Investing in Fleer Michael Jordan Cards? Here is What You Need To Know

Fleer Michael Jordan cards are some of the basketball legend’s most sought after cards. If you are serious about collecting then no doubt these cards are on your list. But which ones should you invest in, and how does each card compare to the rest?

The Crème de la Crème of Fleer Michael Jordan Cards

 

In terms of which Michael Jordan Fleer cards have value, if you own the 1987, 1988, and of course his 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie #57, you have a great investment!

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1987 Fleer Michael Jordan #59

 

The Card

The key card in the 1987 Fleer set, this Michael Jordan card is numbered #59 out of 132. The 1987 Fleer designs are easily distinguishable as they boast large player images and gray stripes along the top and bottom boarders of the card. The Fleer brand name, along with the player’s team is located on the top of the card, with the player’s name and position on the bottom.

1987 Fleer Michael Jordan #59

As with most cards dating back 30+ years, these Michael Jordan cards are very condition sensitive. The corners can often be seen with some chip damage, and the gray color (along with the red and blue on the card back) can show noticeable wear. Another issue for the 1987 Fleer set was centering, so finding a highly graded 1987 Fleer Michael Jordan #59 card is exceptionally rare. If you do however, they can command a significant premium.

The Pricing

Out of the over 12,000 cards submitted to the PSA for grading, just about 200 have ever been graded as PSA 10’s. This is just about 2% of all the 1987 Fleer Michael Jordan cards graded. The price of this card has skyrocketed from an average of about $6,600 a year ago to almost $60,000 each now.  In terms of an investment return, if that were purchased a year ago, it would be a hair under 1,000%!

1988 Fleer Michael Jordan #17

 

The Card

Michael Jordan’s third year card was immensely popular when it first came out and is a staple for any collection. The Chicago Bulls colors can be seen all over the card, with the player being shown triumphantly high-fiving a team mate. Jordan can be seen wearing the iconic “old-school” design of the Bull’s uniform, taking us all back to the “glory days” of the 80’s. Similarly to the 1987 card, the 1988 Fleer is also quite condition sensitive, so finding a high quality card is very difficult.

1988 Fleer Michael Jordan #17

The Price

Out of the roughly 14,000 cards graded by the PSA, almost 550 have been PSA 10’s. At a PSA 10 ratio of roughly 4%, there are more highly graded cards than the previous year, but that does not mean that they are plentiful. The 1988 Fleer Michael Jordan #17 sold for roughly $1,575 a year ago, with the highest price recorded being $12,500 in February of 2021. The growth in this card ticks just under the 1987 with a market value increase of about 800%.

 

1986 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie #57

We left this card last for a reason. Considered by many to be the best Michael Jordan card ever made, the value of this card has been exploding since the pandemic started.  If you were a purchaser of this iconic card in January 2020, you would have paid about $35,000.  Over the next 12 months, the card jumped to almost $100,000 in May, then $215,000 in December of 2020. It didn't stop its astronomic rise in 2021 either.  In January's 2021 Goldin Auctions Elite sale, two 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan Rookie Cards shattered records, fetching $738,000 each!  That's a 21,000% return!!

 

1986-87-Fleer-Michael-Jordan-57-RC-Authentic-Rookie-Card

 

The 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie has the highest POP report out of any other Michael Jordan card with over 20,000 cards submitted to the PSA for grading. Less than 2% of these were PSA 10’s mainly because of those red borders being difficult to find without nicks. This means that despite there being a quite a few cards circulating, finding one in perfect condition is almost impossible.

Adding the Fleer Michael Jordan Cards to Your Collection

 

Assuming you don’t currently own any of these cards and want to add them to your collection you have a few options. The information above focused on PSA 10 versions of each card cost. Admittedly, most (if not all) of these prices are a “bit” out of most people's budget. If you don’t mind dropping quality just a little to a PSA 9 or PSA 8 then may find more "budget-friendly" deals.

The market value for a PSA 9 1987 Fleer Michael Jordan #59 is currently in the neighborhood of $8,500 - $9,000 and the 1988 Fleer Michael Jordan #17 is roughly $1,000 to $1,300.  PSA 8 version of the same cards can average at around $1800 (for the 1987 Fleer) and $550 (for the 1988 Fleer) respectively.  By no means are these "cheap" but considering the value for the PSA 10's, perhaps these at roughly 1/6th of the price for those 10's, may be considered an entry point for the advanced collector.  

But what about the 1986 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie #57?  The PSA 9 has sold for almost $70,000, twice as much as the PSA 10 sold for in January 2020 and more than the 1987 PSA 10 currently sells for.  So, one alternative might be to skip the rookie and pick up the 2nd year card.  However, if you absolutely need to get a graded rookie and are on a budget, look at the lowest end of the PSA spectrum. Those would run about $3500 - $5000 each.

 

There are over 13,500 other Michael Jordan cards.  Which would you consider investment worthy to add to this list?  Which other cards would be able to rival the value of the Fleer Michael Jordan cards? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!

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