World’s most valuable trading card is worth more than some yachts

  • The ‘T-206 Honus Wagner’ is possibly the world’s most valuable trading card
  • Only 36 of these cards have been authenticated
  • Even examples in bad condition sell for millions

Published on Jul 05, 2024 at 5:09 PM (UTC+4)
by Alessandro Renesis

Last updated on Jul 23, 2024 at 1:54 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Kate Bain

This is the T-206 Honus Wagner card, possibly the rarest and most valuable trading card in the world.

The card is worth more than most cars, watches and even some yachts out there.

It’s a piece of history, and it’s obviously extremely rare, especially in this condition.

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In reality, this card is what some people in the collecting world would call a ‘White Whale’.

There are less than 50 of these cards in the world and only 36 have been authenticated.

Out of these 36, only 7 have been graded higher than the card you see here.

Just for context, a few years ago, a T-206 card with the back almost completely damaged sold for $2.5 million, so you can imagine how much a spotless card is worth.

A card people didn’t know still existed

A lot of people had no idea this card still existed, because everyone was convinced all available cards in this condition had either been lost or destroyed.

This example surfaced out of nowhere.

The owner bought it in the 1950s, and kept it in the family for around 70 years.

Then, a few years ago, it was bought by one of Ken Goldin’s clients.

Ken Goldin, the founder of Goldin Auctions, estimates the value of the card at around $25 million.

That’s more than the price of six Bugatti Tourbillons.

It’s so valuable even $10 million in cash can’t buy it

Here’s some context to further prove how valuable this this card is.

In an episode of King of Collectibles: The Goldin Touch on Netflix, Goldin personally tried to convince the owner of one of the T-206 Honus Wagner cards, Steve, to consign the card for an auction.

Goldin placed $10 million in cash on Steve’s table as a cash advance and Steve still said no.

The fact he could say no to a $10 million cash advance because he knew the card was potentially worth a lot more says it all.

The story behind ‘T-206 Honus Wagner’, the world’s most valuable trading card

The story of the world’s most valuable card is told in detail by Ken Goldin on his The Goldin Touch show on Netflix, as well as on his Instagram account.

In 1909, the American Tobacco Company printed T-206 sets to promote its cigarette and tobacco brands.

The T-206 Honus Wagner has become the ‘holy grail’ for card collectors, because of its condition, and because of how quickly it was discontinued and therefore became rare.

The story has it that Honus Wagner (below), a shortstop who spent nearly his entire career playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates, personally asked the American Tobacco Company to stop production of the card.

The common refrain says that Wagner did this because he wanted to be a role model for his kids, and so he didn’t want his name associated to a tobacco brand.

As a result, only a handful of cards were printed, and because we’re talking about well over 100 years ago, most of these cards were lost.

The few lucky people who own one keep it in safety deposit boxes in the bank, and it’s easy to see why.

# Tags - Luxury


Alessandro Renesis

Experienced content creator with a strong focus on cars and watches. Alessandro penned the first-ever post on the Supercar Blondie website and covers cars, watches, yachts, real estate and crypto. Former DriveTribe writer, fixed gear bike owner, obsessed with ducks for some reason.