Beckett Grading Services to begin grading Star Basketball cards


Beckett Grading Services will be expanding its portfolio of services to include ’83-86 Star Company basketball cards beginning Dec. 1, 2008.

The move was initiated through a request from The Schonco Sports Collection to have BGS grade their inventory of Star Co. basketball cards prior to its release onto the market.
BGS will be working hand-in-hand with Star Co. basketball card expert Steve Taft to authenticate, grade, and slab the collection before its release. Graded cards will carry a label designating it as part of The Schonco Sports Collection inventory.

BGS had not previously offered grading services for this product as many in the industry believed that many existing cards on the market were counterfeit, or possibly reprinted, long after their original runs.

Star Co. was the exclusive licensed distributor of NBA cards in the early 1980s, and their limited edition sets feature some of the earliest and most valuable Michael Jordan rookie cards available.

The Schonco Sports Collection cards will include some of these rare Jordan cards as well as many key rarer team sets like 1984 Boston, Dallas, Detroit and Philadelphia.  With a high demand from long-time Star collectors, these cards are expected to disappear quickly once they become available for sale.

The new BGS services available to the public on Dec. 1 will include grading for all un-bagged basketball card singles including the three mainstream sets, insert sets, subsets, promotional sets such as “Gatorade” and “Crunch ‘N Munch,” and 5×7 oversized cards.

“Best of the Best” and “Magic Johnson” sets will only be graded out of the pedigreed Schonco Sports Collection, and public grading of bagged sets may be offered in the future.

For more on this story, see the next issue of Beckett Graded Card Investor, which ships next week.



Great news! This is very good for the registry people I imagine. I think I saw a Beckett graded Star card on ebay already–was this one from many many years ago or are they ahead of pace and grading them already? Either way, this is very good news for anyone who wanted to buy one and knew that raw ones were possibly fake.

Posted November 26, 2008 at 10:20 am | Permalink

Does this statement mean you guys can’t tell the difference between a real and a reprint for these 2?
““Best of the Best” and “Magic Johnson” sets will only be graded out of the pedigreed Schonco Sports Collection”

Posted November 26, 2008 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

From my understanding, Schonco Sports had the entire Magic Johnson and Best of the Best press runs in its inventory when they purchased all of the remaining Star cards from the company. (See a story in the upcoming GCI.)

Star never released the cards to the public — only those Schonco may have sold during in the past as uncut sheets are out there.

Posted November 26, 2008 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

looks like lots of them are already up. saw a Jordan #101 bag on ebay. its ebay store “higbee enterprises” user id

Posted December 13, 2008 at 12:16 am | Permalink

I can personally say that I have been waiting 15 years for one of the big three grading companies to start grading these valuable collectibles. The fact that psa did grade them and then stopped is an example of their incompetence. Star company gives a card collector everything – rare series’ due to poor quality control, making the mint and gem mint cards all the more valuable; cards of players that were largely left out of sets and destroyed after being issued in only a few hundred bags for one reason or another (Honus Wagner style), tough centering, tough edges – the list goes on and on. The most important point is that STAR COMPANY CARDS WERE THE ONLY CARDS LICENSED BY THE NBA AND NBA PLAYERS ASSOCIATION FROM THE YEARS OF 1983-1986; There are many FLEER 86-87 JORDAN RC’S IN BGS/PSA 9 AND 9.5; Try finding a 1984-85 star jordan #101 xrc that grades into a bgs 9 holder. Star company is here to stay. those who stuck with star all of these years will be awarded for their patience and loyalty. New collectors will see what we have been raving about for over two decades. thank you BGS

Posted February 7, 2009 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

I have a complete bagged star set 84/85 I bought it privately back in 1992. I know that person bought it from a local respected card dealer but I don’t know when he purchased. I would like to know if anyone can suggest the best way to verify without opening the bags. Also were fakes made before 1992? Thanks.

Posted August 29, 2009 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

What a joke. At least PSA was honorable enough to stop when it was discovered that the original plates were used to produce some counterfeits. If the original process plates, blanks, etc were used how is BGS really going to be able to tell? Sure the lower quality counterfeits won’t get through, but I have heard that a counterfeit done on the original plates did get through. There are bound to be more. Unfortunately the 1984 Star card is scarred for life.

Posted October 18, 2009 at 2:36 pm | Permalink
The Hammer

Fred, PSA did not stop grading Star to be “honorable”. They simply did not have the expertise to grade them, and chose to no longer deal with them after they graded some of the counterfeits.

Allow me to clarify the real story on Star, as many people have fallen prey to the myth that “everything Star was reprinted and it all looks the same.”

The only standard Star cards reprinted from the original plates were the 1985-86 second series (#’s 95-172). All other counterfeits have simple ways to clearly distinguish them. There were also several sets created by Star in the 1990’s that they backdated to appear old, but they are really fantasy issues, not counterfeits, since there was no original set in the first place (and BGS does not grade those). As far as the 1985-86 #’s 95-172, there are differences in the printing quality, card stock, and cutting techniques used on these, making it apparent whether a card was from the original printing or a later printing. Frankly, the only thing you need is knowledge, and we contracted with the foremost authority on Star basketball for training and ongoing verification.

Mark Anderson, Director
Beckett Grading Services

Posted October 19, 2009 at 9:45 am | Permalink
Richard B

And all this brought upon us by the wonderful people at Upper Deck. The only lifeline they have left to the hobby is, yup, Mikey!! Yeah!

He’s had his prime, he’s had his time, now let’s move on huh?

Posted October 19, 2009 at 10:19 am | Permalink

I have the complete Star 84-85 set of basketball cards and was wondering if anyone knows what this might be worth??

Posted January 27, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

I got some michaeal jordan 1984-85 star
reprint cards for sale
20.00 each free shiping

why pay 2700 for the real card

Posted August 15, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

im looking to buy a complete set of the 1984-85
star basket ball cards
if any one has any for sale
please email me

Posted September 1, 2010 at 10:07 pm | Permalink
Roger Smith

I have a 1986 STAR CO.
Best of The New Set
In Plastic and Unopened
Including the Michael Jordan card shown above
I would like to know a fair value

Posted September 9, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

i just took a look at the graded card population. it looks like there are a lot more 9.5 graded Michael Jordan Star 1986 #117 than the rest of the Jordan’s star cards. why is that? do you think you guys might have graded some reprints by accident and gave it a high grade?

Posted April 20, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

I’m surprised that only 116 Jordan #101’s have been graded to date. I would have figured more would have been submitted by now, which shows the rarity of this card. Beckett Grading Services will bring much value to Jordan’s XRC card and all of Star cards in general. Anyone know the exact number of team bags produced for the ’84-85 sets? I wonder if a 9.5 Jordan XRC will ever be graded by Beckett considering the centering problem.

Posted June 23, 2011 at 8:49 am | Permalink
Dominic Lucca

I have four uncut sheets from the star co dated 1990
Are these prints of any value
these are gold and silver sets that I know were printed in NJ
Are these prints counterfeit or the real thing
some of the players are
Charles Barkley
Akeem Olajuwon
Karl Malone
Isiah Thomas
If anyone is interested in what I have please email me at

Posted October 30, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

Very interesting tha the rarest Jordan cars are the original star
Co cards which is coo. But if u think about the point of collections
Is always to have the rarest. Ex. Honus Wagner card some were
Destroyed or almost all were destroyed. Thas y today the card is
Worth so much. With tha in mind now think of this the 80s cards n the 90s
Cards are around at a decent volume I believe
In the other hand the 1990-1991 star co cards printed
In boca raton fl. R even more rare because 1.they were made with out
The NBA license 2. 1000 cards of certain players were made. And some sets
Of 10,000. But what happened to the cards?? 3.
How many actually circulated before
They were caught. 4. Were the cards destroyed.?? If so wouldn’t tha make those
Cards just as rare. And the fact tha collectors won’t buy them
Means n even less amount of people have them??
I think tha the fact tha the industry knows bout these fakes
N that they r a part of the history of a company whose cards we
Collect today…
Tha has given us this industry topps

Posted December 9, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

I mean fleer. N sample of this is the gold Jordan star co card .
How many collectors out there have it??? Probably not many
So what good is it if u could tell the story of how the greatest sports
Rookie is th 86 but yet u don’t have the 90 counterfeit in ur collection
Which also has a story behind it tha we all know is very limited.
Coorect me if I’m wrong

Posted December 9, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Permalink
Allen Tea

I have a 1986 Crunch n Munch set which includes Michael Jordan rookie card. Does anyone know the price for these basketball cards?

Posted January 8, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

The star co cards are very rare n I just don’t understand how or at war
Point collectors started to depend on other people to tell them wat they could
Ad to their collection wether real or fake. Ex how can u say u have every Jordan
Card when u won’t buy the star cards real or fake but u know the story of the company
N the controversial story behind the boca raton cards. It’s like u collect the history
Of a player in cards but u leave out the most controversial cards
N the one tha a company tells you r no good. Wats the point of collecting then???
Ex. the 86 fleer great card many of them out there consider his rookie cause grading co tells u
By many but when the reality is his real rookie is the 84 star. I mean is Jordan cards the only cards tha we skip almost 3 years of his carrer before we claim rookie status
Shows how the industry is telling collectors how or wat to collect. I have no problem with the grading of condition or pop reports but seriously can we collect wat we love n want not wat we r told…….feel free to email me
Were counter
Are people blind

Posted January 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

is Schonoco graded cards worth more than “nonSchonoco”?

Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

One Trackback

  1. [...] BGS to begin grading Star Basketball cards Hello Old School Basketball lovers, Not sure if there a discussion on this forum as yet for Australian collectors, I think its great news. Since collecting basketball cards in the early 1990s, they always listed these cards and I thought when I was young dreaming of having a 1984/85 Star Co Michael Jordan XRC #101 would be awesome but for $3000 bucks back then and hardly ever seeing Star Co I thought they were so rare, Then I learnt no one wanted Star Co cards and 1986/87 Fleer was the real deal with old school basketball collectors and every grading companies had a piece of the pie and Star Co was just floating only to be graded by GAI. Now that BGS have come on board, it will be good to get them to come alive again, there are alot of fakes out there but if it wasn’t for Star Co, there would of been a huge gap with topps stopping after the 1981/82 season, Star Co had alot of sets and subset and there so many Jordans in the 1984/85 set, I really think people should get into these cards. So what they ain’t real RC cards, thats another story, I think they are real RCs in bag set, Star Co came around trying their ideas with the bag sets and basketball was a joke to most everyday Americans in the early 1980s. I think the 1983 to 1986 Star Co set are great, too bad they ain’t around today If Star Co hanged around for another 3 or 4 years, they might of made some profit but I reckon we should be proud of them, in believing in basketball where Topps and Fleer just gave up. I hope these cards get notice in the next few months, they are already getting listed in BGS graded covers on ebay, good on them Beckett Here is the story Beckett Grading Services to begin grading Star Basketball cards The Beckett Blog [...]

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