Top 20 Trading Card Rarities

by Joe Orlando

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In the following slideshow, we have put together a list of some of the greatest rarities in the trading card market. To make it clear, this list was not assembled with scarcity as the lone factor. Each card combines a level of scarcity with popularity, extreme importance and other factors. There are certainly extreme rarities in existence that are clearly harder to find than several of the entries on the list, but some of them are considered esoteric by hobby standards.

From the 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth to the 1932 U.S. Presidents Caramel William McKinley to the 1948 Leaf Boxing Rocky Graziano, this list features a diverse group of cardboard treasures and is not for the faint of heart. The cards featured in this slideshow exhibit a degree of difficulty along with a measure of desirability that few cards possess within their particular genre.

The cards are listed in chronological order, starting nearly 150 years ago and each listing contains an approximate survival rate as of this date. You never know when the next great discovery will occur and the number of estimated examples known will change.

So, enjoy the visual tour and see how your list matches up with ours.

Joe Orlando
President & CEO, Collectors Universe, Inc.