“They’re here… and they’re lighting up the sky!” an advert purported to be from June 1994 proudly announces the immediate availability of the 93-94 Beam Team Gold Shield cards.
The advert as pictured below has been shared on social media many times in the last few years. I’ve spoken with many collectors about this tear sheet advert without turning up many answers. So let’s take a look at the Beam Team Gold Stamp cards - what we know and what this advert might reveal.
What are the 1993-94 Beam Team Members Only Gold Stamp cards
I’ve published a number of articles over the years and spoken with many collectors about these cards. You might like to take a look at those:
- 93-94 Beam Team Members Only Gold Stamp
- Almost complete set of 93-94 Beam Team Members Only Gold Stamp
- Unique Error 93-94 Members Only Beam Team
In a nutshell, the 1993-94 Beam Team Members Only cards as issued by Topps do not feature the gold shield as per the base card members only parallel. The official release cards feature a ‘Members Only’ overlay over the holographic beams at the bottom of the card and no ‘Members Only’ gold shield at the top.
However, these ‘Gold Stamp’ cards, as they’re generally referred, do feature that gold shield at the top of the card with no ‘Members Only’ overlay of the holographic beams.
What do we know
We don’t know much really. I have only seen one report of an original owner claiming to have received a card directly from Topps - this was an eBay listing in 2012 and I wasn’t able to reach the seller to confirm the details. Unfortunately that account is no longer active. The seller had stated they received the Jordan Gold Stamp among the correct Members Only cards direct from Topps.
It did seem that this might have been an open and shut case of test cards being accidentally included with some Member’s Only releases. However this advert makes things a little more interesting.
Dating the earliest known evidence of the Beam Team Gold Stamp cards
I became aware of the Gold Stamp cards in 2012 when I first noticed a Jordan copy with the stamp on eBay.
However we do have earlier imagery - Oscar Gracia’s excellent 1998 book ‘Collecting Michael Jordan Memorabilia’ features the Gold Stamp Jordan Beam Team on the back. On page 280 Oscar lists the 93-94 Beam Team then includes ‘Beam Team, Members Only, Members Only logo’. This same description is used for other Beam Team cards featuring the stamp. Worth noting is he lists the value of the regular Beam Team at $15 and Member’s Only at $85.
Beckett’s 1998 book ‘Everything you need to know about collecting Michael Jordan Collectibles’ lists the card only as Member’s Only valuing the regular at $20 and the Member’s Only at $25.
Beam Team Gold Stamp Advert
Let’s take a look at the advert.
Printing and provenance of the advert
It is printed on newspaper with a solid border around it and clearly displays a price of $79 for a full set. Perhaps it is an advertisement from a newspaper however there are no contact or ordering details which means it must be part of a larger tear sheet.
Why did the person who cut it out not include that important information? Would a reputable dealership openly advertise something like this if they knew the cards came back doored from an employee or print shop?
The way the the advert mentions Topps makes it clear that this is not a publication by the company itself. This leads us to our next point.
12,000 Members Only
Of course the biggest question is who was selling Topps Beam Team cards before they were available? The advert states that there is a 3 month wait for ordering the complete set from Topps direct yet these are available now.
Interestingly, the advert states that “12,000 Members Only Gold Shield cards are being issued”. This doesn’t read like its penned by someone who knew the cards were not the same as the scheduled official release and considerably more rare than the true Member’s Only release.
How did the cards end up being made available to the author of the advert? Were the cards back doored and did the seller know?
“Our entire stock includes ninety-five complete 13 cards sets and no more.” If this is the original and only source of the gold stamp Beam Team cards does that mean they are limited to a print run of 95?
Remember though, we did have an eBay listing in 2012 stating a single Jordan had been received with the official Topps Member’s Only release. That was never verified with proof, however.
The size of the set checks out
The advert states that only the first 13 cards - series one only - are available. This checks out as only cards number 1-13 are known to feature the gold shield.
Gold collectors storage chest
I haven’t seen a set of the gold stamp cards in a collectors chest as mentioned in the advert - it would be amazing if one does turn up along with a complete set of cards.
The date June 28 1994 is written along with another word I can’t make out. Handwriting AI tools turn up nothing either. Its not likely an abbreviation and if the third letter is an ‘i’ its not dotted. Jau? Jair?
Could this provide a clue to where the advert was originally sourced? Anyone with any ideas please do get in touch.
Do you know anything
I’ve written to Topps with no information available. I’ve spoke with other collectors and haven’t turned up anything concrete. If you have any information at all - and especially if you know anything about the source of the advert or provenance of any cards back to 1994 - please do reach out.
Buying the Gold Stamp Members Only Beam Team cards
Not only the Jordan but all players from series one do turn up for sale on eBay from time to time. I’ve managed to pick up most of the set over the years. Keep and eye on the pages linked below and carefully check the images as sometimes they’re not labeled as ‘Gold Stamp’.