If the term, "rare" could be classified as an animal, it would be a teddy bear compared to the monster that would classify the scarcity of this parallel set. With a print run of just 30 copies, an insertion ratio of 1:300, and an absorption interval that lasted likely just a few brief months after initial release date, with respect to superstar and even star power, the market has all but dried up completely. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm talking about the famous 1996 Select Certified Mirror Gold parallels. These are cards that everyone wants but nobody has.
When you do see them, it's an all out bloodbath. To give you an idea of what we're up against here, have a look at the following completed sales of cards from this set. This data was recovered with the help of baseball card collector and reader, Kyle Schmidt.
Recorded Sales of Stars:
- Greg Maddux #137; PSA10; 12/1/13: $4,749.99
- Ken Griffey Jr. #47; 9/23/12; $4,500.00
- Derek Jeter #100; BGS9; 4/12/12; $4,055.02
- Jim Thome #69; PSA10; 7/13/13; $3,000.00
- Chipper Jones #142; PSA10; 12/1/13; $2,849.99
- Mike Piazza #138; PSA9; 12/3/13; $2,469.99
- Craig Biggio #33; PSA10; 1/4/14; $1,999.99
- Jim Thome #69; PSA10; 1/4/14; $1,799.99
- Alex Rodriguez #6; 8/5/12; $1,413.00 (set of gold, red and blue)
- Andre Dawson #96; PSA10; 7/26/14; $1,400.00
- Rickey Henderson #70; 1/29/14; $1,399.00
- Cal Ripken Jr. #139; 8/27/17; 19 Bids; $1,350
- Ozzie Smith #50; PSA 9; 10/11/17; 17 Bids; $535.89
- Juan Gonzalez #56; 8/3/17; 9 Bids; $4442.99
Recorded Sales of Commons:
- Justin Thompson #127; 8/19/17; 7 Bids; $12.50
Collectors that personal or private collect (PC) superstars will likely have to shell out four-figure dollar amounts for their guys Mirror Gold parallel... if they can find one. These parallels are less of a search and more of a mythical treasure hunt. It's really quite difficult to describe how incredibly tough these cards are to locate. I believe that a lot of this has to do with the fact that many of these were hoarded by collectors, investors, and set builders when the product was released. I can't think of any other reason why anyone would have to search for literally decades to find their guys Mirror Gold parallel. Aside from a few common players here and there, stars just don't surface often and in all of the years I've searched, I've seen very few superstars surface. Believe it folks, this is one of the most, if not the most desirable, respected, and scarcest parallel set in all of baseball cards that's printed in a quantity above 1. Another release with similar market strength is the ultra tough red parallel from the 1998 Donruss Crusade set.
My first encounter with a card from this set was at the 2015 National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago, IL. I stood in awe as I appreciated the design of this one gorgeous example. Player? Rey Ordonez. Did I care? Nope. I have just always wanted to see one of these 1996 Select Certified Mirror Gold parallels in person and they are absolute beauties. I've since added this Mo Vaughn so that I can continue to enjoy the in-hand experience.