Michael Jordan, the “Babe Ruth” of basketball

A month ago our column was devoted to collectibles that do well during tough times. The reasoning is that some investors want to have a tangible asset they have in hand and can control

Since that column, let’s see what has transpired.

First, the value of the 2020 American Eagle one dollar coin has increased by 32%. We purchased at $21.75 and the latest price (at press time) is $28.50.

This is due to silver content, and the fact that this is the last year for the present design. Just as an aside, the 2016 through 2019 coins are available at $49.50 each. Coin collectors, rejoice!

Many sports lovers followed the Michael Jordan documentary “The Last Dance.” This 10-part “doc” was a record-breaking viewer series, with the result that all Jordan memorabilia has skyrocketed in value. A dealer in Atlanta reported he has sold all of his stock of Jordan’s trading cards, numbering more than 2,500 in total.

We are very involved with the sports market and keep close ties with the top four auction houses. Each of them reported that online catalog requests have increased dramatically due to collectors being homebound.

The results have been exceptional in all four firms. Of note was that a “lot” (unit) of 4,500 Ted Williams 1959 cards was estimated to sell for $7,500. The lot sold for $86,000 plus a buyer’s premium of 23% or $19,700!

This result happened when more than 35 million are out of work. The buyer must have a plan to market and keep several of these cards.

The aforesaid harkens to the past four years of our columns stressing condition, condition, condition on all collectibles.

Lastly, recently a customer brought in a collection that under good conditions would be valued at upwards of $15,000. Reluctantly, we had to advise him it was worthless, as each piece was marred with Scotch tape.

Collectors shun anything that has been doctored or repaired with tape, glue, marker, paint or other material.

Sixty years ago, our mentor gave us some sage advice: “You cannot pay too much for an item in excellent, near-mint condition because someone will pay more.”

These are difficult times for all of us. If you are one of the 65% of America’s collectors, savor your collection and have fun researching the history of said items.

Stay well!

Jerry Glenn is co-owner of Reminisce in Bluffton, where sports collectibles are bought and sold.