay was No. 6 and among “only three PMG Greens known by experts to have been graded by the Professional Sports Authenticator service,” according to the Tribune.

Michael Jordan Holy Grail Sports Card.jpg
Courtesy of PWCC

Major sports collectible websites including Sports Collectors Daily and Beckett.com also reported the sale.

The auction drew 22 bidders who entered 130 bids over seven days, according to the card’s eBay bidding site. Only three bidders remained past the $150,000 mark. Bidding ended at 11:09 p.m. Wednesday, according to the site.

“The auction was limited to pre-authorized buyers, and the payment was finalized today,” an eBay representative told the Observer in an email Thursday night. “... the card is being sent to attention of the winning bidder.”

PWCC and eBay are not releasing the winning bidder’s name.

“It’s a cherished card if you’re a Jordan collector,” Bob Williams, owner of the AAA Collectibles Inc. sports card store in Matthews told The Charlotte Observer in an interview Thursday.

Williams, however, said the winning bid “surprises me” given that the eBay auction site lists the card as “altered.”

Asked by the Observer about the alteration, the eBay representative said in her email to the Observer: “The card’s right edge exhibits more wear than any other side of the card. The PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator) assessed the card to be altered due the disproportionate damage along that edge.

“While PWCC respects the authority and decision of PSA, we disagree in the assessment of the card and do not believe the card to be altered by any classical means of alteration (trimming or recoloring the card).”

The sale “also set a record for modern (post ‘90’s) basketball cards and highest price paid for the Jordan 1986-87 Fleer rookie cards,” according to eBay’s news release. “Plus, this card has just ten total copies and is considered to be one of the rarest cards out there.”

Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.
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