Unique LeBron James rookie card could fetch $200,000
The world's rarest LeBron James basketball card could fetch a six-figure sum in an online trading card sale next month.
Goldin Auctions in New Jersey is offering a one-of-a-kind 2003 LeBron James rookie card, from the Upper Deck Ultimate Collection brand, featuring James' autograph and an NBA patch from his jersey.
Having been pulled from a pack by a lucky collector in 2003, the card now comes to auction for the first time in PSA MINT 9 condition, and is estimated to sell for more than $200,000.
"It's sorta like finding Willy Wonka's golden ticket," auctioneer Ken Goldin told Cleveland.com. "It really is the Holy Grail of modern trading cards."
LeBron James remains the most famous player of his generation, a three-time NBA Champion, four-time NBA MVP and twelve-time All-Star who has played the roles of both local hero and national villain during his career.
(Images: Goldin Auctions)
He led the Cleveland Cavaliers to their very first NBA championship earlier this year, having returned to the team in 2014 after winning two titles with the Miami Heat. But despite his on-court heroics, Goldin believes the card is more valuable than any of James' game-worn gear.
"If you had the jersey he wore in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, this card is worth more," he said.
"It's highly unusual to see a modern card like this to sell so high. A lot of these type of cards end up going to high-end buyers who want to have the best collections."
In comparison to the unique card, copies of 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie card have been known to sell for up to $100,000 at auction in recent years.
The auction record for any basketball card was set in 2015, when a 1948 Bowman rookie card featuring George Mikan, "the pioneer of Modern Age basketball", sold at SCP Auctions for $403,664.
Further major highlights from the Goldin Auctions Great American Trading Card sale include the finest-known copy of the legendary T-206 Honus Wagner baseball card, valued at around $5 million, and a copy of the iconic 1952 Topps Mickey mantle rookie card.
Bidding in the online sale in now open, and closes on October 1.