Many people collect sports cards as children, but shift away from the hobby as life's other priorities begin to seem more important. If you loved football cards when you were a child and it's been several years since you added to your collection, there's no better time to get involved again than now. You'll likely be surprised to know that the football card industry has boomed since you were last involved and now offers a head-turning array of cards that are randomly inserted in packs. And, given the proliferation of online sellers, you'll be able to scour the Internet to find the products and prices that suit you best. Here are some inserts that you'll likely encounter.
Also known as "game-used" cards, relic cards are special inserts that contain a small swatch of something that the player has actually worn. Jersey cards are a common example of relic cards; you may find a football card with a small piece of jersey cut from a game-used jersey worn by a professional player. These cards are randomly inserted in packs, and specific products will tell you your probability of finding a relic card in a pack. If you buy a box of 24 packs, for example, many products will guarantee one jersey card or more per box.
Autograph cards are exactly what they sound like — they feature a player's autograph on the face of the card. Unlike some cards that you may have collected as a teenager, however, today's autograph cards aren't facsimile. This means that instead of the autograph being part of the card's design, the card has actually been signed by the player. Like relic cards, autograph cards are randomly inserted in packs. Even rarer are cut autographs — these cards often feature autographs from football personalities who are now deceased. The card company will buy authenticated copies of a given player or coach's autograph and then insert them into the card.
Serial-numbered cards are also inserted randomly in packs. They might not seem to possess the initial attraction of relic and autograph cards, but they're highly collectible. Serial-numbered cards are printed in limited quantities and marked so that you know exactly how many copies there are of a certain card. For example, a card may be stamped 3/25. This indicates that there are 25 copies of the card in existence and yours is the third one that was printed. Given the rarity of these cards, they can often command top dollar on the secondary market.
For more information, contact local professionals like BEGC Sports Cards.