In 1993, Upper Deck created a small set that was nothing but pure gold. Okay, maybe it’s not 100% gold (I can’t verify it either way), but it certainly has a rich feel to it. The cards, featuring 8 of the top football players of the day, are more metal plates than they are cards. Do not be fooled by the scan below. A very simple design is not lost on the elegance of seeing these cards in person, or feeling them. The “cards” are the same size as an average card, but weigh much more! Modern printing plates that everyone seems to geek out about today have nothing on these gems. Each card has the player’s facsimile autograph on the left side and an etched photograph on the right. Each card is also hand numbered (etched) on the back, which was certainly not common in 1993. While each card is numbered to 2500, it is believed that only 1500 sets were ever made. These cards were only distributed by hobby shops.
The legendary checklist for this gold set consists of Joe Montana, Emmitt Smith (see below), Drew Bledsoe, Troy Aikman, Rick Mirer, Dan Marino, Steve Young, and Thurman Thomas. Wait, did someone say Rick Mirer?!? Okay, so Upper Deck is mortal afterall and included an eventual dud in this sweet set. It is still a set worth checking out! At this time, I cannot find any listed on eBay, checkoutmycards.com, or even (gasp!) Beckett Marketplace, so that may be some indication of their rarity and collectibility.
Now that’s what I call a shiny insert!