The card has been dubbed as one of, if not the most desirable card in the Hall of Famer’s catalog.
The card features former Utah Jazz player tuned L.A. Laker, Karl Malone. The basketball star, nicknamed “The Mailman,” because of his consistent delivery, is known as one of the best power forwards in NBA history. According to his NBA profile, the two-time MVP closed out his career with 36,928 points–second only behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s record of 38,387.
Among many other achievements, Malone attempted more free throws and snatched more defensive rebounds than any other player in NBA history. As stated in the card’s writeup from the Lelands auction, the power forward delivered 14 NBA All-Star appearances and was a member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team in his 19 NBA campaigns, where all were played in Utah with the Jazz, excluding the final, played with the Lakers.
Despite the card featuring one of the most famous ballers of all time, the Lelands write-up adds that the ‘97-98 Precious Metal Gems parallel inserts are so popular that “…outside of autographs, these are some of the most coveted post-war sports cards of all time.”
The rare card is No. 97 in the 125-card series. Lelands notes that while each card is numbered as a limited edition of just one through 100, only the first 10 cards are of the Emerald variety while the others are red. This card happens to be the very first to come off the line, ranked one out of 100.
The No. 97 card additionally bears a strong BGS 7.5 NEAR MINT overall grade, with subs of: Centering 9.5, Corners 8, Edges 6.5, and surface 7.5.