The Chicago Bulls legend’s 1997-98 Precious Metal Gems (PMG) Green card is one of only 10 ever made, according to the Chicago Tribune. This particular card is one of only three believed by experts to be in circulation. It is also the only card to be authenticated by the Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) service.
“We call it a ‘Holy Grail’ because it’s so scarce and so desired that you just frankly never see it,” Brent Huigens, CEO of PWCC Marketplace, which handled the auction on behalf of a private owner, told the paper.
The final two minutes saw a surge in bidding that increased the price of the rare card by nearly $150,000, the Tribune reported.
While important pieces of Jordan memorabilia, such as game-worn shoes and jerseys, have sold for staggering prices, the amount scored for the card is “unprecedented,” Rich Mueller, editor of Sports Collectors Daily, told the paper.
“I believe it’s the highest-selling Jordan card of all time,” he said.
Jordan rookie cards that are rated PSA 10, which is gem mint-condition, typically sell for $20,000 to $25,000, Mueller said.
PSA President Steve Sloan confirmed to the paper that the Jordan card is the third-highest public auction sale for a basketball card. It stands behind a mint-condition 1969 Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) rookie card by Topps ($501,900), and a 1948 George Mikan rookie card by Bowman ($403, 664).
Sloan and Mueller agreed that Jordan nostalgia -- referring to his legendary career with the Chicago Bulls -- played a part in the rare card’s remarkable price.