13 Most Valuable Hockey Cards: Gretzky Rookie Sells For $1.29m
In recent years, hockey card collecting has seen a resurgence in popularity, with the COVID-19 pandemic playing a significant role in driving up demand. In fact, the industry has seen a surge in sales and prices, with some cards fetching astronomical sums. Among these is the 1979 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky Rookie card, which recently sold for an astonishing $1.29 million, making it the most valuable hockey card to date.
The history of hockey card collecting can be traced back to the early 1900s, but it was not until the emergence of great rookie cards and the presence of Wayne Gretzky playing in the US in the 1990s that the hobby gained significant popularity.
While interest in the hobby settled down for a while, the pandemic has sparked a renewed interest in sports card collecting, with many collectors turning to online platforms to build their collections.
This article will explore the factors that contribute to high card value, including player popularity and rarity, and examine the impact of the pandemic on the sports card collecting industry.
Hockey Card Collecting History
The history of hockey card collecting, from its modest beginnings until the recent surge in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, provides insight into the factors that contribute to the high value of certain cards.
In the 1990s, interest in hockey card collecting peaked due to the availability of amazing rookie cards, big print runs, and Wayne Gretzky playing in the US. However, this interest settled back down until the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw a significant growth in the popularity of sports card collecting.
One of the key factors that contribute to the high value of certain hockey cards is limited production. For instance, the 1979 O-Pee-Chee Wayne Gretzky Rookie is the most valuable card in the market and is only one of two known to achieve a PSA 10 grading.
Other factors that contribute to the high value of hockey cards include sentimental value and player success. Additionally, card grading is essential in determining the value of a card. Companies like PSA, SGC, and BGS use the 1-10 grading system, with PSA being the most popular and tends to fetch higher prices.
Factors that Determine Card Value
Limited production, sentimental value, and player success are all contributing factors to the high value of hockey cards. The rarity of a card, as well as its historical significance, can greatly impact its value. For example, the 1911 C55 Georges Vezina #38 card sold for $56,400 in December 2019 due to its limited production and the fact that Vezina was one of the greatest goaltenders in hockey history.
In addition to rarity and historical significance, sentimental value and player success are also important factors when considering the value of a hockey card. Cards featuring popular players who have achieved significant success in their careers, such as Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr, are highly sought after by collectors.
The sentimental value of a card can also play a role in its value, as collectors may be willing to pay more for a card that has personal significance to them. Overall, the value of a hockey card is determined by a combination of these factors, as well as the card's condition and grading.
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COVID-19 Pandemic Impact
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sports card collecting industry has experienced a surge in popularity, resulting in increased demand and value for hockey cards. With many people stuck at home and looking for new hobbies, sports card collecting has become a popular pastime.
This has led to an influx of new collectors and increased competition for rare and valuable cards, causing prices to soar. The pandemic has also had an impact on the way cards are bought and sold, with many transactions now taking place online.
This has made it easier for collectors to access rare cards from around the world, further driving up demand and value. As a result, many of the most valuable hockey cards have seen significant increases in price over the past year, with some reaching record-breaking sales.
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