Back in December Upper Deck came out with their 2012-13 Black Diamond product. We opened a few boxes back then but never did a review. So we decided to buy another box of it at the LCS and write one now.
If you walk into any LCS or sports card show you should still see these boxes around. Remember the lockout the NHL had a while back, well this did hurt the product release at the same time. So it wasn't that the product was poor by any means, just bad timing of a scheduled release during a lockout year.
Now Black Diamond is one of those sets that adds a little chase into it, and this years edition didn't leave anything behind. The Base set is 250 in total, but all the cards after 100 are broken into different Diamond Tiers. From 101-150 are Double Diamonds found 1:4 packs, 151-200 are Triple Diamonds & Triple Diamond Rookie Gems found 1:8 packs, and 201-250 are Quad Diamonds & Quad Diamond Rookie Gems found in 1:24 packs. So if you looking to put together a complete set you have some work cutout for yourself.
Each box will is guaranteed to come with a serial numbered parallel of Ruby /100, Emerald /10 or Sapphire 1/1. With the parallels, UD has inserted more than half of those as Autographs. These have been very popular on the secondary market for the Emerald and Sapphire.
Along with the parallel you will also find 2 Dual Jersey cards per box. These range from Group A 1:874 packs to Group F 1:30. The overall odds on the Dual Jerseys are 1:12 though, just depends on which grouping your player falls under to determine the value.
Black Diamond has a fair share of inserts into this product. Lustrous Stars/Rookies/Greats, Hardware Heroes, Championship Rings and GEMography Autographs. These all come with very steep odds and pulling any of these in a box is a great find. The secondary market hasn't been too kind to some players in these listings and we think they should have some higher values than we have seen considering the lowest odds are 1:60 packs.
To top off the box, Upper Deck has added a Bonus pack to each Hobby box. This Bonus pack will contain 4 Upper Deck Ice base cards and 1 Ice Premiers Rookies. The base set is only 25 cards and the Ice Premiers have only 21. The 21 prospects are the rookies from last year and are numbered out of /999, /499 and /99. The last tier only has 3 cards which are Schwartz, Baertschi and Kreider. All three have done very well on the secondary market and will continue to stay strong with such a low print run of /99.
Our LCS only had 1 box left that was sitting there for a bit and this is how we did on it:
Base Double Diamond: 6 - Henrique, Stastny, Zetterberg, Robitaille, Gaborik, Marleau
Base Triple Diamond: 3 - Tavares, Shanahan, Park
Base Triple Diamond Rookies: 3 - Camper, MacDermid, Messier
Base Quad Diamond: 1 - Brett Hull
Base Quad Diamond Rookies: 1 - Jordan Nolan
Base Ruby Parallel: 2 - Single Diamond Semyon Varlamov /100, Double Diamond Patrice Bergeron /100
Dual Jersey: 1 - Sidney Crosby (1:30)
Lustrous Stars: 1 - Steven Stamkos (1:864)
Dual Jersey Autograph: 1 - Tyson Barrie Team Canada #'d 1/5
Ice Base cards: 4 - Giroux, Phaneuf, Weber, Callahan
Ice Premier: 1 - Jakob Silfverberg /499
Overall we really like the Black Diamond design of the cards. Always been a fan of it and this year is no different. Chasing down the Diamond tiers was fun and also made you double look through your cards carefully in case you missed one or two of them. In the pack assortment they are always found before the filler card in the middle of the pack so pay attention. We were able to pull 6 Doubles, 6 Triples and 2 Quads of decent players. We hit an extra bonus of pulling 2 of the Ruby Parallel's instead of the typical 1 per box. The Parallels are a very nice color on this design, we're sure the Emerald and Sapphire would look just as nice. We also like they are numbered on the back of the card instead of the front with this design as it would have been harder to see the numbering if done the other way.
Some might say we hit a very lucky box and we would agree with you. We haven't seen of too many like this being opened. Usually you'll hit one of those hard to pull hits or maybe a couple in the mid-range but we did over our expectations on this box. Being partial to the fact of hitting a great box we still find that 2012-13 Black Diamond is a very solid product. We really like the design of the base set and the guaranteed Dual Jerseys, 1 Parallel and the Bonus Ice Pack make it a worthy buy. these came out around $99.00 or so back in December and you might be able to find them for a little cheaper since they have been out for a while. if you do, we suggest picking one up and trying your luck and hope you do as well as we did.
Gambler Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Fun Aspect: 4.5/5