You already know that hockey cards from the ’80s and ’90s are pretty much worth the price of the paper they’re printed on, but what if someone gave you their collection of old hockey cards?
If you listened to them and kept them in super pristine condition, auctioning off just one could mean a serious lifestyle upgrade.
So get out your old shoe boxes and albums. These are the top five most valuable hockey cards of 2019.
1979 O-Pee-Chee #18 Wayne Gretzky Rookie Card
Estimated Value in PSA 10 Gem Mint Condition: $465,000
There were two Wayne Gretzky rookie cards: the O-Pee-Chee card and the Topps card. Spoiler alert: both make our list. But it’s the super rare O-Pee-Chee that claims the title of most valuable hockey card in history.
O-Pee-Chee cards are lower-quality cards than Topps to begin with, so it’s extra difficult to find one in mint condition. In fact, only two O-Pee-Chee Gretzky rookie cards have ever been verified as PSA 10 Gem Mint Condition. Think you have the third?
1966 Topps USA Test #35 Bobby Orr Rookie Card
Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $205,000
Did you know that the NHL expanded from six to twelve teams for the 1967–68 season? That’s why Topps jumped at releasing “Test” issue cards. Design-wise you could confuse the Test card with the regular 1966 card, but it’s the details that make the difference. The woodgrain border is lighter on the Test card than on the regular one, and the backs of the cards are printed in English only, unlike the usual bilingual backs. And of course, of all the Test cards made, Bobby Orr’s extremely rare card is without a doubt the highest in value.
1979 Topps #18 Wayne Gretzky Rookie Card
Estimated Value in PSA 10 Gem Mint Condition: $200,000
Obviously both of The Great One’s rookie cards are incredibly valuable, but since Topps cards were better quality, and because only two O-Pee-Chee cards have ever claimed PSA 10 gem mint condition status, you can immediately tell how rare a perfect O-Pee-Chee card really is by comparison to the Topps. Then again, we wouldn’t turn down either card in any condition. Would you?
1958 Topps #66 Bobby Hull Rookie Card
Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $150,000
Bobby Hull was one of the most trophied players in hockey history, winning two Hart Memorial Trophies and three Art Ross Trophies over the course of his career. But it isn’t just his top position in the sport that makes his rookie card so valuable – it’s also the position his card was in at the time of printing.
Hull’s card was the last one in the set; it was placed at the bottom corner of the printing sheet. The bottom corner increases the likelihood of poor centring and other wear and tear. That’s why finding a pristine Hull rookie card is like finding a needle in a haystack!
1966 Topps #35 Bobby Orr Rookie Card
Estimated Value in PSA 9 Mint Condition: $115,000
It’s not just the 1966 Bobby Orr Test card that’s worth thousands – his regular 1966 Topps rookie card is too! Compare it to the Test card and you’ll notice the darker woodgrain border and the bilingual messaging on the back, complete with a “printed in Canada” message!
Time to get out your old collection and have a look. What would you do if you had one? Keep or sell?