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A quick lesson. On 03/03/2019, a PSA 10 Graded 1986 Michael Jordan Fleer Rookie Card sold for $15,995 via eBay Auctions.
Fast forward 11 months to 01/31/2021 when the same grade (PSA 10) and card (1986 Jordan Fleer RC) sold for… continue reading after Michael Jordan card #10 on this list.
The 1986 Michael Jordan Fleer rookie card made basketball cards “a thing,” and the valuation of his cards kept growing exponentially because his cards are the most sought-after of any roundball legend.
It comes with the territory when you’re the G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time), so let’s take a look at the best of the best in Michael Jordan basketball cards
#1. 1986 Fleer Basketball Michael Jordan Rookie Card #57
(WINNER: BEST OVERALL)
Without a doubt, the 86′ Jordan Fleer RC is the most iconic basketball card in history, and it’s just as relevant today as it was in 1998 when MJ played his final game as a member of the Chicago Bulls.
PSA Authentication and Grading Services, the industry’s leading card grading organization, has called the 1986 Jordan Rookie Card “the most recognizable basketball card and the most important modern card from any sport in the entire hobby.”
Most collectors and card experts are unaware that Jordan had already played two full NBA seasons before the iconic 1986 Fleer card was released.
First, finding a truly mint condition, the top-tier, flawless card, is tricky. The borders are notorious for being particularly susceptible to wear and tear and chipping.
It’s one thing to find a 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan, but it’s quite another to find one with four sharp and distinct corners. This card was also known for having significant issues with centering.
Earlier this year (2021), two of them, graded at the highest level possible, PSA 10, sold at auction for $738,000. Not bad for a card you might have been able to randomly pull from a pack for 50 cents back in the day.
#2. 1985 Prism Jewel Sticker Michael Jordan Rookie Card #7
(WINNER: BEST DESIGN)
One of the earliest Jordan cards out there, it even predates the legendary ’86 Fleer and leaves nothing on the table. Yes, it’s a scarce, stunning, unique find and comes with a very high price tag.
The 85′ Prism Jewel MJ rookie card has that it factor.
An extraordinarily unique design that commands the utmost attention and respect from its subject, much like Michael Jordan himself.
There are no Chicago Bulls insignia or denotations to speak of, and to be honest; the drawing doesn’t resemble His Airness very much.
In the 1985 Michael Jordan Prism Jewel rookie card, you genuinely have candy for the eyes
It takes on a cartoon feel which is unlike any other basketball card on the planet. The prism technology is eye-catching and beautiful at the same time. In the 1985 MJ Prism Jewel, you genuinely have candy for the eyes.
“Authentic Prism Jewel cards carry a lot of value,” said Eric Norton of Beckett Media. “It’s something that’s been duplicated and forged, so you’ve got to be careful on those.
#3. 1985 Nike Promo Michael Jordan Rookie Card (No Number)
Here you go, classic MJ at the time that his legend was preparing to take flight. It’s throwback Thursday every day that you look at this card, one that will cost you thousands to acquire.
It’s easy to see the appeal as this is both a photo and a design that gets back to the roots. First off, you’ve got the classic mid-air pose, with the legs spread to give the entire figure of Jordan in action a triangular shape of sorts.
This image inspired the Jumpman logo, and it’s far from the only iconic imagery present here. In the background, you have part of the Chicago skyline at dusk, with the then world’s tallest building, the Sears Tower (today known as Willis Tower), visible on the left.
You can faintly see the Standard Oil Building and the John Hancock Center too, but this image reminds just how much more the Chicago skyline/cityscape has been built up since then.
I think the 1985 MJ Nike Promo is my favorite MJ card of all time… Because I’m a sneakerhead and there’s so much going on there for sneakerheads, for basketball fans, for Jordan fans- it’s a really cool card. – Bernie Kosar
In the top left, the very first Air Jordan logo appears, preluding the start of the world’s most iconic sneaker brand. This one was reprinted and re-released in 1993 as part of a Nike ad series.
#4. 1987 Fleer Basketball Michael Jordan Basketball Card #59
The follow-up edition to the most critical basketball card of all time, this card is simple in its design, but the simplicity makes it unique.
The font is the super late ’80s, evoking the shoot them up to film “Robocop,” and the photo of His Airness reflects his extremely competitive, all-business, all the time approach.
PRO-TIP: When buying Michael Jordan high-valued basketball cards it’s OK to purchase lower graded cards i.e. down to a PSA 5.
It’s kind of funny to see him listed as “Guard-Forward,” though, as most of us remember him as two guards or shooting guard only.
Getting your hands on one of these will set you back a pretty penny. High-graded versions of this card go for the same price as a top-end, high-performance import luxury automobile.
#5. 1992 Michael Jordan Upper Deck International/French/Italian #23/#118
(WINNER: BEST Value/Budget)
Our 5th overall Michael Jordan basketball card pick may come as a surprise to some. Still, many old-timers will remember this one as many feel this is Michael Jordan’s top base card.
The 1992 Upper Deck Michael Jordan base card is truly a satisfying card at all points. It is an excellent value play for those looking to spend a little and get a lot.
The 1992 Upper Deck Michael Jordan card is not only one of the most popular of all his cards but, in our opinion, one of the best looking if not the best. The 1992 UD MJ base card has an effortless yet powerful presence. It somewhat reminds us of the classic 2011 Mike Trout Topps Update baseball card.
GOLD CARD PRO-TIP: The 1992 Michael Jordan Upper Deck basketball card may be looked at as one of the more undervalued basketball cards in the hobby 10 years from now (non-rookie).
#6. 1997 Michael Jordan Upper Deck Game Jerseys HOF Patch Auto #GJ13
One of the more essential and iconic issues on this list is the first Jordan card with a jersey patch. In the mid to late ’90s, we saw cardmakers adding little bells and whistles such as these, with Upper Deck often leading the way.
This 1997 card features a game-used jersey worn by Jordan during the NBA All-Star game five years earlier. Please make no mistake about it, the focus of this card is the cloth, and while Jordan is, of course, the star, it’s the patch that steals the show here.
#7. 1997 Michael Jordan Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems /10 #23
(WINNER: BEST HIGH-END)
Another offering from Skybox provides background art as eye-catching as the photo of the subject matter, Michael Jordan Metal Universe Precious Gems Green.
The first ten cards in this series of star players only had a green foil base, while the rest were red.
The 1997 Metal Universe Basketball was the first time the popular Precious Metal Gems cards made their debut. Breathtaking, to say the least, the cards also convey a sense of movement combined with rage.
The basketball MJ holds up appears to be leaving a vapor trail, possibly with some smoke and fire involved as well.
#8. 1997 Michael Jordan Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems PMG Red /90 #23
The red parallel to the card listed above is far superior, at least in my eyes, because this is the color synonymous with the Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls). Whenever you’ve seen a heroic image of Jordan in the Bull’s heyday, it typically has a red background like this. Plus the ROI is nice and juicy as well.
It’s also a deep, pure fire engine red, matching the #23 and the team font on the jersey. I actually prefer the MJ Precious Gems red over the green, but the difference between the value can quickly erase that.
This card was when Jordan peaked his powers, leading the 72-10 team to the first 70-win season in pro basketball history and the fifth of their six NBA titles. It’s a beautiful and rare card, but it’s worth the price of admission.
#9. 1991 Upper Deck Michael Jordan Baseball Card #SP1
(WINNER: BEST RETURN ON INVESTMENT)
Not only did we include one of the more popular Jordan cards of all time, but we also had the gall to place it within the top 10, clocking in at number nine.
The 1991 Michael Jordan Upper Deck Baseball Card is famous, but it has to be one of the more recognized trading cards on the planet.
We’re not saying it is close to equal footing with the behemoths such as the 1989 Ken Griffey Jr. Upper Deck RC and Honus Wagner T206. However, we would say it could be in the top 20 and certainly without a doubt in the top 50.
The 1991 Michael Jordan UD Baseball Card is thought to be one of the more popular cards on the planet, ranking right up there with 89 Griffey Jr. UD and the world’s most valuable card (if it was sold today) the Honus Wagner T206.
Also helping its cause is the scarcity of the card at PSA 10 grades, and to our knowledge, there is only ONE BGS 10 Black Lable (photo above).
According to people who track these things, you can expect to pull the 1991 Michael Jordan UD baseball card in one of three hobby boxes which are pretty rare for the Junk Wax days. So not only is it popular, but it’s scarce in particular at ultra-high grades.
Buy the 1991 Upper Deck Baseball Box on eBay.
Finally, the MJ UD baseball card made our illustrious top 10 due to the long-term, future return on investment (ROI).
We feel the notorious 1991 Jordan UD baseball card will only grow in popularity and become somewhat of a fanboy favorite. Load up on these bad boys while you still can because they are going back up.
#10. 1984 Star Company Michael Jordan Rookie Card #101
Some consider the 1984 Star Company Michael Jordan XRC #101 to be Jordan’s true RC as it’s his earliest basketball card. Distributed only at the home NBA arenas, the Star basketball card brand never took hold.
Still, this card will cost you a few grand if it’s in top condition and five figures if you can find a PSA 10.
This one comes in an all-red background, matching the photo, which conveys Jordan again in the red Bulls away shirt. There is also a Rookie of the Year (#288) and Team USA 1984 Summer Olympics (#195) variant.
Star was never mainstream like Fleer, so some consider it a lesser rookie card or not an actual mainstream basketball card.
We never truly bought into this and always have a soft spot for these types of cards in all sports.
CONTINUED…. a mind-blowing $738,000 via Goldin Auctions.
No, that is not a typo or made-up hype, although we wouldn’t blame you for thinking that way.
The PSA 10 graded Michael Jordan Fleer rookie card had a mind-blowing 46,000% ROI in 11 months between March of 2019 to January 2021.
Examples like these are what made us look into sports cards as a legitimate form of investing. Please note, in fairness, the 2/11/2021 sale was at the peak of “Jordan Mania” as the Jordan “Last Dance” ESPN documentary was just released.
Most recently, the 86′ MJ Fleer RC with a PSA 10 grade has sold for $270,000. But even if you went with today’s PSA 10 value, the ROI is still insane and superior to just about any other investment.
MJ is bigger than life and is a true living legend, possibly the most influential person on planet earth. If Michael Jordan’s basketball cards and, in particular, his rookie cards are not a part of your sports card investment portfolio, please correct this error immediately.
#11. 1997 Skybox Premium Star Rubies Michael Jordan Basketball Card #235
A minimal production run of just 50 cards means that this is pretty scarce and one that’s hard to find in mint condition due to the surface (based on foil) being rather sensitive.
However, the card stock is very thick and robust and supports a powerful and unique image.
Skybox was a brand that replaced background images behind the player photo with art, a concept that was pretty revolutionary back in the day.
The idea can be polarizing, and it all depends on the art with which the beauty is in the beholder’s eye. Related: Top Michael Jordan North Carolina Basketball Cards.
12. 1992 Michael Jordan Upper Deck Fanimation French International Version #506
“I am the Mike Jordan of recording,” states Jay-Z. The Rap genre is a medium that is based on bragging, boasting, and sh*t talking, so it only makes sense that rappers would reference His Airness, the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) in basketball, and we’ll never anyone like him again.
We also have great respect when a card company tries something new and it looks good. Much is the case with the 1992 Upper Deck Fanimation basketball card, bravo Upper Deck.
So here we have the most unique Michael Jordan basketball rookie card in his 1992 Upper Deck Fanimation French International card (also EXTREMELY RARE at high grades i.e. PSA 10, SGC 10).
Stunning, beautiful, a true work of art. Those words only mildly describe the magnificence nature of this Jordan card.
Upper Deck taking a risk and coming out great on the other side is nothing new as they have a knack for design.
In other words, the 1992 Upper Deck MJ French Fanimation has a ton going for it and it brings just about everything to the table.
Please note the standard version is numbered #506.
#13. 2003 Michael Jordan UD Exquisite Collection Limited Logos Patch Auto #AP-MJ
It’s a nice triptych layout, and design here as the three segments are all evenly distributed. The pleasant symmetry complements the outstanding balance in color.
This card does for black what the 1997 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems does for the color red.
The black alternate Bulls jerseys were sharp and underrated, and we didn’t see them until the dynasty days.
This card, part of the Upper Deck Exquisite Collection, is stellar enough to match those tank tops. With an autograph, jersey patch, silver seal, and an elite in action photo of Jordan, this is one card that has it all.
And it has it all in the right amount; it’s not too busy and not too sparse.
#14. 1997 Michael Jordan Metal Universe Championship Precious Metal Gems
A gorgeous card with a breathtaking photo of the Windy City in the backdrop, what a basketball town Chicago once was.
It conveys a sense of movement, and the ball MJ dunks the ball in his white Bulls jersey, a true masterpiece.
#15. 2000 Michael Jordan Ultimate Collection Signatures Gold Auto /25 #MJ-G
Much like the focus of the last two cards is the jersey patch, this one is all about the signature. It’s a very tastefully designed card, which features a stamped number at the right edge of the image area denoting the serial number.
There are only 25 of these cards in the entire world, so as you might expect, each one costs a boatload. The Jordan signatures appear in flawless blue ink against a white horizontal box in a clean look.
Overall, the card itself is immaculate, with a good balance of negative and positive space. If this issue were an outfit, it would be “put together well.” It’s easy to understand why there is such a premium to pay for this card.
#16. 1997 Michael Jordan UD3 Season Ticket Auto #MJ
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The UD3 Michael Jordan card is one of his more unique cards and comes complete with auto.
Just make sure you don’t give it to a ticket taker at the next Bulls home gam
#17. 2003 Michael Jordan Exquisite Collection Limited Logos #MJ
A very unconventional-looking card in that the primary focus is the jersey segment, and the secondary focus is the autograph.
It’s rare for a card to shift its focus away from the player himself, but that’s exactly what we have here.
This was the inaugural edition of the Exquisite Collection, a series that certainly evokes the high end of luxury, and this specific card accurately conveys all of that.
#18. 1997 Michael Jordan E-X2001 Jambalaya #6
As the name Jambalaya implies, this card brings a New Orleans feel and style.
You’ve got this wild, flashy oval design with some of the colors associated with NOLA. Does the wavy, foil background make it a standout? Or an eyesore?
Everyone’s opinion is different but you can’t deny it is one of the more popular Jordan cards and has been a great investment over the last 5 years.
Plus we can all agree that the “JAMBALAYA” basketball cards are scarce, and given that, they come at a premium price.
With an insert ratio of 1:720 packs, in a set of just 15, you need mad cheddar to get your hands on one of these cards. Of course, money can’t buy taste! Sorry, while I respect the value of this card, I find it unsightly.
#19. 1988 Fleer Sticker Michael Jordan Basketball Card #7
The 1988 MJ Fleer Sticker basketball card is no joke and one that the lucky viewer will never forget.
Jumps of the card and slaps you in the face with its distinctive design and unique layout. It overdoes it a bit with the stars.
But it looked fantastic in the late ’80s when you’re ten years old. ‘It also throws back to the time that Jordan was known for sticking his tongue out while in action; or the cameras often catching him at a time when his tongue was wagging.
Seriously, Millenials and younger don’t remember this. Still, it was a fundamental identifying trait of Jordan, the individual brand during the time that was an NBA superstar but hadn’t won an NBA title yet.
#20. 1996 SPX Michael Jordan Basketball Card #8
A very rare issue with a unique design. Typically, you don’t see a card with the middle sticking out well beyond the borders, as this one does, and with a round design.
We’re used to perfect rectangles, whether they’re horizontal or vertical. Another unique facet is the already rounded corners.
Just making the top 20 is the 1996 SPX Michael Jordan basketball card – action photo, yearbook style photo, autograph, this bad boy of a card pulls all of it together nicely.
Almost all cards have perfect 90-degree angle corners. If the fine point is gone, with the corners rounded, the value seriously diminishes, but in this case, that rule doesn’t apply.
It’s a lovely card to look at, though with the metallic background, the way that metal theme works in synchronicity with the holographic images in the back and the foreground image.
#21. 1998 Hoops Slam Bams Michael Jordan Basketball Card #1
An interesting issue because it features three main photos that all compete for the center of your attention. Jordan is pictured in the black alternate jersey in what appears to be grabbing a rebound.
You also have one moderately sized headshot and another, more oversized headshot in the background. It’s all a bit much, as it’s distracting, but the color scheme is savage. It’s a unique look with black and gold fusing together. Still, visual imagery gets lost in the lettering, as the font chosen isn’t so clear.
#22. 1998 Michael Jordan Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems /50 #1
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“In 1996, 97, 98, cards start getting numbered to 100 or less (per set),” said Beckett grading expert Eric Norton.
“And that’s where your huge value comes in like the Precious Metal Gems, there’s only a 100 of those, and you have to know whether the first ten are red or green- that carries a lot of weight.”
This issue is pretty remarkable in the way it’s captured Jordan’s visage- presumably making one of the game-winning shots in crunch time that his career was synonymous with.
The metallic theme background makes his moment of elevation seem even more majestic just before the release point.
You even have opposing defender Kenyon Martin of the Minnesota Timberwolves attempting, in total futility, to guard Jordan, which adds to the card’s glorious effect.
#23. 2005 Ultimate Collection All-Stars Michael Jordan AUTO /14 # ASMJ
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Serially numbered out of a set of just 14, these cards are rarified air, just like the legend and CV of His Airness himself. Horizontals are unique, but when they’re executed correctly, as this one is, they can make for a beautiful card. And this card does live up to its billing as the “Ultimate.”
The signature announces its arrival with authority. Plus, the hardwood imagery in the background merges with the Bull’s colors of red, black, and white perfectly. As you might expect, it’s pricey.
“Michael Jordan, specifically, is a great investment if you can afford him,” said Eric Norton of Beckett.
“He is who he is, and to me, that’s the greatest basketball player of all time, and his cards are not cheap.”
#24. 1998 SkyBox Thunder Noyz Boyz Michael Jordan #9
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Remember when pluralizing with a Z first started in the early 1990s?
Replacing an S with a Z first started in the early ’90s to denote something had street cred, and by the late ’90s, it was a mainstream corporate trend.
If you go to a Chicago Bulls home game at the United Center these days, you’ll find that the practice is omnipresent. The concept dominates the layout of this card, as it overshadows everything else about this issue.
Skybox was always known for constantly pushing the envelope since the beginning, and this card certainly does that. The orange hue evokes the hardwood, and it works well when juxtaposed with the black.
It’s not the most fabulous-looking card, in my opinion, but it’s not the worst either. And if you want a PSA 9 or 10, well, you might have to spend about $15,000-$20,000.
#25. 1986 Fleer Sticker Michael Jordan Rookie Card #8
If you have your heart set on a Jordan Fleer card from the 1986 set but don’t have the budget for the big one, there is always the Fleer sticker but we would advise against it.
This tough card to find is in top-tier condition and is still pricey for the average sports card investor. We feel the money you must have to purchase the 86′ Jordan Fleer RC #8 can be used better on another Jordan basketball card or a combo of MJ cards.
For example, instead of dropping $70,000 to $90,000 on a 86 Fleer Sticker, we would invest in the 1985 Prism Jewel and still have 20k or 30k to spend elsewhere.
Michael Jordan Rookie Year Stats (Mind-Blowing)
In just his first year Jordan averages 28.2 points per game to go along with 5.9 assists, and 6.5 rebounds. Let’s compare Michael Jordan’s rookie year stats to the modern-day greats in LeBron James and Luka Doncic’s rookie years.
LeBron James Rookie Year Stats: 79 games, 20.9 points per game, 5.9 assists, and 5.5 rebounds.
Luka Doncic Rookie Year Stats: 72 games, 21.2 points per game, 6.0 assists, and 7.8 rebounds.
Kings James is a noticeable number three in the above race. Luka has slightly better assists and rebounding numbers than MJ. However, Jordan blows Luka’s point per game average out of the water, leaving Michael the clear winner.
#26. 1987 Fleer Sticker Michael Jordan #2
Not as expensive as his card from this set, but very pricey nonetheless. If you have a high PSA graded version of this sticker, you can quickly sell it and get yourself a nice down payment on a house with it.
The red, white, and blue star-spangled design make it Independence Day or Flag Day every day. Still, the pandering to patriotism in the background comes with a price.
The lettering is way too tiny and hardly legible. Yes, this is Michael Jordan, so you know who you’re looking at without the title card, but this had to have been a massive problem for other players in the set.
#27. 1996 Metal Net-Rageous Michael Jordan Basketball Card #5
Another card, like the Noyz Boyz, in which the title of the card dominates everything else about it.
This is basically what would happen if you took the opening credits/logo for the late ’80s/early ’90s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and made it into a Michael Jordan card.
In my opinion, it’s hideous, but I am well aware that many feel the polar opposite in regards to this card.
That said, I do have a lot of respect for anything that truly defies convention, and you’ll never find another card with a shape as original and unique as this.
The die-cut metal makes it a great card to any purveyor of oddities, and like almost every other card on this list, it’ll set you back a bit if you want to get your hands on it.
#28. 1998 SP Authentic Sign Of The Times Gold Michael Jordan AUTO # MJ
This issue is undoubtedly among the most desired and essential early autographed cards. The 1998 SP production went with serial numbering their base cards to 3500, and they included a few highly special subsets. As a result, this specific Jordan basketball card is super rare at high grades and is priced accordingly.
“There are collectors out there who have been chasing Jordan for a long time,” said Norton. “And there are collectors who are just trying to get into chasing Jordan, and they’re probably priced out of the market already.
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“You got to have a lot of cash behind you to be able to collect Jordan in the way you would to invest.”
#29. 1992 Michael Jordan Fleer Total D Basketball Card #5
Nowhere near as expensive as most of the other cards on this list. It goes to show you how much undervalued defense is.
As the name “Total D” implies, it’s a card that showcases players in action on the defensive end of the court and that doesn’t sell tickets, as the cliche goes.
Fact: Not only was Jordan one of the best offensive threats the game has ever seen but he also played world-class defense and locked down the opponent’s best player over, and over, and over again.
The other side of the cliche is that “defense wins championships,” and that is something Jordan and the Bulls did. Defending doesn’t bring with it the flashy kind of statistics that playing offense does.
Hence, general interest in it is lower, but this is still a very aesthetically pleasing card, more so than some of the pricier cards on this list. It’s a bold design, unique, but it works.
#30. 1997 N.B.A. Hoops High Voltage 500 Michael Jordan card #HV14
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Another rare edition that took flight in price during “The Last Dance” is tough to find and comes at a premium in price.
It’s a bizarre card, though, as the background feels like it’s trying to mesmerize you. It’s a bit of an eyesore as the black and white swirl clashes with the foreground image.
Not only is the base imagery confusing, but the font is also hard to read, as the words and letters clutter together.
I don’t know some people must like it, though, because it’s a costly issue for a reason.
#31. 1997 Fleer Thrill Seekers Michael Jordan Card #7
Weird, different, but interesting. The swirling spirographs and the metallic imagery they denote are unique but not overtly so that it distracts you from the focus of the card/Jordan’s foreground image.
The X and Y axis lines in the card coalesce with the spirographs to make you think you’re back in high school geometry class. But it does provide a nice quasi-3D effect as if His Airness is coming out of the card at you, but the “Thrill Seekers” moniker is a little busy and hard to read.
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There was probably a better way to execute that, but then again, who am I to argue with a card that might cost you ten grand to get your hands on.
#32. 1996 Flair Showcase Legacy Collection Row 0 /150 Michael Jordan Card #23
“The Flair Legacy Showcase, Row is what you’re looking for,” said Eric Norton of Beckett. “Anything from that era, Michael Jordan, numbered 100 or less- that’s a hard pull and a lot of money on the secondary market.
“Just had one in the office a couple of weeks ago, probably a $15,000 card, just sitting raw, it was getting released, getting a reslab. It was 9.5; it was awesome.”
Indeed it is an excellent card, and I love the tile mosaic look or the feeling that evokes with the layout and design. It’s a card that can easily be eye-catching without trying too hard.
#33. 2003 SP Authentic Dual Michael Jordan & LeBron James # JJA
In the words of the American poet Shawn Carter (rapper Jay-Z) “Mami in the zone like the homie two-three Jordan or James, makes no difference We all balling the same.”
Here you have the changing of the guard in the GOAT conversation, and they both wore #23 at this moment in time.
Not just the two greatest basketball players of all time but perhaps the two greatest individual brands in all of sport.
A few dual autograph offerings exist, but very few exist that feature a rookie LeBron combined with on-card signatures.
It’s a very stately design and layout, scarce and highly sought after for obvious reasons—one of the most important cards of the 2000s.
#34. 1994 Fleer Ultra Michael Jordan Scoring Kings #5
The high demand for this card means that it regularly sells for considerably much more than book value on eBay.
And it’s easy to see why given its unique style and presentation. It’s a card that’s considered a must-have for any big-time Michael Jordan card collector.
The lighting makes the card scream out at you to stand up and take notice.
It’s the most eye-catching aspect, while the Scoring Kings logo could probably stand to be modified a bit.
In this card, it’s a little too big, making the card kind of busy overall.
Just be aware that it is a foil card, almost 20 years old, so mint copies are scarce due to the dark foil’s easy chipping.
#35. 1996 Skybox E-X2000 Credentials Michael Jordan Basketball Card #9
The good thing about this card is that it’s the perfect issue for someone who loves the “Air Jordan” or “His Airness” nicknames for #23, as it shows him soaring among the clouds and sky.
The gold background is classy too, adds a nice touch.
The bad thing about this card is that you can barely read the name and title, as Skybox didn’t think this one through enough regarding the color scheme.
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Yes, you know it’s MJ, but it would still be nice the billing was more legible. One of the more affordable cards on this list, but there are parallels to it that are insanely expensive.
#36. 1998 Skybox Molten Metal Fusion /250 Michael Jordan #41
A unique issue with a clever design uses “titanium supernatural fusion” to provide the metallic theme.
George Seurat would be proud of the pointillism technique employed with the black holes in the background to convey the larger image of Jordan’s head, coalescing with the foreground image of Jordan’s in-game action.
What makes this such a unique offering is that those holes mentioned above really tell a story here.
On the back of the card, you get to see the reverse of the front.
Unlike anything else I’ve ever seen from other sports cards, you can’t get the whole experience unless you Google images it. Those two pictures will tell a thousand words each.
#37. 1998 Topps East-West Refractor Michael Jordan & Kobe Bryant #EW5
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It’s east vs. west, but it’s not an American bicoastal hip-hop beef. Instead, we’re going global with Jordan’s image emblazoned upon a map of the Eastern hemisphere while Kobe’s visage is on the back, covering the western hemisphere.
Issued just a couple of years after refractor technology was starting to take off. The innovation is perfect for a card of this changing of the guard theme and two-sided genre. As you might expect, Kobe’s unexpected, tragic passing led to a surge in the value of his cards, and this one is no exception.
When Bryant perished in a freak helicopter accident in 2020, it shook us all, including those disinterested in sports. Collecting his cards or any of his other memorabilia items is one way we can still carry his memory in our hearts and minds.
Thus, if you’re a collector of both Jordan and Bryant, then maybe this is the card for you.
#38. 2004 Kobe Bryant Michael Jordan SP Signature Edition Dual Auto /25 #BJ
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Here is another Jordan basketball card for Kobe Bryant and MJ fanboys. The signature edition series is always highly coveted, and this issue is certainly no exception.
The two images work well in synchronicity, and it brings balance to the force.
Elegant and stately, the design reflects the scarcity of the issue, as only 25 of these were produced.
A BGS 9 graded edition of this card just went for over $30,000 on eBay, and that’s par for the course when it comes to an issue this rare and unique.
#39. 1993 Michael Jordan Aerospace Nike #7
With the “Space Jam” reboot trending among entertainment news websites, there is a market out there for products harkening back to the original. While this is not Space Jam-related issue, it’s hard to look at this and not think about that film, given it’s a Jordan card.
Jordan Rival: Patrick Ewing Rookie Cards
It’s a bit weird looking, as this is the only card on our list where Jordan looks like he’s acting/hamming it up. In all the other photos, he comes off quite natural.
The card feels like what would happen if somebody tried to reboot card #3 on this list, the 1985 Nike Promo rookie card, replacing the Chicago backdrop with space.
Except everything that worked in that issue failed here.
#40. 2007 UD Chronology Stitches In Time Michael Jordan Game-used Jersey 18/99
It will cost you a pretty penny to get your hands on one of these, and that’s understandable, given what an attractive card this is. The layout is perfect for drawing attention to the two jersey patches, and that’s a formidable task given how those patches must compete with the Jordan photo.
However, the borders and lines draw attention to the patches in a manner that flows naturally.
The inscription on the back begins with the term “congratulations,” and that says it all about this card. ‘
Everything that follows certainly flows naturally from that one word. If you own this card, you are likely quite fortunate because you are probably at a good place in life right now.
#41. 1995 Finest Mystery Borderless Refractor Michael Jordan #M1
The 1995 Michael Jordan Finest Mystery card is a classic example of how and why Topps might be the best in the hobby for layout and design.
It’s a clean, fresh look with a lot of symmetry and balance. The card was produced when refractor technology was first starting to take off. This card was an issue that genuinely met the moment.
The foil technology evoked the surface of a basketball, which works perfectly as a backdrop to His Airness when his Jordans popularity was peaking.
This card was issued when Jordan had come back from his inexplicable, bizarre baseball sabbatical, and it wasn’t long after this card came out that MJ was back to his true self again.
Topps isn’t synonymous with basketball, but this is one of their better hardwood efforts (check out our picks for the Greatest Topps baseball cards of all time).
#42. 1998 Fleer Electrifying Michael Jordan Basketball Card #6
I’ll just apologize right now to anyone who likes this card, but sorry, I find this hideous. The lightning and the background pattern overshadow the #23 in the action shot.
The card is challenging to read regarding the “electrifying” and “Michael Jordan” wording. The lettering is small and has too much to overcome in the background.
Still, it’s a scarce issue, so no matter what I seem to think about its aesthetics, this is an expensive card to obtain.
But if you don’t have many nice things to say, well, then move on to the next card, right?
#43. 1997 Topps Chrome Michael Jordan Shooting Stars Refractor
Another refractor that pushes the boundaries when it comes to visual presentation. It’s a bold, unique concept as the background features basketballs floating about as if they’re satellites in orbit or stars out in space.
For Topps, a brand that often plays it more conservative with its designs and layouts, this is a more unconventional look.
The lettering and backdrop certainly evoke “Space Jam,” like a couple of previous cards mentioned on this list. And with the reboot of that film a trending topic right now, it should only serve to increase in this card, which is plenty pricy, to begin with.
#44. 1996 Bowman’s Best Honor Roll Atomic Refractor Michael Jordan #hr2
The 1996 Michael Jordan Bowman’s Best Honor Roll basketball card is a bit of an eyesore at worst, kind of wild in design at best.
There are refractors, and then there are atomic refractors, and the best way to explain the difference is to look at this card.
It’s got a unique shape, only the second on this list that doesn’t have a traditional rectangle, and whether you like that trait or not, you must respect it.
That originality is reflected in demand, and hence the price.
#45. 1997 Skybox Premium Thunder & Lightning Michael Jordan
Another eye-catching design that pushes the envelope, it’s a card that’s certain to appeal to meteorological buffs everywhere.
It’s unique in that the figure of Jordan is outlined and then placed into the backdrop of the card, which depicts a very stormy sky.
Roots or “cracks” then radiate from MJ, giving it all a sort of 3D feels or indicating movement.
It will cost you well over a grand to get one of these, if it’s in top condition, on eBay, and it’s easy to understand why.
A true one-of-a-kind.
#46. 1997 Skybox Premium Golden Touch Michael Jordan #GT1
Here is another unique Michael Jordan card with a distinctive shape that employs a hexagon and oval shape instead of a rectangle, making it instantly stand out.
This card requires a particular taste. Skybox has always been a brand that does things in its distinct way, which is very unconventional.
It’s a little on the busy side with lettering in the background that is so dominant that it takes over the foreground image.
The card feels more like a poster where the font is the star, not the athlete.
I could probably do without the basketball in the middle too. Still a premium card, however, and a mint edition comes at a premium price.
#47. 2008 UD Michael Jordan Legacy GU Jersey patch /23 6 Champions 1990s
The 2008 UD Legacy Jersey Michael Jordan Patch card is a thing of beauty, which supports my opinion that Upper Deck is one of the best if not the best brand of all time for design, durability, and layout.
Related: Greatest Upper Deck Cards Ever
If you go to a Bulls home game these days, you might think the franchise is stuck in the 1990s (at least when it comes to the atmosphere, music, and promotions), and it’s easy to understand why.
#48. Michael Jordan 1997 Topps Rock Stars Refractor # RS1
An example of refractor technology in action at its finest is a card that must be seen in person to be appreciated.
You can’t capture its essence in a photo posted online.
Pro-Tip: Invest in only PSA 10, PSA 9, BGA 10, BGS 9.5, SGC 10, and SGC 9.5 graded cards when possible and preferably PSA 10 with BGS 9.5 being a secondary option.
It’s the die-cut reflective foil and the overall shape that’s special and eye-catching about this card because the theme, graphics, and font all seem kind of “Flintstones” to me (that’s not a compliment).
#49. 1993 Finest Refractor Michael Jordan #1
Very similar to the card below, except the photo is a bit strange and on a weird angle. Whereas in the card above, the Jordan photo is very appropriate and perfectly centered.
Another refractor that has to be seen in real life instead of just photographed, the colors are very eye-catching, almost mesmerizing.
Must-Have Baseball Cards: Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball Rookie Cards
A PSA 9 or 10 will cost you a few thousand dollars, at minimum, and that’s understandable as this was one of the cards that led the way in refractor technology for hoops cards.
#50. 1996 Flair Showcase Hot Shots Die-Cut Michael Jordan #1
The 1996 Flair Showcase Hot Shots Die-Cut Jordan basketball card is one of the top-designed die-cut cards in the hobby and a solid long-term investment for your sports card investing portfolio.
Any Flair Showcase Michael Jordan card is unique. In this one, they developed a card that features all the curves and sharp points, which require you to do your due diligence before picking up a copy.
You got to make sure the ends and corners are all sharp before splashing the cash on one of these. It’s a great showpiece card that’s more moderately and middle of the range in price. If you can afford it, it’s a reasonable price.
Visit: Gold Card Auctions on eBay
Bonus Michael Jordan Basketball Cards
Once we got going in regards to listing our top Michael Jordan basketball cards we had a hard time stopping. Here are three more MJ cards that barely missed the top 50 and are still tremendous long-term investments.
#51. 1997 Michael Jordan Metal Universe Chicago Skyline Card No. 23
This card came out while the Bulls’ NBA Finals victims were the Utah Jazz; you can see an unfortunate would-be defender from that franchise pursuing MJ on this card.
It’s a unique issue as it utilizes the Chicago background in its theme. He’s genuinely Air Jordan here as he soars above Chicago’s Gold Coast and Lake Michigan.
You can see the John Hancock Center (or its known today, 875 N. Michigan), Navy Pier, and Lake Point Tower in the backdrop.
The 1997 Michael Jordan Metal Universe card is super unique, aesthetically pleasing, and affordable.
#52. 1990 N.B.A. Hoops Michael Jordan Basketball Card #65
There was a brief moment when N.B.A. Hoops was a big-time brand, right up there with Fleer and Topps in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
You could pull this card out of plastic packs, just like any other, but at the same time, it came in team sheets too.
Yes, “fun fact” time, in Chicagoland, you could use a Bulls team set of 1990-91 Hoops all on one sheet, in conjunction with Kodak, which featured a logo over a photo of two players together on the bench in the bottom middle.
Most people probably just ended up slicing it so that the Jordan would stand alone.
#53. 1990 Michael Jordan Skybox Basketball Card #41
Another card I distinctly remember owning in my youth, and now, with what cards looked like, who could forget it.
Skybox changed the game entirely with this unique inaugural set, becoming the first brand to replace photo backgrounds with computer-generated art.
Controversial at the time, things have gone a long way in this direction since.
The first Skybox was always the stateliest and most elegant looking in terms of colors and borders.
The “flaming basketball,” or the roundball with a fire trail behind it, seemed to be the brand’s calling card.
It was reminiscent of the insanely popular and ground-breaking video game at the time, “NBA Jam Session.”
#54. Michael Jordan Flair Showcase Legacy Collection Row 2 /150 #23
The 1996 Flair MJ basketball card features a black and white photo, and the listing of Jordan’s stats is elegant and classy; meanwhile, the front is busy, with the colors clashing a bit.
The two main images, one a close-up of MJ from the shoulders on upward, and the other an in action photo of Air Jordan taking flight is distracting, as each competes for your attention.
But it’s one of the most unique and rare cards you’ll ever find in the first serial numbered set in history.
#55. 2002 Michael Jordan Kobe Bryant SPx Winning Combos Patch/Auto #MJ/KB
As we have mentioned we are not fans of more than one player on a card BUT when the combo is MJ and Kobe you make an exception.
You have profile photos of the two basketball legends appearing in the corners of the card, along with an autograph and a jersey patch from each.
The next few sections are primarily devoted to Michael Jordan’s rookie card values and include an MJ RC checklist along with photos of his lesser-known rookie cards before wrapping it up with an investment outlook.
Below are the top 3 Michael Jordan rookie cards to include a all-inclusive Michael Jordan rookie card checklist.
All of the Michael Jordan rookie cards should be include in the provided checklist. BUT if you have knowledge of a MJ rookie card we missed please post it in the comments section of this article or email us at email@example.com.
#1. 1986 Michael Jordan Fleer RC #57 – Iconic card, cost hundreds of thousands at high grades, watch out for conterfiets, one of the best cards of all-time in terms of ROI
#2. 1985 Michael Jordan Prism Jewel Sticker RC #7 – Not even half as popular as the MJ Fleer RC, sleeper pick, unique/rare Jordan card, should have a strong to super strong ROI moving forward
#3. 1985 Michael Jordan Nike Promo RC – Another iconic MJ card, world-class photography, rare and extremelty expensive
Below you will find the most inclusive Michael Jordan rookie card checklist known to man.
You would be surprised how Jordan rookie cards are out there, mainly due to the Star brand.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if we missed one.
- 1984 Star Company XRC Michael Jordan RC #101
- 1984 Star Michael Jordan RC #288
- 1984 Chicago Bulls Pocket Schedule Michael Jordan Photo
- 1985 Star ROY Michael Jordan RC #1
- 1985 Star Michael Jordan RC #6
- 1985 Star Gatorade Slam Dunk Michael Jordan RC #7
- 1985 Star Michael Jordan RC #8
- 1985 Star Basketball Michael Jordan RC #117
- 1985 Star Crunch N’ Munch All-Stars Michael Jordan RC #41985 Star Last Rookie of the Year Set Michael Jordan RC #11/11
- 1985 Star Court Kings Michael Jordan RC
- 1985 Star Slam Dunk Super 5×7 Micahel Jordan RC #
- 1985 Nike Promo Michael Jordan RC
- 1985 Bulls Interlake Michael Jordan RC #1
- 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan RC #5
- 1986 Fleer Sticker Michael Jordan RC #8
- 1986 Star Michael Jordan RC #1, 2, 5, 6, 10
- 1986 Star Cour King Michael Jordan RC #18
Please visit our Most Valuable Michael Jordan Cards page for more information. The top 3 are shown below.
Here are a couple of different ways to obtain the current values of Michael Jordan cards. If you are struggling to obtain a value of your Michael Jordan basketball card please email us at email@example.com or post to our DISCORD channel and we will “reach out” to a few resources.
Looking to obtain the price of a Michael Jordan basketball card? Or maybe you want to just have MJ Price Guide available to you at all times for use? And you would like it at no cost?
Check out the Blog “Card Marvin” to obtain a Michael Jordan card value guide on just about every Jordan card that was printed.
The listings appear to be updated frequently so don’t worry about getting inaccurate/older values. Visit cardmavin.com and input the Jordan card you are looking to obtain a price for.
Beckett has a high-end price guide for Michael Jordan fanboys at a super low price. For only $4.99 a month, you can get access to updated pricing on 13,400 MJ cards. Simply visit www.beckett.com/player/michael-jordan and click on the “BUY PRICING” logo.
If you don’t mind, pay a small monthly fee and get a better product. Go with the Beckett option. Looking to save a few bucks and don’t care about the bells and whistles as long as the price is accurate at the end, then go with JordanCards.com.
Will the value of Jordan cards keep on rising? It all depends on if Jordan, the individual brand, keeps adding value.
ESPN moved up the release date of “The Last Dance” to coincide with the most stringent lockdowns of the covid-19 pandemic, at a time when there were absolutely no sports going on at all. The quarantine experience was at its worst.
Best Overall: 1986 Fleer RC #23
Best High-Value: 1997 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems Green /10 #23
Best Budget: 1992 Upper Deck #23
This perfect storm of events, in which the hobby saw levels of interest that hadn’t been seen in years, helped drive the Jordan Fleercard value up exponentially.
As we mentioned before, the 46,000% return on investment in less than a year is straight-up bonkers (1986 MJ Fleer RC #23). Even the best penny stocks don’t touch those numbers (usually).
Growth like that is not sustainable, and MJ card prices have since decreased but are still way up from just three years ago. The million-dollar question is did they drop enough, and is it now a good buying opportunity.
Attempting to time a sports cards purchase is just as hard as a Wall Street trader doing the same with Wal-Mart stock futures and should not be attempted by 99% of the population.
As the old saying goes, “don’t try to catch a falling knife,” which occurs when an investor tries to catch the knife aka stock aka Michael Jordan Fleer RC, by attempting to buy it at or near its low point. The results, often than not, are disastrous.
But while the value of Jordan cards may have decreased from recent highs, it doesn’t mean you should avoid investing in them.
Michael Jordan basketball/rookie cards are the rare card that you should buy one or two annually. Our advice is to pick one month and buy an MJ card, then six or twelve months later do the same.
This method will maximize your ROI when it comes to stockpiling quite possibly the best investment in the entire world. Michael Jordan high-grade basketball cards.