One of the rarest Kobe Bryant cards in existence recently sold for $2 million, setting an all-time record for a Kobe card and placing it among the most-expensive basketball cards of all-time.
The card was a 1997-98 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems Emerald Kobe Bryant, and the deal was brokered by PWCC Marketplace. Why did this rare card command a record price?
The Emerald variations of the Precious Metal Gems issue are highly coveted, as there are only 10 of each issue in existence. While the Kobe card is numbered 004-of-100, there are only nine other Emerald versions (as the remaining 90 cards are the Red version and they aren't worth as much).
The card also holds historic significance because it changed the way that manufacturers approached “insert” cards that offer alternatives to the base player cards that are commonly found in packs.
“This is arguably Kobe’s best card in existence,” said Jesse Craig, the Director of Business Development at PWCC. “It’s more desirable than even a Kobe Bryant rookie card or a Kobe Bryant autograph. The grade on this is also the highest that exists, with only one other BGS 8.5 in the world.
"These Precious Metal Gems variants are arguably the most desired insert card in the entire world. These set the tone for the insert market going forward. It’s just incredibly difficult to find them in any condition, and because of their delicate nature, to find one in such good condition is incredibly rare."