Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 3/22/13

The rarest baseball card in the world is on the Internet auction block — and the bidding is already at $1.3 million and is expected to reach a possible $3 million sale price. The 1909 Honus Wagner "cigarette" card — considered the holy grail of baseball card by collectors — is on public display at Audemars Piguet Flagship Boutique in midtown Manhattan and can be viewed during the duration of the bidding war. The card itself has its own plaque in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and is considered one of the most valuable cards ever manufactured. "The Honus Wagner card is the Mona Lisa, the Van Gogh of our industry," said Ken Goldin, the founder of Goldin Auctions. "You can be a casual baseball fan, but if there's one baseball card you've heard of — it's the Honus Wagner." It's hard to argue with Goldin.  It seems like one of these ubiquitous cards (there are only 50 still around) makes news or comes up for auction a couple of times a year although the mint-condition card that's currently on the block has been in the hands of a private collector and locked tight in a bank vault for the past five years. The last time a Wagner card was publicly sold was in 2012 for $1.2 million.  Since then, the average Wagner card — depending on condition — has appreciated 70 percent in value. The opening bid for the tiny piece of fine art was $500,000. Break open your piggy bank, the auction ends April 5.

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