You may be surprised to know that football cards can be a worthy investment, but if you have a chance to get your hands on one of the well conserved most valuable football cards in the market you can make a pretty good deal down the road. Collecting football cards is becoming more and more popular, and with a greater influx of collectors the price of those cards is surely going to rise.

#1 $240,000 for Bronco Nagurski – 1935 National Chicle SGC 96

most valuable football cards Nagurski


This card has held its title as the most expensive football card for many years, and it’s likely to keep it for a while longer. It was printed for the 1935 National Chicle set, with a charming art deco background typical of the time. While the 2006 sale is the highest value football card auction in history, even an ungraded one has a Beckett book value of $5.000, nothing to sneeze at. There are very few graded cards of this type in existence (135 at the time of writing this article) so if you ever get the chance to buy one as an investment, you should consider it.

#2 $71,800 for Sid Luckman – 1948 Leaf (yellow background) PSA 8

most valuable footballcards sid luckman

Sid Luckman

The 1948 Leaf set of football cards is one of the most valuable in existence, and several of their cards top the top 5 list of most valuable football cards to trade. Sid Luckman, greatest quarterback in Bears’ history, features on the #1 card. This card is valuable both because of its rarity and because of how difficult it is to find one in pristine condition.

Among all the cards that were issued, the ones with a yellow background are the most difficult to find and as such the most valuable.

#3 $38,600 for Charles Bednarik – 1948 Leaf PSA 8

Most valuable football cards Charles Bednarik

Charles Bednarik

Bednarik is widely remembered as a hard tackler, and the player who tackled Frank Gifford hard enough to knock him off professional football for a year and a half. As with all the other pieces on this set, finding one in pristine condition is very difficult and the ones with yellow background are the most valuable. A yellow variation in good condition and well centered is the best investment. There are also variations with an orange background that are less valuable but still worthwhile if you are a collector interested in building up the entire set.

#4 $38,000 for Sammy Baugh – 1948 Leaf SGC 96

Sammy Baugh

Sammy Baugh

Closely following Benarik’s value, this Sammy Baugh card features the quarterback and punter ready to throw a touchdown. This is a card due to become more valuable, as the status of this legendary player goes higher among the fans over the years. This card is also part of the 1948 Leaf Set. As of the fall of 2012 the number of graded cards for Sammy Baugh rookie is extremely low: only one at PSA 9, three at PSA 8.5 and 16 at PS 8. So if you ever come across one of those extremely rare cards rummaging through old albums or at a car sale, don’t miss your chance! It could sell on auction for up to $8.000.

#5 $31,600 for Bob Waterfield — 1948 Leaf PSA 8.5

most valuable football cards Bob Waterfield

Bob Waterfield

A well conserved Bob Waterfield card is generally valued at about $15.000 by the PSA Card association, but pristine condition of rare variations are much more expensive, and will reach higher values in auctions. This set is incredibly popular with collectors, which is the reason behind 4 out of the top 5 most valuable football cards belong to it.

Where to Find Valuable Football Cards

One of the best sources of valuable antiquities are car boot sales and antique stores selling card albums, but you will need to familiarize yourself with the designs that are worth real money if you want to make a sound investment. EBay is also a great place to purchase rare football cards and even complete sets, but you need to be careful of scammers and fakes.

If you are looking to invest in collectables, or are a hobbyist collector yourself, football cards are a good place to start as they aren’t as expensive as baseball cards. As you can see from this list of most valuable football cards to invest in, the going prices are nothing to sneeze at though the rarity of a particular card variant will affect the price greatly.

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