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High Grades Lead to Skyrocketing Market Values for Modern Cards

Modern cards aren't thought to bring values their vintage counterparts bring, but all that has changed with third-party grading. Gem Mint cards are being scooped up by the high-rollers at skyrocketing prices.

Some otherwise common, modern sports cards valued at less than $100 in "raw" condition can be worth thousands of dollars in certified, pristine condition. For example, the 1971 Topps (#341) Steve Garvey baseball card often sells uncertified for only about $30, but one that was graded PSA Gem Mint 10 sold in an auction for more than $25,000.

PSA has compiled an eye-opening list of "15 Modern Card Prices That Will Blow Your Mind" ( As astounding as the Garvey card example may seem, it ranks "only" fifth on the list.

1993 Derek Jeter PSA 10

"Many people who collected cards in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s may think those cards they so feverishly collected growing up are now worthless. You might be shocked to learn that idea couldn’t be further from the truth. Many of the cards from those decades can be worth incredible amounts today in top grade," said PSA President Joe Orlando.

"The key to unlocking these monster values is the card receiving the grade of PSA Gem Mint 10. The gap in value between PSA ‘Gem Mint 10’ and say, PSA ‘Near Mint-Mint 8’ is often astounding," Orlando stated.

Here are five of PSA's "15 Modern Card Prices That Will Blow Your Mind."

Card:High Raw Book Value:PSA 10 Auction Price:
1) 1979 O-Pee-Chee

Wayne Gretzky #18 $800 $94,162

2) 1993 Upper Deck SP

Derek Jeter #279 $150 $33,842

3) 1975 Topps

Robin Yount #223 $ 50 $25,790

4) 1973 Topps

Mike Schmidt #615 $150 $25, 541

5) 1971 Topps

Steve Garvey #341 $ 30 $25,393

"These are standard, modern cards, not serial numbered, no game-used swatches or autographs. They are mainstream cards, ones that collectors were accustomed to seeing during the 1970s to early 1990s, with zero manufacturing scarcity. That fact makes these prices even more remarkable," said Orlando.

The complete PSA list of "15 Modern Card Prices That Will Blow Your Mind, along with illustrations and additional information about the cards, can be found online at

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