Stephen Curry is widely regarded as among the best long-distance shooters in NBA history, which is part of why his rookie cards are worth so much money. Steph has played for the Golden State Warriors for his entire pro basketball career. His awards list is huge: 4-time NBA Champion, 8-time All-Star player, and he’s been named the league MVP twice. He holds the NBA record for most 3-pointers. There are few basketball players that can hold a candle to that record of accomplishments - and that’s why he’s featured on some of the most expensive rookie cards around.
Steph’s incredible skill has definitely contributed to his popularity, which has given rise to the demand for Stephen Curry trading cards, which have become valuable collectibles. Rookie cards often command the highest value for a player because when the cards came out, no one knew what was ahead in that player’s career and so they weren’t necessarily a priority for collectors to obtain. Of course, Golden State Warriors fans have enjoyed Steph Curry’s dominance in basketball for years now, and his trading cards keep going up in value.
In this article, we'll take a look at seven of the most expensive types of Stephen Curry rookie cards, including a brief values and pricing guide that shows the massive range from well under $1,000 to almost $6,000,000. Each card and its parallels appear in one listing to make it easier to compare them and see what version might be right for your collection.
7) 2009 Panini Prestige - Stephen Curry Rookie Card - NBA Draft Picks - Light Blue
2009 was the debut year in the NBA for both Steph Curry and Panini America, an Italian company founded in 1961. That year, Panini was announced as the main producer of NBA basketball cards and they started with a bang.
The company's first NBA trading cards set, Panini Prestige, quickly became a hit with most fans and collectors. The Prestige set offered a unique design, high-quality images, and an extensive checklist featuring the biggest names in the league. Some detractors took time to get used to their visuals and design, but the collectibles market has definitely come around - just look at the prices of Steph Curry’s Panini cards below.
You've got a great number of options when picking which Steph Curry rookie card to buy. The Draft Picks Light Blue series is a good start. They all are low print-run and the variety of parallels are sure to interest collectors. Cards 2009 Panini Prestige #157 Stephen Curry, 2009 Panini Prestige #207 Stephen Curry, and 2009 Panini Prestige #230 Stephen Curry all feature different shots of a young Curry and they are fetching between $500 and $1,000 dollars in recent sales.
6) Panini Next Day Signatures Stephen Curry Rookie Auto #SCU
The Panini Next Day Signature cards featured simple design features hand-signed rookie cards with a big bold player picture occupying most of the front card space, with plenty of room to also accommodate the player’s signature.
Players were apparently provided with an unspecified number of cards to give out to family and friends. This exclusivity is likely one of the reasons for the cards’ popularity with collectors.
A pristine PSA Gem Mint 10 grade version was sold in November 2021 for $52,800 through PWCC. More are available for much less with a lower grade so adding this to your collection might not break the bank. Some cards that can still delight collectors but with lower grading can be found in the single-digit thousands online.
5) Upper Deck Exquisite Collection Stephen Curry Auto #72
Next up is the Curry rookie card from Upper Deck's Exquisite set, a company known for its cards that highlight player signatures and rookie patches. This 2009-10 release from Upper Deck has multiple "early release" subsets designed to make them worth more money. These include 42 standard cards numbered 199, 37 rookie cards numbered 225, and 18 flashback cards numbered 25. This card example is from the rookie card subset numbered 225, and is serial numbered 137/225.
This excellent card shows Curry in a white Davison uniform with his blue ink autograph below it. In January 2022, a 2009 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection #72 PSA Gem Mint 10 was sold through the PWCC Marketplace for $102,000. That card is in a condition rarely awarded, so those with some flaws have been sold in the last year for under $10,000. Either way, it’s a great looking card and that’s why it’s among the most expensive Stephen Curry cards.
4) 2009 Bowman ’48 - Stephen Curry RC - Standard, Blue, and Black Variants
What a difference a border makes. Bowman managed to release a set of Stephen Curry RCs in his debut year as well, and the limited print runs paid off in making them among the most expensive Stephen Curry rookie cards.
While the standard edition card with a white border goes for between $1,500 and about $4,000, the blue-bordered limited edition of /1948 goes for about twice as much. Even that version is easily topped by the black-bordered super-rare run of only /48, which has sold for over $100,000. Lower-graded copies see a pretty steep price-drop, so if you’re just looking to add a Steph Curry Rookie trading card to your collection, this set might be a good choice.
3) 2009 Topps Chrome Standard and Gold and other Topps Stephen Curry - RC #101
2009 is the last year Topps Chrome basketball cards were released, meaning that Steph Curry was just barely included in a famous set of rookie cards that includes Hall of Fame players like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and other hoops superstars. Topps also produced a regular card set with the same main image, and those are priced significantly lower.
While a Topps Chrome Gold Refractor (/50) card graded at PSA 8 sold for $204,000 in November of 22, those on a stricter budget can find the regular white cards, part of a /999 set, for considerably less. Grading is key here, too, as the difference in price from PSA 8 to 9.5 can be huge.
The 2009 Topps #321 Stephen Curry standard cards are even more of a bargain, with PSA 10 versions selling for $6,500, and many sticker and promo versions are available for less than $100.
2) 2009 Panini Absolute Stephen Curry RC #144 - Signature Materials NBA Logo 1/1
An interesting item among Curry 's rookie cards is the 2009 Panini Absolute Stephen Curry RC #144 Memorabilia Signature Materials card. These cards come with pieces of memorabilia, such as pieces of basketballs and jerseys, autographed stickers, and were limited to 499 prints.
While you can find versions of this card for a few thousand dollars online, depending on grading, but the NBA logo 1/1 version of this rookie card graded at PSA 10 was sold by Goldin Auctions in May of 2022 for $492,000, a huge price for NBA trading cards.
1) 2009 Playoff National Treasures #206 - Stephen Curry RC Autograph
In 2009, this line of Panini cards were called Playoff National Treasures, which eventually became Panini National Treasures. This super-premium series is popular and valuable because of their unique qualities, including short print runs, autographs right on the card, and the attractive designs that include multi-color patches. They’re among the most valuable cards Panini makes and the 2009 Playoff National Treasures #206 Steph Curry RC Autograph set is no exception.
His base card has three different versions, including gold (25), platinum (5), and a Logoman (1/1). While the platinum version sold by Goldin Auction went for a price north of $1,000,000 in 2022, back in 2021, the Logoman variation with a PSA 8 grade and that amazing-looking NBA patch, went for a record-breaking $5,900,000. Not the easiest one to add to your collection at that valuation and rarity, but it’s still a wonder to see.
Steph Curry Rookie Cards Remain Popular and Valuable
Fans and investors alike seek out Steph Curry rookie cards, which drives up their value. Since collectors seek the card to honor one of the best basketball players of all time and investors know his cards are worth a lot of money, it’s likely that Stephen Curry's rookie cards will remain popular and among the most expensive in the NBA for years to come.
Hopefully, Curry still has a long career ahead of him and he’ll see another bump in value when he retires eventually.