Could This 2003-04 Exquisite LeBron James Be the First Million Dollar Basketball Card?
If pre-auction estimates are correct, a 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite LeBron James rookie autograph patch card could become the first basketball card to top the $1 million mark.
It’s part of Goldin Auctions‘ 2020 Summer Auction that opens on June 22. Bidding runs for almost a month, closing on Saturday, July 18.
It’s a parallel version of James’ most valuable Rookie Card and comes with both an on-card autograph and patch piece. While the regular RC has 99 copies, this one has just 23 copies (14/23), which matches James’ jersey number. It comes with a Gem Mint BGS 9.5 grade with 9.5 subgrades for centering, surface and edges. The corners have a grade of 9. Only one other copy of the parallel has a 9.5 grade. None are higher.
“We expect this will surpass the record recently set by the $922,500 Mike Trout card to become the most valuable basketball and most valuable modern card of all time,” said Ken Goldin, Goldin Auctions founder and CEO.
In December, 2019, a regular copy of the 2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite LeBron James Rookie Card numbered to 99 went for $193,200. It had a grade of NM-MT BGS 8. A couple of months earlier in October, another one of the parallel versions (16/23), graded BGS 8.5, closed at $270,600.
The record price for a basketball card was set in February, 2020 with a one-of-one 2003-04 Exquisite dual Logoman patch of James and Michael Jordan. It sold for $900,000 in a private sale facilitated by Goldin Auctions.