Even if you’re not into trading cards now, there’s a good chance that the culture of cards was a part of your childhood in some form. I remember arguing with friends about if certain cards were ‘real’ or ‘fake’, being able to spot what markings on the card let you know. I also can recall the tension of opening a Match Attax pack and just being happy to find some Manchester United players in there. I remember trying to craft the perfect Yu-Gi-Oh! deck, with a good balance of magic, trap, and attack cards.
But trading cards have been around a lot longer than the 2000s when I was at school, and a lot longer than when you were likely at school if you’re reading this. In fact, how long a certain card has been around is intrinsic in calculating its value. Other factors include how many of the cards were produced, what condition it is in, and who or what is on it.
Beyond just that trading cards are now a very lucrative career for some and side hustle for many. The collectors who held onto those cards from their youth may be paying huge dividends today.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of the 16 most expensive and/or valuable trading cards ever. To make things fair, because baseball was going to take up almost every single slot, we’ve including the most expensive trading cards in a few different categories like basketball and football too.