The original “shine”…

Everyone loves shine. Red shine, orange shine, blue shine, even regular old shine, it doesn’t matter. Collectors go mad for some shine.

1993 Topps Finest gets credit for being one of the first limited production chrome/shiny sets. But you can go back a lot further back to find the father of the shine. That’s right I am talking about Topps Tiffany.

No set in the ’80s was more shrouded in mystery and intrigue to me as a young collector. I remember seeing it mentioned in the Beckett price guide but I didn’t now anyone that owned any; I wasn’t even sure where you would find them. From time to time I saw the blue-boxed sets at shows but it was very mysterious. This was in the day before hobby and retail versions were commonplace.

In my collection I have just one Tiffany card.
They had a glossy coating, were printed on white card stock and were just all around better quality. Sets were limited to an unfathomably low 5000. Itโ€™s hard to tell in the scan but this is a solid looking card. Much more crisp and clean than a regular card.

The back shows of the white card stock.
Kina like a traded card.

I am not 100% sure, but I would say with maybe 99% certainty that Tiffany was the first base parallel set.



8 responses to “The original “shine”…

  1. It depends on how you define a parallel. I’d have to consider the ’75 minis as well. Both are parallel versions of the same set sold as a separate set. The minis in packs and the Tiffany in factory set form. I’m just not sure off of the top of my head if the entire ’75 set was paralleled in mini format.

    I tend not to think of these kinds of cards as parallels though. They’re separate sets to me even though the front of the card might be identical. To me, a parallel is something that comes in packs along with the set it is paralleling. If not, Chrome would be a parallel of Flagship.

    • I stand by my assertion of it being a parallell, It’s not a pack inserted parallel but it is the exact same set printed at a higher quality. It runs parallel to the original. Topps chrome isn’t a parallel because it is a different set with different cards and different numbering.

      • Yeah, my brain made a giant leap there without looking. Chrome obviously doesn’t work. What about pack inserted parallels that have a different front of the card? Things that come to mind are Topps Tek, Five Star or other sets where the numbering is identical, but the fronts look different on each of the variations. I know Upper Deck has done this a couple of times, but nothing is springing to mind. Then there’s the silver or gold holograms on the back of the cards. How much has to be the same in order for it to be a parallel?

  2. The ’75 mini set was a parallel to the entire ’75 Topps set. Every card was duplicated in mini form.

    But when I speculated earlier that this was the first base parallel set, some collectors of cards from long ago pointed out several other parallel sets from way back.

    As for “shiny” cards, the Topps glossy mail-in sets of the early ’80s pre-date the Tiffany cards.

    • The mail-in cards weren’t based on the regular set though, right? you mean these.
      I mean shine as more than just a physical “shine”. I mean it as a higher level, more sought after high quality version.

  3. Correct. Those are the ones. They were completely different photos.

    When the mail-in glossies first came out in ’82-’83, they were definitely considered higher quality cards and much sought-after. Mail-order cards were the exclusive numbered cards of today. My friends and I couldn’t wait to send for them. I think Topps beat those glossy cards to death by offering them year after year, which probably diminished their original “wow” factor.

    But yeah, they weren’t the same as the base cards.

  4. I also only have one Tiffany card. Mine is Juan Beniquez. I think yours is a little better than mine.

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