Thursday, November 29, 2012

1996 Zenith Diamond Club Real Diamond

Set Size: 20 cards

Design Notes: A foil border in the shape of a diamond surrounds the player's photo, with the Zenith logo in an upper corner and a large portion of the bottom devoted to the set name and player's name. In the real diamond version, a small diamond is mounted at the base of the diamond. The backs contain a sepia photo of a baseball field in the background, with a player photo and short highlight paragraph.

Parallels and Similars: The regular version uses Pinnacle's Dufex technology, but there is no diamond.

Distribution: Regular cards were inserted one per box, and cards with real diamonds were found one in every 350 packs.

Thoughts: Pinnacle Brands tried a whole bunch of "gimmicky" ideas in the 1990s, including what I believe is the first card to contain an embedded gem. The actual diamond is pretty small and unimpressive, but the card is quite rare for its time. Actually, the diamond sticks out from the surface of the card a bit. I wonder if people pulling these from packs in 1996 were upset that the card preceding the diamond card most likely had a small dent in the back. Did it damage multiple cards? Or was there a filler card inserted to fix this? In addition to probably being the first embedded-gem card, it has to be one of the first "manu-relic" cards too!


  1. I remember the football card version of these. I have a Jerry Rice promo card that has a fake diamond in it... I think they were called "Studs" or something like that.

  2. I think I saw a baseball promo somewhere once, but I don't think it had the diamond (real or fake).

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I have a a-rod with real diamond..I think i have the only one..trying to sell it

    1. I have a Gary Sheffield. What do you think they are worth. I would sell mine as well.

  5. Tony: I don't know how big the actual print runs are, but they're not that uncommon. I doubt you'll get triple digits but if I got over $25 I'd be happy. I think I lucked out with this one, getting it out of a dollar box (or even better).