$12,500 Sale of Michael Jordan Rookie Card Sets New Record

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PWCC. Pictured: Michael Jordan PSA 9 Rookie Card

Boosted by the popularity of ESPN’s documentary “The Last Dance,” sales of Jordan’s 1986-87 rookie card have reached fever pitch.

Over the past couple of days, records have been broken at almost every level of condition.

The most coveted grader — which takes a card, authenticates it and grades it 1 through 10 — is a company named PSA.

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PSA says it has graded 18,859 Michael Jordan 1986-87 Fleer rookies (Card No. 57). There are 312 graded at 10, which are now selling for $40,000 to $50,000. Robert Edward Auctions broke the record for a gem mint PSA 10 on Sunday, after it sold for $51,600.

PSA 10’s are now returning 10 times their investment over a 15-year horizon (these were cards that were selling for $5,000 in 2005).

But the story of the rise in demand for MJ’s rookie card is better be seen through the PSA 9s, which are now returning 4-6 times the investment over six years.

There are 2,702 of them that have been graded, according to PSA’s population report.

In February, sales of PSA 9 Jordan rookies sold for an average of $7,460 on eBay. In March, the average sold price went up to $7,515, but at least two cards sold for more than $10,000 for the first time.

Fast forward to this month and the average price paid is $9,669. Four straight PSA 9s have been sold for more than $10,000 each, including a record for a PSA 9 of $11,285 on Monday.

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Another record was set on Tuesday night, as one PSA 9 sold for $12,500, a stunning 10.8% rise from the day before.

That’s a pretty good return for anyone who had the foresight to buy this card before 2013, when you could get it for less than $2,000.

Although Jordan’s rookie year is 1984-85, there was no general release of basketball cards until Fleer’s set in 1986-87. Jordan’s 1984-85 Star cards were available in Bulls sets, and the hobby does not consider it his official rookie card.


Michael Jordan Rookie Card Milestones: PSA 9

Year Amount
2014 $2,000
2015 $3,000
2017 $4,000
2018 $5,000
2019 $5,000
2019 $6,000
2020 $8,000
2020 $9,000
2020 $10,000
2020 $11,000
2020 $12,000
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