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 everyone wants but nobody has.
When you do see them, it’s an all out bloodbath. While this is the obvious case with stars and even sometimes minor stars, commons also hold a high degree of desirability.
Depending on who you collect, you may have to shell out big bucks for your guy’s Mirror Gold parallel… if you 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 guy’s 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 desirable, respected, and scarcest parallel sets in all of baseball cards that’s printed in a quantity above 1.
It was actually Upper Deck that produced the first pack issued card with a print run of less than 50. Reggie Jackson signed just 25 copies of his 1990 Upper Deck Heroes card with the inscription, “Mr. October.” (Search the site to find articles about that card.)
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 of the Rey Ordonez. I have always wanted to see one of these 1996 Select Certified Mirror Gold parallels in person, no matter the player, and they are absolutely stunning. I’ve since added the Mo Vaughn depicted here so I can continue to enjoy the in-hand experience.
To view the current eBay auctions for 1996 Select Certified Mirror Golds, click here.
1996 Select Certified is a hobby-only, 144-card set issued in 6-card packs with an SRP of $4.99. Cards are printed on 24pt silver mirror mylar card stock with color photos, and gray and black backgrounds. The base set includes two versions of card #105 (Sal Fasano) – error with Livan Hernandez’ name printed on the card, and the corrected version. All parallel sets include just the error version of this card.
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