The Bling’s the Thing: Panini America’s New Football Set Sparkles with Diamonds, Gold

Traditionally speaking, sports trading card production during the last 100 years or so has required seemingly endless supplies of two fundamental materials: Ink and paper. But true to form, Panini America is once again about to throw tradition on its head by incorporating two more precious materials: Diamonds and gold.

Traditionally speaking, sports trading card production during the last 100 years or so has required — almost exclusively — two fundamental resources: Ink and paper. Leave it to Panini America to throw tradition for a loop by introducing two more precious materials to the manufacturing mix: Diamonds and gold.

Indeed, when the company’s new 2011 Gold Standard Football set releases to the masses later this week (in packaging designed to resemble gold bars, no less), it will include a limited number of special trading cards embedded with real diamonds and pieces of real 14-karat gold.

And those fans lucky enough to uncover the hidden gems will realize collecting’s equivalent of winning a Super Bowl ring.

In all, there are 50 cards in Gold Standard embedded with diamonds, including 30 Super Bowl Rings Signatures (five each autographed by former Super Bowl MVPs Troy Aikman, John Elway, Aaron Rodgers, Terry Bradshaw and Tom Brady). In addition, there are 20 Super Bowl Rings cards that pay tribute to the Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers dynasties that include . . . wait for it, wait for it . . . one diamond honoring each Super Bowl championship.

In other words, the Steelers Super Bowl Ring cards include six diamonds each, the Cowboys and 49ers cards include five diamonds each and the Packers cards include four diamonds, confirming unequivocally that while the ring may indeed be the thing, the bling’s not bad, either.

Each of the 132 full-cut diamonds used in Gold Standard weighs approximately 1/10th of a carat, boasts clarity of SI2 or better and color of “I” or better. And according to Jeff Bertman, owner of Rogers Jewelry in Quincy, Mass, each diamond also carries an approximate retail value of $120. Combine that with the overall scarcity of the cards themselves and the individual player autographs on them and you have a collection of cards that, quite literally, could be worth more than their weight in, well, diamonds – or gold.

2011 Gold Standard Football will live up to its name by embedding more than 2,200 total trading cards with shimmering circular discs of real 14-karat gold. Quite literally, there is gold in that thar Hillis. Tim Tebow? A golden boy for sure. There will be no more than 10 copies of any one gold card, and most of them will also include the depicted player’s autograph.

It’s a strike-it-rich, collecting-turned-gold-digging proposition that should be well received by NFL fans across the country starting later this week. Until then, enjoy these gilded first glimpses at football cards that must be seen to be believed . . .


27 Replies to “The Bling’s the Thing: Panini America’s New Football Set Sparkles with Diamonds, Gold”

  1. Pingback: Anonymous
  2. Amazing looking cards. Amazing concept to incorporate gold & diamonds into this high-end product that gives them tremendous value above and beyond any normal signature or memorabilia card.

    But sticker autos.

    What could have been absolute A+ cards get knocked down a peg for not being hard-signed. You guys clearly put in a ton of effort into making these cards, why settle for anything less than the best? The gold standard for autos is on-card signatures.

    Still, wowzas!

  3. P.S.- Is the 2011 Gold Standard football cards going to be in stores like Target and Walmart, or only in Panini stores and on the website?

  4. Usually the wives ask for gold and diamonds for Christmas….I guess i can do the same now!

    Some incredible, valuable, collectible stuff Panini. Wow.That Aaron rodgers will be a hot item. Wished he had lost yesterday. uggggg. but he shows why he is tops. These look great. gold, diamonds, autographs….oh my!

  5. Ahhhhhhahhhhhh, sorry that was me drooling over how SWEET these cards are!! Tracy i will trade my Golden Ticket to meet Kobe for that Aaron Rodgers diamond auto!!!! Ha ha, but for real you guys killed it with this release. This looks like this might be the BEST product of the year!! When is the official release date for GOLD Standard? Hopefully not until next week so i have this whole week to save money, so i can buy 4 or 5 boxes as soon as it comes out. That will just be the first 5 because i plan on busting alot more than that. I love the gold and diamond idea and love how you guys at Panini keep on making the most innovative and unique cards ever! Keep on killing it Panini!!!! PANINI #1!!!!

  6. Really just echoing rgm81 on the sticker auto thing. A *real* diamond and sticker auto just don’t match. C’mon man!

    Still, the cards look nice and extra credit for an imaginative idea. Gold Standard was one of my fav sets for basketball last year. It’s got some 90s nostalgia or something that I respond too. Shimmery stuff just looks good.

  7. What a great set of cards gold std with panini diamond and gold inserts let the gold mining and diamonds unfold across amercia I cant wait wow truely ground breaking great work panini keep up the great ideas for awesome cards from a big collector of mostly dallas cowboys thank you so much.

  8. I feel like basketball is the ginn pig to football. This Gold Standard looks amazing compared to the basketball version. Even last year’s crown royale FB looked 10x better than then BK version. Just an oberservation. But seriously, this product looks great! Nice work!

  9. i know what the female collectors will be asking for now, lol
    also, i happened to notice, all the autos in the pictures had sticker autos,
    any on-card autos in gold this year?

    either way, you have a killer product and will no doubt sell out

    also, that tom brady diamond card you show a picture of,
    is that just waiting for the brady sticker to be applied, or is that the finished product?
    or will you have have diamond cards without autos? just asking to be sure

  10. Although a year and a half later, I just pulled the Aaron Rodgers auto diamond #3 of 5. What a gorgeous card! Thanks, Panini!

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