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Collecting football cards, the kind that used to come packaged with a slab of gum or a carton of cigarettes, isn't just for kids. In fact, it's not just for football fans either. With some cards fetching up to $750,000 on the specialist market, these cardboard nuggets of football history are also a collectible goldmine. What determines their value is a bit mysterious: why is a signed Tom Brady worth so much more than other celebrity footballers? Much depends on the player depicted, the card's age and rarity, and the condition the card is in.

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1. 1935 National Chicle Bronko Nagurski Rookie Card

For traders, this exceptional football card is the gold standard. Its worth is calculated at $750,000 in mint condition, but the card is considered priceless by avid collectors. Part of a 36-card set from Chicle Gum, cards like Bronko Nagurski's are rarely posted on the market. When they are, they tend to re-write the price list for all vintage football collector cards.

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