Who says you need an autograph or jersey swatch to add value to a box? For the past few years, the flagship Topps baseball set has been using more and more manufactured relics to compliment traditional hits. In many cases, these enhanced inserts are bringing better returns for sellers and giving collectors something that's different in the process. 2013 Topps Baseball Proven Mettle is one such example.
Using a player coin as the card's centerpiece, these cards are big and carry some weight. The player's face is part of the coin. Each 2013 Topps Baseball Proven Mettle insert comes in three different versions: Copper (#/99), Wrought Iron (#/50) and Steel #/10).
Inserted in both 2013 Topps Series 1 and Topps Series 2, the 50-card checklist includes a nice split of current superstars, retired greats and Hall of Famers. Some of the biggest names include Babe Ruth, Derek Jeter, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr. and Lou Gehrig. When Joe Morgan, Cliff Lee and Joey Votto are the "lesser" names in a set, you know a checklist is strong.
That's one of the benefits of manufactured relics. Companies don't need to worry as much about varied costs and availability that come with autographs and game-used memorabilia. It also negates the need for redemptions (except in extreme circumstances).
Collectors have been responding by paying strong prices. Generally, these sorts of cards start at $10. Rarer versions of superstars can go into the hundreds.
Click on the tabs above to get a complete gallery and checklist of 2013 Topps Baseball Proven Mettle cards from both Series 1 and Series 2.