Michael Jordan Rare Air Cards

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Last Updated On: April 18th, 2023

Michael Jordan’s career in the NBA is the epitome of GOAT status. With over 30 iconic achievements in the competitive sport of Basketball and 6 championship rings to his name, Michael Jordan displayed an unprecedented form of athleticism in his fifteen-season career. He dominated even in the fiercest of matches. As a subsequence, MJ’s legacy lives on vicariously in the hearts of the newer emerging talents and fans of the sport even today. 

Regarded as a cultural icon for revolutionizing the game of basketball, Michael Jordan’s name is an inspiration for millions. For this reason, in today’s fast-growing sports card market, sports cards with Michael Jordan’s name and face on it continue to appreciate very well. Buyers and investors are lining up to get their hands on unique MJ card sets such as the Michael Jordan Rare Air cards— a tribute set that debuted in the year 1994. 

Hit the bench, relax, and read on as we unravel the need-to-know details about the Michael Jordan Rare Air Cards set. 

Michael Jordan Rare Air Cards in a Nutshell 

Michael Jordan Rare Air Cards Tribute Set Factory Sealed (1994)

The Michael Jordan Rare Air card set is a collection of trading cards featuring, as the name suggests, the basketball legend Michael Jordan. These sports cards were manufactured by Upper Deck, and they depict a variety of iconic images of Jordan from his NBA career.

To elaborate, it is a set of 90 standard-sized cards and two 3 3/8” by 7 7/8” cards that illustrate black-and-white action shots of Michael Jordan.. The images on the cards include works of the renowned photographer, Walter Looss Jr. The set of cards was packaged in a factory box and sold exclusively for a retail price of $19.99. 

Not to mention, each set had a serial number out of 30,000. A gold foil-stamped set was included in every 12-set case. Only 2500 gold foil-stamped sets were made out of a total of 30,000 sets. This amplified the fun of scavenging and collecting them. Moreover, the limited number of gold foil-stamped sets added to their rarity and value. Collectors had to open the box and search for a gold foil hologram in the lower back of the cards to know if they scored the more valuable gold hologram set variant.

As far as the quality of the card images is concerned,  the fronts of the cards have seamless printing that touches the very edges. In these pictures, Michael Jordan can be seen on and off the court. The 90-card set can be broken down into three variations:

To begin, the first 50 Rare Air cards feature images extracted directly from the book, “Rare Air” (more on this below). Second, the fronts of cards 51-60 include pictures from Walter Looss Jr’s never before seen photography collection at that time. The remainder of the last 30 cards showcases Michael Jordan’s Decade of Dominance cards.  They highlight Jordan’s extraordinary achievements during his NBA career. The backs of the cards have snippets of commentary by either Jordan, Looss, or from the events of MJ’s basketball career. 

Michael Jordan Rare Air Cards Value  

As mentioned above, on the day of its release, the retail price for the Michael Jordan Rare Air cards set was $19.99. Since 1994, the value of the card set has appreciated anywhere between $60 to $115. On online platforms, some sellers are listing the sets for more than $200. 

However, it is crucial to note that the Michael Jordan Rare Air cards value can fluctuate depending on the condition of the cards. For instance, if you possess the Rare Air set that is not only factory sealed but is also in pristine condition, then it can sell for its maximum estimated price in the present-day sports card market. In case of scratches, bent edges, wear and tear, or in the absence of factory-sealed packaging, it can substantially lower the price.  

If you are looking to stay updated with the latest price trends of the Rare Air cards set, then 130 point is the place to conduct your meticulous research. 130 point provides an efficient and reliable database for staying in touch with the current prices. As a viewer, you can indulge yourself in the eBay sold listings and get an idea of the cost of a Michael Jordan Rare Air set.

Michael Jordan Rare Air Gold Hologram Value 

ebay 1994 Upper Deck Jordan Rare Air Card #1 Gold Hologram PSA 10
Source: eBay

If you are looking to get your hands on what is considered the holy grail of the Michael Jordan Rare Air Cards set, then it is the one and only, PSA 10 Graded 1994 Upper Deck Michael Jordan Rare Air #1 Gold Hologram card. As shown in the picture above, on December 2022, the card sold for a whopping price of $3,000. Currently this same card is listed for sale on eBay for $5,000! This is the only example assessed PSA 10 “gem mint” condition by PSA in their published population report.

Michael Jordan Rare Air Book 

Michael Jordan Rare Air Book

It is unquestionable to say that the inspiration for the Upper Deck Rare Air Card set came from the book, “Rare Air.” The cardinal purpose of the book was to pay homage to Jordan’s excellence in the sport of Basketball. The Rare Air Book was published on October 1st, 1993 by Harpercollins shortly after MJ’s first retirement. Upon skimming the main contents of the book, it is easy to recognize it as a photographic journey down memory lane of the world’s most widely recognized and acknowledged athlete, Michael Jordan. The book allows the reader to dive deep into the private life of MJ. 

It is a unique autobiography, as the words are of Jordan himself. The alluring aspect of the book is the picturesque photography— photos taken by Walter Looss Jr. The renowned journalist, Mark Vancil, the official author of the book uncovers the unseen aspects of Michael Jordan’s life. 

Michael’s words in the book are inspirational and are backed up with eye-catching pictures of his NBA journey. The book is available on eBay. The condition of the book varies from seller to seller and the price is relatively more for the 1st edition and autographed copies, of course. 

1997 Rare Air Tribute Set 

1997 Michael Jordan Rare Air Tribute set Factory Sealed (with golf ball included)

Following the 1994 Upper Deck Michael Jordan Rare Air card set, a 1997 Rare Air Tribute set also made its debut. The 1997 set has 85 total cards, compared with 90 for the 1994 set as mentioned earlier. Buyers can easily confuse the two, so be sure to make note of the appearance of each set, and keep in mind the latter set came with a golf ball as pictured.

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