Here's the complete list of the forty most expensive football cards. Each short summary gives a brief explanation of the history of the card, what makes it so valuable, and is accompanied by a look at the card itself.
Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Jim Brown, Bronco Nagurski, and Bart Starr are just several of the football greats that reside on this list of cardboard rarities. And their continued popularity and demand prove that football cards still do hold great value.
In light of all this, perhaps it comes as no surprise that interest in the NFL trading card market has remained strong. From the earliest days of the American Professional Football Association to the modern era, here are the most expensive football cards, which embrace the entire history of the NFL.
Thankfully, parallels are very straightforward: they are colored variations of the base card. In holofoil cards, they look like the common base version of the card, except they have colored borders. There are various colors of parallels, and some are rarer than others. Often they are numbered.
What should you even be looking for Here are some cards carefully selected based on demand, age, design appeal, and expected ROI. So helmets on, because we're about to snap on the best football card investments.
Panini has several NFL football card lines, including National Treasure, Prizm, Donruss Optic, and Select. The National Treasures cards are exceptionally popular with football card collectors. They're loaded with premium material, including patches and other memorabilia pieces.
A 2020 National Treasures card pack carries a total of 100 cards. A hobby box will provide you with four autograph cards, one base or parallel card, four relic cards, and a printing plate. The relics are National Treasures' standout memorabilia cards, which feature larger jersey patches than other brands and may include other game artifacts like football fragments.
Panini's Prizm cards are somewhat similar to National Treasures cards in design and material, though they're flashier than the serious looking NT cards. These colorful, foil-finished cards also have a loaded lineup of vibrant refractors, autographs, and Rookie Premiere cards, which feature the top rookies from the NFL draft class. The 2022 Prizm set contains 270 cards, broken into packs of 12. The print runs of the 38 parallels range from 199 cards to ultra-rare singletons, but even the base cards tend to be valued and admired in the hobby.
Recently, Prizm cards have carried the highest number of football rookies. While many sets contain 200 cards with 100 rookies, Prizm sets tend to be larger. Their 2021 set held 440 cards and 110 were rookies. If you're trying to get more fresh blood into your collection, Prizm may be the best pack for you.
If you're looking for the best value on Panini NFL football cards, then Select is your best bet. These cards are divided into four sections, each with a different design and rarity level. Concourse is the most common, followed by Premier Level, Club Level, and Field Level.
Donruss Optic Holos, the refractor parallels of this line, can even be more valuable than Silver Prizm cards because they're rarer and have smaller print runs. While they trail behind National Treasures in terms of premium cards, Donruss Optic football cards are a great option for those on a tight budget who can't do without their fantasy football card collection.
Every year, football card brands come out with a handful of their best card sets. Whether you're on the lookout for a specific parallel or player, or you're hoping to build a varied collection, there are packs for every collector. Here are the best football card packs to buy in 2023.
The 2022 Panini Absolute pack holds a wealth of potential in parallels and rare cards. The 200-card set is split evenly between veterans and rookies, and. Absolute includes some of Panini's most creative cards, like the Tools of the Trade cards that include multiple pieces of memorabilia, and Historical Duals, which feature two players in celebration of an impressive collaboration.
The set also features several parallels, like Silver and Snakeskin Prizms, up to 199 Blue Waves, and a one-of-a-kind Black Finite. Some of these rare parallels soared in value in just a couple of years. Joe Burrow's 2020 Gold Prizm RC #307, for instance, sold for $29,000 in January 2022. But the scarcity and appeal of these cards make them worth holding onto for higher values later on.
2017 Panini Prizm football card packs feature Patrick Mahomes's most popular RCs. Since the pack's first release, the QB's Super Bowl exploits have caused prices to rise rapidly. If you want to invest in a football card with a high expected ROI, then this is your best bet.
People pay a lot for rare cards, but the biggest names are better buys than obscure players. Everyone loves an underdog, but they have to know who they're rooting for or adding to their collections. Since popular players are household names, their cards are relatively easy to sell.
With one of the strongest and most accurate arms in the NFL (according to the geeks at ESPN's Sports Science, at least), it's no wonder that Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen continues to rank high on the wishlists of football card collectors. After his 2020 breakout season of leading the Bills to their first division title since 1991, he repeated the feat for the following two seasons and locked in more records and recognition than we can tally up here.
This could be the perfect time to snap up some Brock Purdy rookie cards before the prices skyrocket. His Panini Mosaic rookie card isn't hard to find, but the rainbow of parallels gives you a shot at scoring something rare and valuable. The Mosaic Green, for example, ranges in price from $159 to $400, while the Mosaic Base is more affordable at $40 to $51.
The 2000 Tom Brady SP Authentic Rookie Card #118 is an outlier among the best football cards to buy, and a great long-term hold. The younger quarterbacks on this list grew up watching and idolizing Brady, so it makes sense that his rookie cards are still highly valued.
Another significant investment is Patrick Mahomes's 2017 National Treasures NFL Shield autographed rookie card. This one-of-a-kind card is the most expensive football card sold to date. In July 2021, the card sold for a whopping $4.3 million on PWCC Marketplace.
I wish I would have taken a little more time to understand which ones were the more popular sets, which ones I should be focusing on, which ones were undervalued, which ones are overvalued. To make it simple and just kind of give you a real quick version of this, in basketball and football Panini Prizm is king! That's kind of the most sought-after brand. Other popular sets in those sports are Select, Optic, and Mosaic. Of course baseball has Topps and Bowmen. Of course there are different particular sets within those cards that you can check out but those are kind of the most popular ones to kind of stick with. Again do some research, take a little bit of time, understand which cards are the most popular in particular brands.
When buying individual cards of specific players, I think you maximize your financial resources by doing that. Going after the individual cards of specific players that you were looking for. Let's say you buy the 2020 football Panini Prizm hobby box right. You get 144 cards. It's a $1,050 or somewhere around there. You're going to get a bunch of players that you don't want. But let's say Justin Herbert's your guy and you want to go out and buy his Prizm football card and they're right about $130 - $150. I mean you can buy six of them right now if you do your research on it make sure they're centered, make sure they don't have any issues. You can buy six of those for that same exact price. Maybe you get three PSA 10s out of there. Those are going to be selling for $500 at least. I mean I think you have more of a shotgun approach to that as opposed to just a machine gun where you're just spraying and hoping you get a bunch, that's the hobby box way.
They've got a nice little portal there. All you have to do is go in and tell them what you want to sell for. It's so easy. Don't waste your time selling raw cards, it's a big hassle unless it's a big-time card that you can get some good money for. If there's cards that are a dollar, send them off to COMC. So you let them deal with it.
Hank Aaron SIDE B was recently publicly discovered and disclosed. Incredible such a rare card made it into circulation. Probably rarer than Frank Thomas NO NAME ON CARD and even Hank Aaron Rookie Cards.
Football is one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world and certainly the most frequently watched in America. The long heritage of collectable football cards begins in 1888 and continues to today where the greatest and most valued players are giving their own immortal collectibles to complement their fame.
Some of the biggest names in football adorn the most valuable cards that money can buy. This list includes both cards that are valued high and those that have sold for record amounts. Continue reading to learn more about the 8 most expensive football cards.
In the world of consecutive powerhouse running backs, Jim Brown is one of the best in the whole sport. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971 for Canton, Ohio. But this Topps football card starts way before that. Card #62 is from 1958 and shows Brown at his absolute prime.
Bronko Nagurski is one of the legendary recognizable superstars in football. This card from 1935 displays the epic runner in his days before he was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1963. Out of the 36 cards in this vintage set, many are rare. #34 being a card that can sell for $750,000 makes it even more impossible.
Tom Brady played the first 20 seasons of what would become a legendary career with the New England Patriots, to which he contributed to one of the winningest periods for any team