#007: Goldin. Ken Goldin.

The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success. (Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997)

2020 was the biggest year for sport card prices ever…you thought!

Only a month into the new year and 2021 has already snatched that distinction. 

“How is that even possible?” some might wonder. 

“Goldin. Ken Goldin.”

Seemingly overnight, Goldin turned the hobby on its head with - not one, but two recording breaking sales of iconic grail and market indicator for the hobby: #57 from 1986 Fleer in PSA 10, both moving for a whopping $738,000 after the buyer’s premium. 

THE name in sports cards, memorabilia, and collectible assets. That did not happen overnight. 

“A rising tide lifts all boats” would work here but Goldin’s relentless pursuit of the absolute best prices for all who consign with him - culminated in the record-breaking auction, recapped below, is better described as a tsunami. 

RUNNEMEDE, NJ, FEBRUARY 1, 2020 — the largest online sports collectibles auction of all time. The $33 million auction featured a number of  record-breaking items, including: 

  • Jordan’s final game worn jersey, the most valuable Jordan jersey ever sold: $584,250

  • Pat Mahomes rookie card set the record for most expensive football card ever sold: $861,000

  • Most valuable Michael Jordan 1986 Fleer #57 ever sold: $738,000 (two)

  • Most ever paid for a Mickey Mantle ‘52 Topps PSA 8: $1,605,150

  • Highest-priced Kobe Bryant card ever sold: $461,250

  • Highest price for any Luka Doncic card: $799,500

  • Highest price for any Lou Gehrig card: $801,960

  • Most expensive Stephen Curry card ever: $984,000

  • Highest price ever for an Anthony Davis card: $1,045,500

  • Most expensive Pokémon card set ever sold: $682,650

(source: Goldin Auctions)

Ken’s reputation, policies, and credit checks on prospective buyers gives the 1% of the 1% the options and assurances they need to make a sizable investment in sports cards, and is part of the reason his company has overseen more than $275 million worth of sales, including more than $100 million in 2020 alone

Pretty much price-averse, these kinds of buyers are the ones who many speculate will be the reason the Jordan Fleer PSA 10 never ever goes down. 

With less than 320 PSA 10s of Michael Jordan’s only official rookie card in existence, the demand will far exceed the supply. “To the moon” indeed. 

For the longest time, high-end Tim Duncan and Dwyane Wade rookie cards were trading at the fraction of the cost of someone like Jayson Tatum or Michael Porter Jr.’s base cards. The shift to legends cannot be understated in significance but many experienced collectors, investors, and hobbyists would say it was due and hoped it was only a matter of time. 

Goldin is a catalyst, pioneer, and innovator the likes of which few industries have ever seen. He pushes the needle where it needs to be and raises the roof of the hobby as a whole, creating room for all to grow in value.

In the last two weeks, the prices of most iconic athletes and collectibles across the board has sky-rocketed - in many cases, doubling, tripling, and quadrupling the demand prices for established legends and their high/middle and low-end assets.

Especially vintage but even modern cards like the 2011 Topps Update Mike Trout  have seen three or four-fold growth in the last couple weeks.

A bonafide superstar in his own right, Ken’s credentials are unparalleled and impact unmatched. Furthermore, these incredible prices for his consignees is a multi-faceted boon for the hobby. Most of that 33 million is likely to be reinvested in other cards and collectibles. 

A new auction of over 1,000 items, including another 1986 Fleer MJ in PSA 10 (the 1979 Gretzky OPC) - is live as of February 5th. We aren’t alone in expecting records to be broken whenever Ken touches something, call it the Goldin Rule.

While they sold the most expensive Kobe card to date at nearly half-a-million, Goldin Auctions is upping the stakes once more. Ken gave a sneak peak of the next Elite auction on his Instagram (@KenGoldin, one of the best follows on the internet). The Black Label 1996 Topps Chrome Kobe Refractor - yes, a Black Label Kobe Chrome Refractor - is hitting the market.

The first seven-figure Kobe sale is very much in play. The real question in this market might be: will it challenge the highest (public) basketball card sale to date? Hit $2 million? 

Sounds crazy but you’d learn your lesson betting against Goldin.  

I’ll take my hobby shaken, not stirred. Diamonds are forever.