If you’re looking a Zion Williamson Rookie Card, you’ll have plenty to choose from by the end of the basketball card season.
Williamson enters the NBA with a lot of hype. He’s the biggest rookie basketball has seen since since LeBron James. Not surprisingly, those expectations are carrying over to the collecting world as well.
Before the 2019-20 basketball card season is over, collectors will have more than 20 Zion Williamson Rookie Cards to choose from. While there’s going to be significant demand for all of them if the hype continues the way it is already, there will be a big price range. Entry-level sets will be more readily available and affordable. Collectors can expect others from high-end sets like National Treasures to come with limited print runs and things like autographs and premium memorabilia pieces. These will run thousands of dollars.
Panini has an exclusive deal with the forward that means they’ll be the only company producing Zion Williamson cards and autograph cards.
On top of the traditional Zion Williamson Rookie Cards — base cards found in main sets — there will be plenty of other autographs, inserts and parallels to chase.
Zion Williamson Rookie Card Guide
The following list highlights Zion Williamson cards with the RC tag in the Beckett database. Essentially, this means his main card found in mainstream base sets. Inserts and parallels are not. A full Zion Williamson card checklist and price guide is available in the Beckett basketball database.
This list and guide will grow throughout the season as more sets come out.
2019-20 Absolute Memorabilia Zion Williamson Rookie Card #16
2019-20 Absolute Memorabilia has several Zion Williamson autographs and memorabilia cards. His base set RC isn’t, though. It’s a fairly basic card in that it’s not a short print or elevated in some other way. The retail parallel is on basic card stock, not the foil that the main hobby version uses.
Parallels: Retail, Red (/199), Blue (/99), Orange (/75), Purple (/25), Gold (/10), Green (/5), Black (1/1)
2019-20 Certified Zion Williamson Rookie Card #151
2019-20 Certified Basketball offers up a foil spin for one of the earlier Zion Williamson Rookie cards. It’s not a particularly high-end release, but it’s not entry level either. The Mirror parallels add some additional pop with their bright colors.
Parallels: Mirror Blue, Mirror Red, Mirror Orange (/99), Mirror Camo (/25), Mirror Gold (/10), Mirror Green (/5), Mirror Black (1/1)
2019-20 Donruss Zion Williamson RC #201
The 2019-20 Donruss Zion Williamson Rookie Card falls under the iconic Rated Rookie banner. This is one of Williamson’s more widely available cards with prices noticeably lower than a lot of his other ones.
Parallels: Green Flood, Holo Green and Yellow Laser, Holo Orange Laser, Infinite, Silver Press Proof (/349), Purple Press Proof (/199), Holo Green Laser (/99), Red Infinite (/99), Red Laser Press Proof (/99), Holo Pink Laser (/50), Blue Laser Press Proof (/49), Blue Infinite (/35), Holo Yellow Laser (/25), Holo Purple Laser (/15), Holo Red and Blue Laser (/15), Gold Infinite (/10), Gold Laser Press Proof (/10), Holo Purple and Green Laser Holo (/10), Black Laser Press Proof (1/1), Black Infinite (1/1)
2019-20 Hoops Zion Williamson Rookie Card #258
2019-20 Hoops is the first mainstream set with a card of Zion Williamson in his NBA uniform. It’s an entry-level product with wide availability. This should ensure that it remains one of Williamson’s most affordable RCs.
Parallels: Blue, Neon Green, Purple, Purple Winter, Red Backs, Teal Explosion, Winter, Yellow, Premium Box Set (/199), Silver (/199), Green (/99), Red (/75), Blue Explosion (/49), Teal (/49), Artist Proof (/25), Orange (/25), Orange Explosion (/25), Red Explosion (/15), Artist Proof Gold (/10), Artist Proof Black (1/1)
2019-20 Panini Contenders Zion Williamson RC Autograph #108
2019-20 Panini Contenders has long been a go-to brand for rookie autographs in football. Since being reintroduced to the hardcourt, it’s starting to take a similar hold in basketball as well. For the set’s Zion Williamson card, it means an on-card autograph. Most of the parallels play with the product’s ticket theme, although there are also some Premium Edition versions done on chromium stock. A variation along with many of the same parallels also exists.
Parallels: Premium Edition, Premium Edition Green Shimmer, Playoff Ticket (/75), The Finals Ticket (/35), Cracked Ice Ticket (/25), Premium Edition Blue (/20), Premium Edition Gold (/10), Championship Ticket (1/1), Premium Edition Gold Vinyl (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1), Ticket Stub (1/1)
2019-20 Panini Contenders Draft Picks Zion Williamson RC Autograph #51
Not only is the 2019-20 Contenders Draft Picks the first product to have a Zion Williamson card with the RC tag, it also has his first autographs. The Draft Ticket card is signed on-card and pictures Williamson in his Duke uniform (this is largely a collegiate set). Besides the regular version and its parallels, there are three additional variations with different images. These can be spotted by the bars on the back of the card.
Parallels: Blue Foil, Red Foil, Cracked Ice Ticket (/23), Building Blocks Ticket (/5), Diamond Ticket (/5), Draft Ticket (/5), Fame Ticket (/5), Playoff Ticket (/5), Championship Ticket (1/1), Printing Plates Black (1/1), Printing Plates Cyan (1/1), Printing Plates Magenta (1/1), Printing Plates Yellow (1/1)
2019-20 Panini Origins Zion Williamson RC #15
Zion Williamson has numerous autographs and memorabilia cards in 2019-20 Panini Origins. However, his RC is more of a standard card. The ethereal look with the mystical smoky background is the standout element of the design. The handful of parallels change out the background color. Williamson is one of several cards in the set to have a variation as well.
Parallels: Red, Blue (/99), Orange (/75), Pink (/35), Turquoise (/25), Purple (/21), Gold (/10), Green (/5), Black (1/1)
2019-20 Panini Prizm Zion Williamson RC #248
Of the Zion Williamson Rookie Cards available to the masses — widely available at retail and hobby with a variety of entry points — 2019-20 Panini Prizm is the big one. It won’t be his most expensive RC overall, but it garners strong interest, especially when you factor in that it’s not a short print. This is standard for Prizm Basketball Rookies now. It’s similar to Upper Deck Hockey’s Young Guns or flagship Topps Baseball.
Parallels: Blue Shimmer Premium Prizms, Blue/Yellow/Green Choice Prizms, Fast Break Prizms, Green Prizms, Green Ice Prizms, Hyper Prizms, Orange Ice Prizms, Pink Ice Prizms, Purple Wave Prizms, Red Ice Prizms, Red/White/Blue Prizms, Ruby Wave Prizms, Silver Prizms, Tiger Stripe Choice Prizms, White Sparkle Prizms, Red Prizms (/299), Blue Prizms (/199), Blue Fast Break Prizms (/175), Purple Ice Prizms (/149), Red Fast Break Prizms (/125), Blue Ice Prizms (/99), Red Choice Prizms (/88), Purple Fast Break Prizms (/75), Purple Prizms (/75), Pink Fast Break Prizms (/50), Orange Prizms (/49), Pink Pulsar Prizms (/42), Purple Pulsar Prizms (/35), Green Pulsar Prizms (/25), Green Shimmer Premium Prizms (/25), Mojo Prizms (/25), Bronze Fast Break Prizms (/20), Gold Prizms (/10), Gold Shimmer Premium Prizms (/10), Green Choice Prizms (/8), Black Gold Prizms (/5), Neon Green Fast Break Prizms (/5), Black Prizms (1/1), Black Shimmer Premium Prizms (1/1), Nebula Choice Prizms (1/1)
2019-20 Panini Revolution Zion Williamson RC #101
The 2019-20 Panini Revolution Zion Williamson Rookie Card uses big lines, geometric shapes, gold foil and and a patterned foil background. It’s like something out of the late ’90s where a lot of designs went bold. This emphasis carries over to the parallels. Instead of colors like most sets, it’s the foil patterns that change.
Parallels: Astro, Chinese New Year, Fractal, Galactic, Groove, Impact (/149), Cosmic (/100), Chinese New Year Emerald (/88), Sunburst (/75), Cubic (/50), Lava (/10), Chinese New Year Holo Gold (/8)
Other Early Zion Williamson Cards of Note
Here’s a look at the Zion Williamson cards available before his first in-pack, mainstream releases.
2019 Panini Instant Draft Night Zion Williamson #DN-ZW
2019 Panini Instant Draft Night has the distinction of featuring the first official Zion Williamson card. Rather than packs, cards were originally sold through the card maker’s website with a print run equal to the total number ordered. That number? 17,281 copies.
Ten Green versions and a one-of-one Black parallel were sold separately. A Silver parallel, which has 25 copies, was given to Super VIPs at Panini annual VIP party held in conjunction with the 2019 National Sports Collectors Convention.
Parallels: Silver (/25), Green (/10), Black (1/1)
2019 Panini Instant Draft Night Zion Williamson #DN-ZW2
This variation was sent out randomly as a surprise to some of those who ordered the regular 2019 Panini Instant Draft Night card. However, it’s much more limited with just 100 copies.
2019 Panini Instant RPS First Look Zion Williamson
The first Zion Williamson card to feature the first overall pick in a Pelicans uniform is another Panini Instant offering. This one comes from the Rookie Photo Shoot. Like other Panini Instant cards, it’s done through a print-on-demand structure where the print run will be determined by how many are ordered. It’s available through August 19 on the Panini website.
Parallels: Green (/10), Black (1/1)
2019 Panini National Convention Basketball Prospects Zion Williamson #BK25
This card came in the 2019 Panini National Convention Silver Packs, which were done in conjunction with the show’s wrapper redemption program. It comes with several parallels that use distinct background patterns. There are also a couple of scarce memorabilia parallels.
Parallels: Magnetic Fur (/99), Rainbow Spokes (/50), Explosion (/40), Escher Squares (/25), Memorabilia Cracked Ice (/25), Pyramids (/10), Galactic Windows (/5), HyperPlaid (1/1), Memorabilia HyperPlaid (1/1)
2019 Panini National Convention Case Breaker Zion Williamson #ZW
This is another promo card from the 2019 National Sports Collectors Convention. Rather than being available to the general public, it comes from a small set made for case breakers attending the show to use as an incentive.
2019 Panini National Convention VIP Zion Williamson #ZW
Those purchasing VIP ticket packages at The National got a coupon for a special set from Panini. To get the ten card set, they had to take the coupon to Panini’s booth and redeem it. Williamson was a mystery up until when the convention got underway.
2019 Panini National Convention VIP Gold Zion Williamson #94
Every year at the National Sports Collectors Convention, Panini holds a party for an exclusive group. Besides special guests, food and fun, attendees get an exclusive set of cards distributed in special gold packs. The 2019 Panini National Convention VIP Gold set is done with chromium stock. The set’s Zion Williamson card has several parallels that are a mix of colors and backgrounds. There are also Memorabilia parallels that have no more than 25 copies.
Parallels: Lazer (99 copies), Prizm (99 copies), Purple (/99), Pink (/50), Memorabilia Neon Green (/25), Red (/25), Blue (/15), Gold (/10), Memorabilia Black (/10), Red/White/Blue (10 copies), Tiger Stripes (10 copies), Green (/5), Memorabilia Gold (/5), Gold Vinyl (1/1), Memorabilia 1-of-1 (1/1)
2019 Panini National Convention Black Box Gems Zion Williamson #ZW /3
In addition to an assortment of gold packs, VIP party attendees got a Black Box. All of the cards in the special set have diamonds embedded in them. Print runs are also very small. The base Williamson card has just three copies. The lone parallel is a one-of-one.
Parallels: Gold (1/1)
Beware of Bootleg Zion Williamson Cards
The enormous interest in everything Zion has brought a lot of new and returning collectors back to cards. It’s also brought lots of unlicensed and bootleg cards. These are essentially cards people design and print themselves.
Even though some look legit, they’re far from official. They also carry no value as collectibles. In essence, they’re homemade cards. Unfortunately, it’s one of the drawbacks of online marketplaces like eBay. It can be hard to keep up with and monitor them. And for collectors who might be new to the hobby, these cards can create tremendous confusion.
The best thing to do is avoid these types of cards. If you’re looking for a Zion Williamson Rookie Card or other cards, stick to the real thing.