Top 10 Stephen Curry Rookie Cards
Few basketball players have seen their stock rise as quickly as Stephen Curry during the last few seasons. The exciting point guard from Davidson is lighting up the league as a member of the Golden State Warriors. With his team now a legitimate playoff threat, Stephen Curry rookie cards are primed for an explosion.
From a collecting perspective, the rookie year for Stephen Curry was defined by transition. The season marked the beginning of Panini's NBA exclusive, the end of Topps basketball, and a fundamental change for Upper Deck. Although basketball collecting would never be the same, collectors are left with a good mix of Steph Curry rookie options. His full rookie card checklist, as well as an autographed memorabilia guide, can be seen in our Stephen Curry profile.
The following list looks at ten of the best Stephen Curry rookie cards available to collectors. Autographs are the most popular option, but there are also several base cards that remain on the collecting radar.
Top 10 Stephen Curry Cards
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2009-10 was Upper Deck's swan song as an NBA licensed product. Although Panini owned the NBA exclusive starting that year, Upper Deck produced their last few NBA products during the 2009-10 season. The majority of the cards showed players in their NBA gear, but this did not extend to the incoming rookie class. Sporting his Davidson jersey, this Steph Curry rookie card is a short print. There is also a First Edition version that looks very similar, but is card #196.
Like Upper Deck, 2009-10 was the last year Topps produced NBA products. As seen below, the rookies were given the photoshop treatment, but values were not affected. Collectors looking for the Topps Chrome rookie for Stephen Curry should know that there was not a standalone Chrome product in 2009-10. The cards were issued as numbered inserts (#/999) in the flagship Topps basketball product. Refractor (#/500) and Gold Refractor (#/50) parallels remain in high demand.
Showcasing a somewhat busy design, Steph Curry's 2009-10 SP Game Used rookie is numbered to 399. Despite the low print run, prices are reasonable for this premium base rookie card.
Stickers are never the preferred route for collectors, but the quality of the card design and subtly of the sticker make it easier to accept. The higher print run keeps values in check for this Stephen Curry rookie card.
There is nothing subtle about 2009-10 Absolute. The crowded card features a Refractor-like finish and manages to only devote 25-30% to an image of Curry. The rest of the card is segmented for the text boxes, autograph sticker and relic pieces. A mid-level print run helps keep values steady.
Definitely one of the unsung heroes of the the Stephen Curry rookie checklist, 2009-10 Classics brings a solid design, on-card signature and mid-level print run. Collectors looking for the best value should check these cards first.
While they are not as popular as the football version, 2009-10 Playoff Contenders Rookie Tickets are also on-card and feature a limited print run. One added perk for Steph Curry collectors is the oversized signature. Although the exact print run was never revealed, Panini noted that the Steph Curry rookie was part of a group limited to 649 copies or less. Despite this higher production range, the cards sell for strong values.
The checkered background is a little odd, but otherwise, this die-cut delivers everything that collectors look for in a rookie card. The gold foil crown adds a bold flash to the Stephen Curry card, and the on-card signature and low print run seal the deal.
The top two cards quickly push into the ultra high-end collecting world. As the last NBA edition of Exquisite, collectors are treated to a classic rookie card design with a college theme. Heavy white encompasses most of the card except for a small image box and foil text. This leaves a ton of room for the signature, which rivals Contenders as the largest on-card autograph among Stephen Curry rookie cards. The print run is only 225, but there are actually two cards in the base set, which are very similar. Card #72, shown on the right, is also numbered to 225.
Starting off with a bang, 2009-10 National Treasures was the collecting debut for the premium Panini product. It is easy to see why this became the standard for high-end basketball over the years. A large patch piece, on-card signature and low print run make this the most valuable and rare Stephen Curry rookie card available.