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Thread: The Fall of Black Diamond

  1. #1

    The Fall of Black Diamond

    Years ago, BD was one of the marquee products in the industry. That Thornton RC was probably the RC of the 90s IMO (not debating this here so if you wanna start, open a new thread lol) but then it went away. It comes back, and for the first couple of years after the lockout it was solid. The Rookie Gems were not as Iconic as YG or SP FWA, but still a big deal to get one. The Quads booked higher then the YG, which is to be expected, much harder to pull. Now, Crosby Rookie Gems are below that of YG; YG Stamkos sells for close to $100 whereas Rookie Gem Stamkos are going for $38-44 bucks...

    Boxes of old product are now selling for less then UD1 in the same year; what gives?

    Was there just a shift of people growing tired of the brand? Was it a quality issue that people weren't happy with the foil cards? What happened?

    I ask because I used to love BD, but I don't want to buy a box of it, get a Quad RG Stamkos, and now be able to pay for the box. THEORETICALLY.... I don't break boxes to sell, but say I got a card of a guy I hate that sells well (RNH per say), if its the hit of the box, and it's selling for less then a comparable card from UD1; I'd rather stick to UD1...

    I just wanna know why people are hating on BD now lol
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  2. #2
    I really don't know, maybe it just got lost in the shuffle?

    I remember going CRAZY for it in 98/99, I managed to put together an entire set of Gold Triples, and back then a set numbered out of 1000 MEANT something hahahaaaa. And then I bought a box of 99/00 and got one of those die-cut Patrick Roys which was really cool and then.......I just stopped.

    Maybe it had something to do with the release date? Or the fact that it seemed to be such a small set to me, and yet it still had room for Steve Kariya? And when it did come back it was competing with SO MANY other UD products..............
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  3. #3
    Its simple.

    The 90s Black Diamond RCs were just that much harder to get. I only started collecting back in 95, so my knowledge on those products arnt as good as lets say closer to the 1st lockout .... but the Marleau / Thornton rookies were MUCCCCHH harder to hit than any Quad Rookie from 03/04 - Present. Also, back in 96/97, THE Thornton rookie to get was his Black Diamond. He didnt have an SP Authentic FW Auto Rookie /999, a Cup RC Au Patch /99 or and Ice Level 1 Rookie /99 .....

    Dont get me started on the 97/98 Black Diamond set ..... those quad rookie were / are near impossible to find. Once Luongo got traded to the Canucks, I had his 2 best rookie year cards on my wantlist:
    - 97/98 Black Diamond Quad Rookie /50
    - 97/98 Zenith Gold Rookie /100

    And it took me YEAARS to find it. I know Luongo collectors here in Vancouver that are still looking for one. ( Mine already has a new home once I decide to move it )

    Young Guns also became a staple in the hobby right around the 01/02 season ( Datsyuk / Kovy year ) ..... they are easily the most desirable non auto, non memorabilia, non numbered rookie ..... just because EVERYONE who collectors hockey or rookies knows and wants the YGs
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  4. #4
    For me, Black Diamond started to go wrong when they introduced several tiers within the set. Single diamond commons, doubles were less common, SP triples and SSP quads. Even the RCs had several different SP levels. Add to that the ultra low numbered parallels (red 100 / emerald 10 / onyx 1). Sometimes the parallels even carried over to the inserts. That's what turned me off BD
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  5. #5
    First let me start by saying that I really like Black Diamond. However, my guess is its decline has to do with the fact that none of the rookie cards have autos or mems. Beyond the Young Guns, which are the most popular rookie cards, collectors seem to want autographed and/or game-used rookie cards.
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  6. #6
    I think the first question to ask, is this: "What need (of collectors) does Black Diamond fill in Upper Deck's line of Hockey Products?"

    The answer? In my opinion, would be something like this: "Filler"

    It's a nice looking set (always has been) that has known chipping issues.... but I do think it sells reasonably well, especially right out the gate. This past season not included - it's been one of my go-to products for when I feel like busting a box... that isn't too expensive... but I'm not really collecting anything out of it. Just looking for a nice hit (or more) that I might decide to keep, or maybe I'll flip it in a sell or trade.

    That's what Black Diamond, to me, has really become.

    The set is not nearly as collected as UD Series 1 / 2. The RCs may actually be more limited, but less people want them. A Stamkos YG, you know there will always be someone looking for one, the Black Diamond?? Little tougher to find a dance partner in making a deal.

    The SPA FW Autos (or non-autos, for that matter) are another set that has become a "staple" in the hobby, at least for hockey. For years they were the first hard signed Rookie Cards available, always have a very clean look to them, and while not crazy limited (999 copies) they're limited enough.

    With SPx, you've got the first GU / Auto RC of the year.

    With SPGU, you've got the first SSP'd RC of the year (/99).

    With The Cup, you have the Ultra-Premium High-End release.

    You've also got some lower end sets (OPC, Victory, MVP, whatever) that will never get very expensive, becuase of high print runs / lower end product.

    But that does that leave you? Black Diamond, Artifacts, Trilogy, Champs, lots of other mid-end releases from Upper Deck over the years..... these are the sets that you consistantly see come hot out the gate, but by the time the next release roles around, their prices have dropped - becuase they're no longer the newest product on the market.

    I left out Ultimate in there, becuase it's still one that confuses me. It's a mid-end product, with a few high-end cards (Sheilds) dropped in.... and sells for somewhere between double and tripple what, IMO, it's really worth. The price point, and the fact that the RCs (at least of the 'star' players??) are AU /99 keep them up in value... but nowhere close to what The Cup sells for.

    I know I'm really spouting off reasons why other cards are considered 'collectible' when the truth is, I don't really care for the SPx, or SPGU stuff myself... so not trying to justify their spot in the pecking order, just my observations.

    Anyway, that's what I think the problem with Black Diamond is. It's a limited enough supply but there is little demand. Once half of UD's products have hit the shelves, there are many RCs of all players available, no matter what type you prefer, and not many collectors out there are really chasing the BD ones.
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  7. #7
    Good discussion topic.

    When I got back into the hobby, one of my first projects was putting together the 2007-08 set. It was fun and gave me something to do. I liked the look of the cards and that crop had some good players worth chasing. I did the same with 2008-09. However, that was the year of UD Canadiens Centennial and I went crazy with the product. In order to feed the need for all-Habs all-the-time, something had to go. See ya Black Diamond set....or at least parts of it. As I look at my Inventory now I see that I still have a great number of the Quad Diamond RC's and Veterans. Kane & Toews moved immediately, as did some of the other bigger name veterans. But the rest....stuck with them now. I haven't collected the product since.

    Why? I think my good and great friend Steffen caught it in a bottle above when he summed up the product's big drawback relative to the 21 other licensed products out there: "non auto, non memorabilia, non numbered rookie." It's just another release that's out there now, without anything really special in the main product to drive sales.

    There are some great insert sets in Black Diamond. I love the Championship Rings and the Hardware Heroes. They look great.

    In my ideal hobby world, where filler sets get chopped up and mashed together, there'd be aspects of Black Diamond I would retain. Not so sure about the product itself though as it currently exist.
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  8. #8
    Personally, I've never been a fan of BD, but I do know that it had it's die hard collectors who purchased in by the truck load every year. I was never a fan because every time I cracked a box, it seemed as though the "hit" always had some kind of chipping issue. For me, I never saw the need to spend the cash on something that had an excellent chance of being damaged straight out of the pack.

    But on a grander scale, as the prices of packs have gone up, people simply stop buying products that they feel are redundant and Black Diamond is one of those products.
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  9. #9
    2000-01 was the last good year for BD.

    The 1998-99 <><><><> Quad Emerald's were some of the nicest cards ever made. I only bought one box, but managed to pull a Ray Bourque Emerald Quad. I was able to sell if for $90.00. It was magnificent.

  10. #10
    These have got to be some of the most educated responses to a post of mine on here ever (only like a month but still :p); keep em coming guys, I'm really enjoying what everyone thinks. It's still crazy to me that someone like a Crosby/Stamkos, a one per box SSP, sells for less then the UD 6 per box YG do now.... just baffles me how far BD has fallen
    Currently selling off a good chunk of the collection, if you have a PC, ask me :)

    Always Smoke Free trading/selling, I expect your cards to be the same too.

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