This Michael Jordan basketball card remains a real gem

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Most of you probably remember the Skybox Metal Universe sets of the mid-to-late 1990s and cringe.

But the card above, which is numbered to just 50 copies,  is one reason why those older wax boxes and wax packs should still be considered when wandering the aisles of a card show or digging around at your local card shop.


You’d be surprised what it recently sold for.

The Michael Jordan card, which has 49 other copies just like it, went for $3,716 after racking up 30 bids recently on eBay, proving that a rare card of Mr. Rare Air himself can still soar above others like one of his majestic slam dunks  — or at least take it to the hole past the cards of a guy like Karl Malone (right).

The 1997-98 Metal Universe Championship Precious Metal Gems card (No. 23)  is one that has been in demand, a card that typically sells in the $2,500 to $3,500 range but previously trended in the $700 to $1,400 range before some recent sales.

These cards were randomly inserted into packs and the 98-card set parallels the base set except for the checklists. Jordan is by far the most expensive of the bunch, but several cards from the set fetch $100 or more. Kobe Bryant’s card is next-highest at $500, followed by Shaquille O’Neal at $300.

This Jordan is one of a few 1990s inserts we’ve seen picking up steam for the Hall of Famer. Do you know of others? Let us know in the comments.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


  1. Mark Duell
    Posted September 13, 2010 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Why would I cringe about Metal Universe? I loved those cards. They were different and cool. However, I don’t remember buying any hoops, just football and baseball.

  2. Posted September 13, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    I heard about this recently. i just dont see it.

  3. Posted September 14, 2010 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure what you mean by “cringe”. Fleer Metal Universe looked better than any of the crap that’s coming out now.

  4. chrisolds
    Posted September 15, 2010 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Across the board (baseball, football, basketball), with exception of some of the inserts, I think the Metal Universe sets are quite forgettable.

  5. James Arrasmith
    Posted April 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    I think skybox still makes the best looking cards an i have 4 of those jordan cards 1 graded at a ten an the others not graded got the koby one too

  6. tomasb
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I have 1 of those 50 cards in mint!

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