In a move that I knew was only a matter of time, PSA announced recently that it would tiptoe back into grading 1980's Star Basketball cards.
PSA used to grade Star cards and after getting burned multiple times on Type II counterfeits decided that it would put a halt to any Star Basketball card grading.
In our past conversations with Star expert Steve Taft he noted that fear among the grading companies (aside from Beckett) is what drove the decision to avoid the cards.
A lot of uncertainty in regards to distinguishing real cards from fakes, even though Taft in the past had offered his consultancy services to PSA and others.
But now, PSA appears to be thinking more opportunistically under the leadership of Nat Turner.
Steve Taft, on his Facebook page, noted that while he has spoken to PSA in the past about consulting, they are now grading Star cards without his official assistance. And for now, PSA is only grading cards from the 1984-1985 Star set.
My understanding is PSA is still working on their knowledge base for the other Star Co. sets, and, they may consider having me help with this phase, most notably the 1985-86 Star Type II's. - Steve Taft
First, let me just start by saying I'm really kicking myself right now. I knew this would happen and I wish I bought more of the Star cards I wanted.
Not like I got inside information or anything like that, but knew Star cards would just be too hard to ignore for PSA over the long term.
PSA's re-entrance into supporting Star cards now gives the sets more legitimacy overall. The fact that only one grading company (Beckett) was entertaining the issue left a bit of a black cloud over all the Star cards.
It's certainly one of the reasons we launched StarBasketballCards.com....not only are there so many subsets to keep track of, but the company did have a bit of a checkered past. We wanted to create a resource for anyone needing help in making sense of and legitimizing Star cards overall.
So what does this mean for Star Cards as an Investment?
We've already seen most of the Star Michael Jordan cards get a big bump following the official announcement from PSA. And this is in contrast to the 86 Fleer Jordan rookie card which has continued to plummet in value.
As an example, the 1984-1985 Star Michael Jordan XRC #101 card, the holy grail of all Star cards saw a huge bump in mid July on the PSA news.
Buy It Now for only: $23,945.00
Buy It Now
Buy It Now for only: $23,499.00
Buy It Now
Buy It Now for only: $34,499.99
Buy It Now
Some recent sales have fallen back to the original trend line however. Here's the pricing for a BGS 8 Star #101 Jordan over the last six months.
Many collectors are now looking to cross over their BGS Star cards over to PSA, and while I get it, I do feel like Beckett did a pretty good job in grading Star cards. But, if you can get a premium that offsets any grading fees with PSA, it's something to consider.
At the end of the day, PSA's move is really not all that important in terms of the actual Star cards themselves. The existing population of Star cards hasn't changed.
However, as we all know, the hobby can be funny sometimes, and it can take a move like this to help increase overall perception for a particular set. And in this case, a company that has indeed had a bit of a checkered past.
This doesn't clean up the mess left behind by Star and its owner Robert Levin, but it definitely helps to get more eyes on the multitude of fakes that exist.
I've always thought that Star cards were underrated, especially in terms of their relative supply in comparison to some of the more popular Fleer sets of the 1980's.
Thus, over the long term, I think the premier Star cards (Jordan's, key rookies like Ewing, Barkley, Olajuwon etc) will be good long term investments.
Have any thoughts on Star and the PSA news?
Let us know in the comments section below!