Black Diamond: Beckett Pricing Insider
This edition of the Beckett Pricing Insider is sponsored by Grizzly Sports Cards.
2018-19 Black Diamond is due to hit the shelves of hobby shops across North America later this week which will have collectors clamoring for the latest rookies and those Exquisite Collection cards as well. In recent years the brand has seen an “upgrade” from the base card-centric set, chock-full of parallels and different tiers of players, to a more high-end feel focused on big hits with patch cards, autographs, and the occasional diamond(s) embedded in the card itself. That’s nice for high-end collectors, but I for one miss the collation of the brand’s earlier existence when hitting a triple or quad gem mint you were having a great day and you didn’t necessarily need an autograph or a patch card to call the box a win. Here is a look at a few examples of what hitting big before the brand change looked like.
1996-97 Black Diamond #160 Joe Thornton RC
As a brand, this is the card that started it all for Black Diamond, well, at least from a hockey standpoint. When this card is on the market it consistently sales in the $60 to $150 range and it’s typically on the higher end of that spectrum. There is, of course, the gold parallel version that is numbered to just 50 copies that will demand a premium whenever it surfaces as well. This was the card to have for the mid-90’s hockey collector, and it still is today.
2005-06 Black Diamond #193 Sidney Crosby RC
In the ’05-06 Sidney Crosby hit the NHL ice for the first time and hockey card collecting took on a whole new perspective. The Hobby on a whole had been waiting for the second coming The Great One, and Sid the Kid did not disappoint. Sure, there are other cards from his rookie year that book for more, but not many. In fact, his Black Diamond rookie maybe Top 5 on his rookie card list in some circles. For those who couldn’t afford a tin of The Cup back then, his base rookies from other products had to due, and this one, along with its parallels, were attainable.
2014-15 Black Diamond #231 Johnny Gaudreau RC
2015-16 marked the change in format for the Black Diamond brand, and that is why I appreciate the ’14-15 set so much as it was the last of what I loved about it in years past. Johnny Gaudreau was the rookie to grab that season and his base rookie from the set was like hitting the jackpot. The simplicity of the brand’s design is more than enough to draw in the collector. Again the parallels were great, but you also had a shot a redemption for a quad diamond relic that made the chase fun for those in the rookie class that were on that checklist.