Extremely rare hockey card packs containing Wayne Gretzky rookie cards sell for $3.7 million

One Saskatchewan family is a whole lot richer this week after a case of unopened, 1979 O-Pee-Chee hockey cards was auctioned off for more than $3.7 million.

The reason the box is so valuable? It could contain more than 20 Wayne Gretzky rookie cards — one of the most prized possessions in card collecting.

Heritage Auctions said the 16 boxes contain roughly 10,000 cards.

The box was originally found when a family in Regina was cleaning out a storage room.

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“To think that this was sitting out there since 1980, especially in the condition that they’re in, completely shocked me,” Brad Hartlin, director of market development for PSA Canada, a third-party authentication and grading company for trading cards and memorabilia, told Global News. “It’s the find of a lifetime and it’s incredible for a hobbyist.”

A near-mint Gretzky rookie card can sell for $7,000 to $8,000, and a mint-condition card can fetch millions.

In fact, the last mint-condition Gretzky rookie card, sold by Heritage Auctions in 2021, fetched an eye-watering US$3.75 million (more than C$5 million.)

Tanner Piper, a card collector at Nut Man Regina, said he has never seen a box like this before.

“This is not just a Regina thing, but this is probably the most incredible find ever,” Piper said.

Heritage Auctions said the longtime collector has asked to remain anonymous.

Heritage Auctions has said it doesn’t expect the winning bidder to open the boxes, as they are rarer than the rookie cards.

— with files from Global News’ Michelle Butterfield

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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