Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Precious Metal Gems

It would be accurate to say that I was most into cards in the late '90s. My collection right now is certainly better than it was then due to having some disposable income and the wonders of blog-to-blog trading, but in terms of my love for the hobby, the late '90s take the cake.

The one thing I missed out where crazy insert, like the ones going for big money nowadays that aged extremely well. Probably the most high-end cards I bought were Fleer Ultra, and I did pull some nice cards out of those. I remember pulling a few 1:36 cards and being pretty excited. This one comes to mind:
Image result for nick van exel ultra rising stars
Image from COMC
Definitely not a valuable card, but it was a decent insert at the time in a set that would be considered fairly tough.

What I did miss out on were the big time cards - notably inserts and parallels - that have absolutely skyrocketed in value since the late '90s. In fact, a Michael Jordan 1997-98 Precious Metal Gems card just sold for....$350,100! Read about it here if you missed it.
Image result for michael jordan precious metal gems
Image from Sports Collectors Daily
But I didn't completely miss the boat. In fact, around this time, I bought a Tino Martinez Precious Metal Gem of my own. I probably got it on the internet/message board for $20-25, but I don't remember the exact transaction. Still, it's not a card that pops up often, and it would cost me a lot more if I wanted it today.
Sure, I missed the boat on life-changing cards in the late '90s, but at least I was smart enough to grab one of my favorite player at the time. It's one of my most prized Tino cards, and is easily one of my rarest and most high-end cards.


  1. You definitely bought that Tino at the right time! I think most collector's that are in their mid 30's now, would say that the mid to late 90's was their favorite time to collect - not hard to imagine why, lots of variety, plenty of new innovations, and the biggie... there wasn't just two companies that were producing all of the cards!

  2. I can't believe how much some 90s basketball cards are selling for. I know the sport has quickly rised to become the number 2 sport, but that kind of money for the Jordan PMG is just ridiculous. Must be some deep pocket collectors out there.