The ultimate addition to any Michael Jordan fan’s card collection has to be an authentic autographed card. To have something in your collection that MJ himself not only held but signed caps off your collection nicely.
It isn’t as easy as it might seem to add an authentic Michael Jordan auto card to your collection though. In fact in these days of abundant auto cards there is more you need to look out for.
So before you invest a good amount of cash into an MJ auto card make sure you check through the following to make sure you’re not disappointed with your purchase.
- Beware of fake Jordan autos. Fake Jordan autos are rife among online marketplaces. Only ever buy cards that are authenticated (for example PSA DNA or Upper Deck Authentics) or from a seller you completely trust. Better yet – stick to pack pulled autograph cards.
- Look out for ‘on sticker’ autos. To cut costs some card manufactures do not send the card to the player for signing. Instead they send a sheet of clear plastic stickers. The player then signs the stickers which are later adhered to the cards by manufacturing staff.Personally, I don’t like this trend as I believe autographed cards should be just that – autographed cards. On sticker autos can be hard to see so do your research or ask the seller before buying. The card below is an on sticker auto. Notice the faint outline of the sticker.
- Autograph condition. Just like the card itself, autographs come in a variety of conditions. To the discerning buyer the condition of the autograph should be just as important as the condition of the card. Look for clarity in the autograph and any streak marks. The auto should clearly be a Michael Jordan signature if it is to be a show piece in your collection.
- Autograph grading. Due to autographs being condition sensitive they can also be graded. Both BGS and PSA offer autograph grading services along with or instead of grading of the actual card itself.The card on the left below has been graded by BGS as a 10 for its autograph only – the owner has chosen not to have the card itself graded. The card on the right has received a 10 for its autograph and 8.5 for the condition of the card itself.
- Buy-back autograph cards. These cards are highly sought after due to their rarity (blog post: Michael Jordan Buy Back Auto Cards). When you buy a buy-back autograph card you can be almost certain that the player has held and signed the card (I haven’t seen on sticker buy back autos myself). Just remember that this card was in circulation in the open market. As a result it may be in less than perfect condition.The card below is the buy back autograph card of the Michael Jordan rookie card. This has to be the ultimate Jordan card to own.
All the best of luck tracking down the perfect Jordan autograph card to add to your collection. As always do your research and don’t rush into any purchases and you should have no problems.