1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card sets new record

A near mint PSA 8.5-graded 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle #311 rookie card set a new auction record at Heritage Auctions this weekend.

It realised $1.1m, more than doubling the previous $525,800 record.

Most cards in the Topps 1952 high numbers series were dumped in the sea

Only 12 other Mickey Mantle cards have achieved this grade or higher, out of a total of 1,392 PSA-authenticated cards.

This example originates from the Rosen find, a large cache of 1952 Topps cards that came to light in the 1980s. There were around 70 Mickey Mantle #311 rookies among them, of which the present lot was among the best.

Heritage explained the card's extraordinary appeal: "Beyond the stunning lack of wear, the card boasts the boldest hues we've encountered from the entirety of the 1952 Topps breed, an attribute that must be seen in person to be truly appreciated."

Most of the high numbered cards in the 1952 Topps series were released late in the season, which affected sales. The company made then made the bizarre decision to dump the unsold boxes in the sea.  

This is only the second trading card to ever break the $1m mark. The other is the legendary PSA grade 5 T206 Honus Wagner that made $3.1m earlier this year.

Other highlights included a grade 2 T206 Honus Wagner, which achieved $776,750.

This again shows an advance in values for classic baseball rarities, as PSA 2s were selling for around the $250,000 mark 10 years ago.

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