Panini Stained Glass cards are a dazzling insert many collectors chase. With a design that showcases the aesthetics of a stained glass window, it’s easy to see why. As you will see in this guide to Stained Glass inserts, they look like works of art.
The Stained Glass inserts come in many sports, products, and releases. Therefore, we’ll be going through the Stained Glass history in today’s guide. The guide has everything you need to know before you invest.
Stained Glass debuted as an insert in 2012-13 in a product called Innovation. However, after Innovation’s run ended in 2013-14, Stained Glass didn’t resurface in basketball cards until 2020.
The insert is unique for several reasons. One of the reasons collectors like them is that they are beautiful yet much more affordable than an SSP like Kaboom.
There are pros and cons to the lower price point on these cards. However, collectors who can’t afford a Kaboom or a Downtown enjoy Stained Glass as an alternative chase card
Visually, the card looks almost exactly like you’d expect: the player’s picture is in the middle of the card, and the background looks like a window from a gothic cathedral. However, while Kaboom! and Downtown inserts have artistic depictions of the athletes; Stained Glass cards use an in-game picture.
The rareness of Stained Glass cards depends on the year and product.
The cards debuted in 2012-13 in Panini Innovation. They were called “SSPs” but had a checklist of 100 cards. From watching old breaks on YouTube, it looks like you’d get a couple per box.
Still, these OG Stained Glass cards sell for quite a bit if they’re the right player. For example, this Kobe recently sold for $1,500 raw. LeBron and Stephen Curry demand even more.
The 2012 set included many great rookies, like Jimmy Bulter, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, and Damien Lillard. The design and this incredible rookie lineup helped make this an incredibly popular insert. That said, it tapered off for several seasons.
The art of Stained Glass has evolved over the years. In addition, the product has spread to other sports and sets, largely thanks to the kickoff from Innovation.
Most recently, the biggest Stained Glass headlines have been made by 2020 Prizm football. Panini created a 20-card Stained Glass set for this release and placed one card in every five hobby boxes. Therefore, these cards are a proper SSP. The rarity explains why the Justin Herbert Stained Glass Prizm rookies sell for over $10,000.
Stained Glass has taken quite a journey over the years. So, let’s give it a look.
Because of the insert’s evolution, some versions of the card are much more desirable than others.
We’ll make this simple: if you want valuable Stained Glass cards, you want to go with the Innovation Basketball Set (2012-13, 2013-14) or Prizm Football. In Mosaic, the Stained Glass cards are far too common to demand immense value in the future. Prizm has made them an SP much more successfully – although the Mosaic might look just as good, if not better.
With that in mind, let’s talk about building out a collection.
Finally, here’s our countdown of the Top 5 Stained Glass Cards ever and why you should consider them.
The Kobe Bryant Innovation glass is one of three cards from the same set on this list. The card just barely edged out the 2012-13 glass rookies in this list. The Innovation is one of the best-looking cards of Kobe made during his NBA tenure. On a more poetic note, this Stained Glass card reminds us how beautiful and fragile life is – just like the Black Mamba himself.
I’ll just say it: Stephen looks 12-years-old on this card from his fourth season in the league. Still, it’s a piece of history in a storied career that will undoubtedly continue to add more achievements. Steph will be widely considered one of the greats when he hangs up his mouthguard.
This Joe Burrow card has two things going for it: 1) Prizm makes them insanely hard pulls, and 2) It’s a rookie. That’s a great combination for a young player who looks to be a high-level NFL talent for many, many years. This card’s value will only climb if Burrow can make the Bengals a perennial playoff threat (spoiler: he can).
I wrestled with the idea of putting this #1. But here’s the case: this is the first year of Stained Glass, and it’s a card of The King. Lebron has already proven everything. Meanwhile, active players’ cards can move a lot based future. Nonetheless, LeBron is a lock for increased value as time renders his cards scarcer.
The same argument for Burrow is why this Justin Herbert rookie landed at #1: It’s rarer than the innovation cards, and it’s also a rookie. LeBron, Kobe, and Steph are much more accomplished athletes. However, this rookie card is enough to land him in the top spot with Herbert’s potential.
Stained Glass cards are very eye-catching. However, they are also rare and artful enough to make them long-term holds. Of course, some Stained Glass cards are more scarce than others. Therefore, the value of these cards is dependent on brands and years. Be informed when you’re buying Stained Glass, and if you are, it could pay off in the long run.