A PRISTINE LeBron James Rookie Card has just sold on eBay for a mammoth $37,840.
Bidders scrambled for the rare 2003 Topps Chrome Refractor No.111, professionally graded by Beckett Grading Services, with the final bidder set to stump up nearly $US30,000 for the coveted card.
Having the condition of the card assessed and graded can increase its value markedly. It is almost impossible to get a Pristine 10 grade, known as a "Black Label", and the Topps card is considered James's true rookie refractor (a parallel of the base set), hence its huge selling price.
With US sports experiencing renaissance Down Under, the collecting community in Australia has seen a resurgence in recent years, with many NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB card collectors raiding their wardrobes and storage cupboards to find their old cards in the hope they may have a dormant gold mine.
Of course, most find that their old cards are not worth the paper they are printed on, due to the mass production of the early-mid 1990s.
But there are some examples of iconic or rare older products, plus the new breed of autographed or game/event worn material cards.
Perhaps the most unique item on eBay is a remarkable complete set of 1986 Fleer basketball cards - all 143 cards, all graded.
That includes the Michael Jordan rookie card - the Holy Grail of NBA collectors' cards.
Oh, and just quietly, the checklist is signed by legendary former NBA commissioner David Stern.
You can own it all - for the princely sum of a tick over $46,000.
You'll also find trading cards in everything from AFL, to Pokemon to Star Wars, UFC and just about everything in between.
Collectors young and old are taking to Facebook groups, eBay and places like Gimko or the US-based Comc to trade and sell their cards.
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