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Kobe Bryant Non-Rookie Card Sells for Record-Breaking $2 Million

A Kobe Bryant card was sold privately for $2 million, PWCC Marketplace announced Tuesday, becoming the most expensive sale ever for a card of the late Lakers star.

The sale is particularly notable because the card—a 1997–98 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems Emerald—is not a rookie card. It also does not contain an autograph from Bryant or a game-used memorabilia swatch. It is only one of 10 to exist, per Sports Collectors Digest’s Jeff Owens

However, the Bryant card is still in remarkable condition, which is extremely rare for this particular set of delicate cards, according to PWCC. The Bryant card received an 8.5 grade from Beckett Grading Services.

“This is arguably Kobe’s best card in existence,” Jesse Craig, director of business development at PWCC, said in a statement. “It’s [difficult] to find them in any condition —and because of their delicate nature, to find one in such good condition is incredibly rare.”

According to ESPN’s Dan Hajducky, the Bryant card is just one of a few basketball cards to break the $2 million threshold, joining multiple LeBron James RPAs (rookie patch autograph), a Luka Dončić Logoman auto and a Michael Jordan All Star Game-used jersey auto card. A James 2003–04 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection RPA parallel card still holds the overall record, after selling for $5.2 million in April ’21.

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The highest-selling Bryant card prior to Tuesday’s sale was a BGS 10 Black Label 1996–97 Topps Chrome Kobe Bryant Refractor, which sold for nearly $1.8 million in March 2021.

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