Steph Curry (True) Rookie Cards

With the 7th Pick in the 1st Round of the 2009 NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors selected Stephen Curry from Davidson University. According to my research, Steph Curry’s rookie cards have gone to a whole new level which begs the question how many true rookie cards does Steph Curry actually have?

Breakdown of Steph Curry Rookies

Steph Curry has 23 true rookie cards and 41 parallel cards.

  • 7 cards feature event-worn material with an autograph.
  • 5 cards that feature just his autograph.
  • 4 cards that feature him in his college uniform.
  • 8 base card rookies with no autograph and no event-worn material.

This post will help you identify which ones are true rookie cards. But it’s an entirely different thing to know which are the most expensive, and which ones are the most affordable.


Before We Begin

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True Rookie Card

Identifier (RC) Defined

A rookie card is a trading card that is the first to feature an athlete AFTER that athlete has participated in the highest level of competition within his or her respected sport. It must be licensed by both the League and the Players Association. An RC identifier is only given to cards that fit this criteria. Below is an exhaustive list of the featured players true rookie cards.

2009-10 Absolute Memorabilia #144 (RC)

Leading us off is this dual memorabilia autograph card. They are numbered /499 and offer “event worn material” not game used. This means the relics featured on these were probably from some rookie photoshoot or something similar, this diminishes values slightly, its saving grace is the autograph.

This product does offer parallels but it does not include the rookies.


2009-10 Adrenalyn XL #67 (RC)

This product was Panini’s attempt at the Trading Card Game concept. You entered the Activation Code found on the card back and you would build your virtual collection, play the game against other competitors and you had a chance to win exclusive Panini prizes. The concept never really took off in the hobby.

Adrenalyn XL was a 300 card set and featured no parallels. However, there was an Italian version available too. It mimics the American version but it’s extremely difficult to tell the difference between the two.


2009-10 Bowman 48 #106 (RC)

Bowman 48 is a 121 card set that slightly mimics the 1948 Baseball set in the design. They are serial-numbered to 2009 and offer two parallels. Blue #’d/1948, and Black #’d/48.


2009-10 Certified #176 (RC)

A lot is going on here, sticker autograph with another event worn swatch, not game used. One thing it has going for it is a lower-print run.

If you like parallels maybe this one is for you. Certifed Red #’d/100, Blue #’d/50, Gold #’d/25, Mirror Emerald #’d/5, and Mirror Black 1/1.


2009-10 Classics #166 (RC)

Here we have a very basic/classic design. The on-card autograph takes it to the next level and serial-numbered to /499 is another definite plus. I really appreciate the card back as it offers a photo, player bio, full stats, and commentary. All in all, a solid rookie card of a future Hall of Famer.

This product offers three parallels: Timeless Tributes Silver #’d/100, Gold #’d/50, and Platinum #’d/25.


2009-10 Court Kings #129 (RC)

Court Kings is a 150 card set and offers a Steph Curry rookie card #’d/649 oddly enough. I sometimes wonder how they come up with such odd numbers in their serial number sequence.

The design leans more towards an art card but a beautiful card nonetheless. It is a sticker autograph that was prevalent in the day. The set offers three parallels but none of them showcases any of the rookies. So technically there are no parallels of this card.


2009-10 Crown Royale #103 (RC)

The beloved Crown Royale brand featured a 140 card set and the rookies were #’d/399 respectively. This die-cut, gold foil beauty has an on-card autograph rather than a sticker. There are no parallels for it but look at it. Does it really need any?


2009-10 Donruss Elite #166 (RC)

This black border beauty is sophisticated in design. It’s #’d/499 and offers collectors an on-card autograph. The parallels are amazing: Status #’d/70, Status Gold #’d/24, and Aspirations #’d/30.


2009-10 Exquisite Collection #64 (RC)

The Exquisite is our first premium product rookie card of Steph Curry. It’s a clean, simple design that offers a beautiful on-card autograph and the cherry on top is a low print run with only 225 copies available.

However, a few downers in my opinion anyway, a premium product with a college uniform doesn’t really work for me, the photo on the card front could be a lot better, and the card back is a disaster. No player bio, stats, commentary, just a certificate of authenticity. There are no parallels in this set.


2009-10 Limited #156 (RC)

Limited is a 180 card set with a low print run of only /299 for this Steph Curry base rookie card. The design features lots of silver foil which gives it a lot of shine, a sticker autograph, and an event-worn swatch. The back of the card is well thought and gives everything a good card back should have. This card has lots going on for it.

There are three parallels for this one. Silver Spotlight #’d/25, Gold Spot Light #’d/10, and Platinum Spot Light which is a one of one.


2009-10 Panini #307 (RC)

The Panini product is quite large weighing in at 400 cards to complete the set which surprisingly was released in a single series. A simple clean base card design with no serial numbers, autographs, or swatches. Just a classic rookie card – enjoy!

There are two other cards featured in the base set of Steph Curry, cards #357 and #372 and some collectors have embraced those to be rookie cards as well.

However, I’m more of a true rookie card collector and a long-time hobby standard has said that a rookie card must be part of the base set and if more than one card features a player, only the first card issued in the set will get the RC identifier.

The other two aforementioned cards I consider to be “Rookie Year” cards. There are two parallels; Glossy – not serial numbered, and Artist Proof #’d/199.


2009-10 Panini Threads #107 (RC)

Panini Threads is unique in offering collectors an autographed name patch #’d/625. A cool concept with a couple of concerns. First, the card was signed on the fabric of the name patch which time has shown us there is a tendency of fading or the fabric absorbing the ink.

Also, on the back of the card, Panini certifies the signature but not the name patch which causes questionable authenticity of an actual Curry jersey.

The set offers collectors four parallels but none of them include the rookies so technically speaking there are no parallels for this one.


2009-10 Playoff Contenders #106 (RC)

Contenders is a 150 card set and offer a really cool on-card autograph and card design. It is not serial numbered like many of the other autographs but it is believed to be short-printed. There is one parallel (kind of), Championship Ticket – which is a one of one.


2009-10 National Treasures #206 (RC)

Well, here it is friends! The most monetarily valuable Steph Curry rookie card produced. The 238 cards complete the set which is rather large for a premium product.

The hobby has affectionately called these RPA’s which stands for “rookie-patch-autos.” Adding to this trifecta is an extremely low print run of only /99 cards.

It offers everything good in the world of sports cards but it will come with a cost with the most recent one selling in March of 2021 for $430k respectively. Two parallels do exist; Century Gold #’d/25 and Century Platinum #’d/5. Can you imagine what one of these would sell for? Sheeesszz!


2009-10 Prestige #157 (RC)

This one has a lot of similarities to the Panini brand, it’s not as large weighing in at 255 cards but it does offer a simple clean base card design with no serial numbers, autographs, or swatches. Just a good old-fashioned rookie card, Lol.

There are two other cards featured in the base set of Steph Curry, cards #207 and #230 and some collectors have embraced those to be rookie cards as well.

However, I’m more of a true rookie card collector and a long-time hobby standard has said that a rookie card must be part of the base set and if more than one card features a player, only the first card issued in the set will get the RC identifier.

The other two aforementioned cards I consider to be “Rookie Year” cards. There are a total of three parallel cards; Bonus Shots Orange #’d/300, Bonus Shots Green #’d/25, and Bonus Shots Black #’d/10.


2009-10 Rookies & Stars #136 (RC)

Rookies & Stars is a 170 card set and the rookie cards are #’d/449 respectively. Descent design with a large jersey/team swatch that is autographed. Be mindful of exposing these to any light for long periods of time because it may cause fading since it was signed directly onto the material.

There are three parallels; Longevity Ruby #’d/49, Gold #’d/25, and Sapphire which is a one of one.


2009-10 SP Game Used #133 (RC)

SP Game Used makes me grimace a bit. It’s a 142 card set and rookies are #’d/399. But the base rookies do not have any game-used material on them, isn’t that the theme of the brand? Also, it shows Curry in his college uniform.

The card design lacks a lot in my opinion and there are no parallels either. Are you grimacing too? However, it’s still an official rookie card of a future Hall of Famer.


2009-10 Studio #129 (RC)

The Studio brand is simple and basic. Nothing stands out as far as autographs or swatches, not even serial-numbered.

The real excitement with these comes in the parallels; Proofs Bronze #’d/199, Proofs Silver #’d/99, Proofs Gold #’d/10, and Proofs Platinum which is a one-of-one.


2009-10 Timeless Treasures #106 (RC)

Timeless Treasures offers a fairly low print run at only /299 copies available. However, a major flaw comes in the form of fading and/or smearing of the autograph. Every copy I’ve ever seen is this way which is ironic since the brand claims it’s timeless.

There are three parallels available. Silvers #’d/25, Gold #’d/10, and Platinum which is a one of one.


2009-10 Topps #321 (RC)

The Topps “flagship” product is a 321 card set released in a single series. Many collectors love the Topps brand but are disappointed with this card in particular. The complaints are in the photo used, the very young portrait photo of Curry doesn’t do it for some collectors.

The card back having black borders makes gem mint conditions very difficult. There are two parallels; Gold #’d/2009, and Black #’d/50.


2009-10 Topps Chrome #101 (RC)

The Topps Chrome set is much smaller weighing in at 110 cards, and the rookies are serial-numbered to /999. Although many of the same complaints are similar to the Topps copy the real magic comes in the Topps Chrome parallels.

There are three parallels; Refractors #’d/500, Refractor Gold #’d/50, and Superfractor – one of one. This was an extremely popular mainstream product within the hobby. Can you imagine the price tag on that Superfractor?!


2009-10 Upper Deck #234 (RC)

The popular Upper Deck brand offers collectors an affordable, respectable Steph Curry rookie card. The design front and back to me is excellent. Its only flaw, in my opinion, is the college uniform. Nothing fancy just a very traditional rookie card with no parallels to offer.


2009-10 Upper Deck First Edition #196 (RC)

The final card we’ll look at is the First Edition set. It was smaller in size with only 200 cards, and it is slightly different in design from its parent Upper Deck brand. There is one parallel in the set, Gold which is not serial-numbered either.


So Which Cards Are the Most Affordable?

Great question and I’m so glad you asked it. As of the date of this post, my research shows Studio #129, Prestige #157, and Upper Deck #234 as the most affordable. However, keep in mind prices do fluctuate with players that are still in the league almost daily.

And Which Cards Are the Most Expensive?

Please note these cards sell in the five or even six-figure range! Steph Curry’s most expensive rookie cards are Topps Chrome #101, National Treasures #206, and Exquisite Collection #64. All other’s cards fall into the mid-range value but even these are out of reach for most collectors.

Cards graded by third-party authenticators carry a premium, especially in high grades.

Happy Collecting Collectors,

Learn. Collect. Enjoy.

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