The most significant basketball cards from the 1990s may not necessarily reflect the best moments of basketball. The most valuable items from a collector’s perspective are often their rookie cards. Therefore, to find this decade’s top cards, you’ll need to look for players who made their debut in the 1990s.
While Michael Jordan might have dominated the 90s, his popularity is trumped by the man who has gone with Kobe Bryant to dominate the 2000s. Bryant won 5 championships in his rookie season of 1996.
So, just like Michael Jordan, who achieved his greatest success after he debuted, Bryant has won 5 NBA titles in the 2000s. And just like MJ, his favorite cards date back to his rookie year.
Kobe Bryant Most Valuable Card from the 1990s
Chrome Refractor 1996 Topps
A card whose value has skyrocketed since the tragic day in early 2020. Get a grade 10 for more than $100,000 if you wish to own one in its flawless condition. Very few people have that kind of cash in their bankroll.
Do not worry, you can buy one of the base cards (non-refractors). You will still spend thousands but you may not need to refinance the house to buy one!
Finest Refractor for Gold in 1996
This card seems to have shot up in value recently. As an example, a grade 10 cleared nearly $70,00 on eBay in February 2020. Wow. A lower grade version is even more affordable, with 9s going for around $20,000 and 8.5s below $10,000. In this card, Kobe is taken over the back and slam dunk over solid gold edge stock.
Most Valuable Basketball Cards During the 1990’s(Non-Kobe)
In the event we didn’t cut Kobe Bryant at 2, we would have a list packed full of Kobe cards. So let’s see who’s out there!
1997 Michael Jordan Upper Deck Game Jersey
An UNGRADED card recently achieved $50,000 in value. Unbelievable. Another testament to the power of Michael Jordan. Aside from value, it offers plenty of eye appeal. A game-worn jersey? You’ve got one. An autograph? You’ve got one. It’s a real gem.
1996 Allen Iverson Topps Chrome Refractor
Unlike Kobe’s card from the same set, this card doesn’t show an athletic move towards the hoop. It just shows one of Iverson’s talents: beating up opponents and scoring points. MSRPs are floating in the $25,000 price range.
1997 Chrome and Refractor Cards, Topps Tim Duncan
Another top rookie who went on to win five championships in the following decades. Those are five great reasons why this card is valued at around $15,000 when graded at 10.
1992 Shaq Bean Stadium Club Team
When it comes to Shaq rookie cards, the one next to this one is a strong contender. As for value, the card could be worth upwards of $10,000 if it is in great condition. Kobe cards are a far cry from the ones we mentioned earlier but are still worth consideration.
Metal Universe 1997 Metal Cards 1990s Most Valuable 1997
It’s the sort of set that people pay a ton of money for, which is the reason we have it placed in its own category. For example, the Michael Jordan Precious Metal Gems Red card went for north of $150,000 in 2020.
We could have included this set as well, but it completely dominates our little list of MONSTER cards. Hence, it is a nice little reminder. Perhaps we’ll include a full review later since it is highly sought-after.
What are the best investment strategies for Most Valuable Basketball Cards in the 1990s?
Short (1 year or less)
Sure, you can make a small percentage gain short term but we tend to focus on a larger picture with iconic players. If you are going short, make sure you have your spot picked. 7/10
Medium (1 Year to 5 years)
As we discussed just now, iconic sports cards deserve some time to mature. In the past five years, sports cards have seen tremendous growth and many of them will see significant gains. It is safe to say that will make some investors very happy.
Long (5 years plus)
We don’t generally think long-term until it’s cards like these, but their faces will ring out for generations to come. Even if the market plummets, it will likely bounce back BIG time. Sometimes the best gains are achieved by being patient! 10/10