A Luka Doncic basketball card just sold for 4.6 million dollars over the weekend, which makes it the most expensive sale for a sports card in history. It is an extremely significant deal. The card itself was purchased by collector Nick Fiorella.
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There was also an article by James Dator of SB Nation, who explained why exactly this card is some valuable. It would make sense that a card of one of the best young players in the league would be valuable, but here’s why it was with 4.6 million.
The card is 2018-19 National Treasures Luka Doncic rookie card Auto Logoman 1/1. If all of that reads like another language, I’ll break it down.
- 2018/19 National Treasures is the absolute premium set for card collectors. A single pack of 10 cards in a box, boasting some of the rarest cards in the collecting hobby. It’s impossible to find a single box at MSRP in the wild, but 2019/20 packs routinely sell for $4,500 or more on the secondary market.
- Luka Doncic rookie card, really speaks for itself here. It’s the first time NBA cards were available of the Mavericks star.
- Auto means that the card is signed. This is a signature obtained prior to release. It’s not like someone found Luka and had him sign the card, but rather that he signed for Panini (who produces the set) and they put the signed card in a pack.
- Logoman refers to a jersey patch embedded in the card. In this case the card has the NBA logo. Logoman cards are the rarest of the rare, and automatically cause a card to skyrocket in value — regardless of the player.
- 1/1 (1-of-1) means there is only one card of this type in existence. It will never be produced again. Nobody will ever have another copy of this specific card.
This might seem ridiculous if you’ve been out of the sports card game for a while, but the hobby has been leading up to a moment like this. The price of sports cards has gone wild in recent years, with the market being treated like a secondary stock market. Instead of the simple cardboard cards, or the odd holo or refractor kids might have collected in the 90s, companies now turn cards into rare, elaborate works of art — complete with their own embedded memorabilia to make them special.
It is crazy that an item such as this would be 4.6 million dollars but as Dator mentions, the sports cards are an investment for the future. The sale of this card just heightens the hype around sports cards, and it is possible that we may see sales that eclipse this in the future.