Sports Cards and Stuff | Card Collecting Terms

One thing that can act as a gatekeeper in the world of sports cards is the jargon. To help the new and younger collectors, here’s a list of common terms used in the hobby!

Wax - A loose term that describes unopened packs of cards. An example sentence using the word “wax” would be, “I’m going to pick up some wax tomorrow.” Wax is probably the most common term you’ll run into at the start of the hobby. 

The next two terms are so common that you will probably find them on the boxes. Contrary to what I thought when I first entered the hobby, inserts and parallels are not the same things. Inserts are not part of the base or parallel sets; they are uniquely different. 

Insert - These are usually cards that come at a higher odds ratio. Instead of being a part of the normal base set, however, they are part of a “subset” or set within the set. They look different than the common cards and usually have different names. 

Parallel - A card that is a serial numbered version of another non-serial numbered card. For instance, a base card would be unnumbered, but a parallel of that base card would have a serial number. Parallels typically have the same design and photo but offer different color schemes.

A few examples of inserts are the “Busted” and “Kaboom” inserts from Panini Mosaic and Absolute, respectively. 

Other common terms are SP and SSP, which mean short print and super short print. This means there are a limited number of cards in the world. Cards that are SP or SSP are typically worth more than base cards. 

Relic - A relic is a card that contains a piece of game-used material such as a jersey or bat.

Because of the game-used aspect of the item, relics are usually pretty rare. They are also worth more when graded and sold, too. There are also items, such as Jersey Fusion, that are exclusively relics! Jersey Fusion is really an awesome product and very affordable considering the price of some boxes. 

There are a lot more terms and this is just the tip of the iceberg! Be sure to let us know if you’d like more of this type of content!


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