Common colors appear to be dk red, red, orange, aqua , navy, pale green, pale chalky yellow, med yellow and dk yellow. The there is the somewhat rare black. The rare group consists of trans red (with specs), pale orange, peach, trans blue with specs, lime green, dk green. Very rare colors include sky blue, tan and metallic gold and silver. The gold and silver are surely the rarest of the rare. There are also many what appear to be one of a kind od ball colors that we cannot be sure were done for all players. Below are some photos of a number of these color variations.
I have Rosen in 15 unique colors; Berra, Doby and Simmons in 13; Antonelli, Mueller and MAntle in 12 and the rest of the variations in 7 to 11 different colors.
If we take the 37 different variations x at least 15 different colors we have ~ 555 different coins in the set. (excluding one of a kind colors silver, gold etc. )
The following is a grouping of 55 Mantles from the collection of SFLA Yank:
I will be loading more unique colors onto this blog as I get a chance.
Here is a scan of gold Snider & Jackson coins.
Lets go back now and take another look at scarcity. We can attempt to judge this by PSA graded coins, however we must be aware of three things :
(1) the Mantle effect - everyone knows Mantle is a sought after coin so Mantle is graded far out of proportion to its issued population.
(2) PSA was tracking the population before south florida yank, Doug Stultz and I informed Bob Lemke of the variations and PSA accepted the Std Catalog of BB Cards variations. When PSA finally agreed to expand the number of variations in the set they were faced with the issue of which variation had they already graded ? They needed to decide which variation the ones they graded in the past were. It would be logical to have chosen the common variation, but did they do this ? Unfortunately we did not think to track how many of each coin was graded at these points, so we probably will never know for sure. As time goes on and more coins get graded this will effect the population less and less.
(3) regrading - The rarer coins are more likely to be popped out of their cases and sent in for regrading thus affecting the overall population. You can certainly blame me for part of that !
In terms of my perception of the rarity by studying EBay auctions over the last decade+ I think the Antonelli ratio is correct, Gilliam - correct , Jackson - correct, Jensen - Reb is at least 2:1 if not more; Kuenn - correct bats/throws last line is 1:5 or less; Mantle incorrect to correct is >> 3:1, possibly as high as 10:1; Trucks 1 word is >> 2:1 possible > 5:1 . I think after the Mantle corrects, Trucks White Sox is the hardest coin in the set.
Some coins are notoriously hard to get in certain colors. If we look at the rare coins listed above in the PSA 1955 registered sets, we can account for 40 of the 137 graded rare coins; 6 are navy, 6 aqua, 4 are yellow; none are red and only 1 is orange ?? Mantle correct are notorious for red, orange and yellow being impossible to find.