Wednesday, November 29, 2017

2017-2018 Upper Deck Black Diamond Review

Now that the 17/18 season has been in full swing for a while now, Upper Deck has been ramping up its production of cards. Black Diamond has just hit the market with its premium format and hefty price tag. The change into a premium product has definitely come with mixed results. Let's hope Upper Deck has tweaked it to be more appealing to collectors this time around.

Base Card Design -
The Black Diamond base cards have a lot going for them. The white background with the old Black Diamond like foil in the background is really sweet. I do believe that these base cards are a worthy upgrade from what Black Diamond used to be with its thin foil stock. The side edge of the base card might be my favorite part with its white/black/white layered wafer aesthetic. My only gripe about the standard base cards is the team logo at the bottom. This portion of the card is obviously a placeholder for a relic on a higher-level format. I just wish it wasn't so apparently so. Base cards are limited to just 249 each, same as The Cup!

The back of the base card is in full color with some good looking designs. It's elegant, but not too flashy. I actually expected a little more from the back of the card as the product is Black Diamond. To me there should be just a bit more 'bling' to these backs.

The rookie cards in Black Diamond have been the Rookie Gems. Because Black Diamond doesn't have real numbering (the entire set is designated by letters), it can be hard to distinguish which cards are part of the main set and which ones aren't. To me, this Nolan Patrick Rookie Gem card isn't the true RC I want out of Black Diamond. Those would be the actual cards embedded with diamonds. Unfortunately, those cards are very difficult pulls. You only get a couple per case and they are numbered to only 99.

Base Card Design Score:

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos -
Black Diamond comes with one fat Black Diamond pack and one Exquisite pack. This product is completely high-end now, so collectors should expect to find nicer hits when buying it.

What an awesome patch piece!!! Too bad it's just a manufactured one. Sadly, these fake patches are back in high dollar Upper Deck products. When I'm paying a couple hundred dollars for a box, I want everything to be authentic. It's already bad enough there are photoshoot pieces on cards rather than game-worn. But these completely made-up patches are just too much... I personally don't like them and wish they were out of the product.

The Rookie Booklet Relic at least had some player-worn jersey pieces in it. Seeing that the booklet was numbered to 199 I knew it would just be a couple of jersey pieces. Booklets have been around for a while now so pulling one isn't that exciting unless you hit some great patches or autographs. I for one thing a book card is too much card for some regular jersey swatches. The tier above these standard jersey books feature and autograph and a patch with numbering to 99.

The lone autographed card in my box was this Signature Placard (Group C) of Derek Sanderson - certainly not the most excited player to pull. The signature is in silver ink on a black placard embedded in the card. I guess even these aren't technically considered 'on-card' autos, but at least they look nice. I just wish I had a better player to pull. Sadly these cards have no serial numbering.

My Exquisite pack yielded a nice looking player-worn patch of Haydn Fleury. The Exquisite brand is on par with The Cup and the cards look great. I love the foil used on it as it gives the card a very elegant feel to them. These patches do have a rather high numbering to them. This particular card was numbered to 299.

My box/pack of Black Diamond didn't feature anything that really stood out - especially not for the price. There are, however, some really sweet pulls available to be found. I'm sure they are few and far between though - which shouldn't be that case when it comes to a premium product such as this.

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos Score:

Overall Rating -
I really like the fact that Black Diamond switched to a premium format. It was a brand that needed to be different as the original product was getting stale. The one-pack per box format is a good idea, but it isn't implemented well. I think it would have been much better to provide less cards and have the price of the product be in the $100 dollar range - similar to some of the very popular Topps baseball products on the market today.

I definitely felt that I had bad value for the amount I paid for this box of Black Diamond. Upper Deck has some serious tweaks it needs to consider when thinking about this product next year.

As it stands now, I cannot recommend Black Diamond to many collectors. This is a high-risk, high-reward product that leans much to the high-risk side of things. Some of the cards in the product are outstanding looking, but there are too many cards (like the manufactured patch cards) that get in the way. The only way I can see getting more of this would be if it took a very serious nose dive in terms of price. Only then I'd begin thinking about it.

Overall Score -

Check out my break of 17/18 Black Diamond:


  1. Love the look of the cards!!!


    1. how much is box or pack of the cards

  2. The better than last year I like it
    YT MG Cards

  3. Nice looking Haden Fleury patch. Card look pretty, but that high price tag I would have to pass.


  4. Such bad hits, not at all worth it for the price!

    Yt:Jian Wang

  5. As all high-end products it's a hit or miss products and this box missed a lot. You probably would have had more value in a regular josh ho-sang routine than the booklet but it is still very cool. Thanks for your review and break.
    YouTube: thecardmule115

  6. I think upper deck should avoid using manufactured patches. It lessens the product in my opinion.


  7. i like the exclusive pack

    YT: David's NHL Goal Horns And Soccer Songs

  8. Love the look of it this year wish it wasn’t as expensive tho!! Nice hits! Love the Ovechkin card!

    YT: Hockey22

  9. I couldn't agree more about the value for this along with the high rish high reward. Definitely not worth the price they are going for.

    I really wish the would just stop making the manufactured patch cards, theyre pointless and are worth nothing.

    I think the base design looks really good, but for the price and anythhing over 150, you shouldnt get base cards.

    YT: freshestemo

  10. always hated black diamond since they changed to a premium product, too expensive for what you get in a box on average.

    Yt: JoelBautistaa

  11. The bonus exquisite pack is very cool.Expensive for the cards(6) you get.
    Yt:Hockey Mtg

  12. I really like the look of the cards, but the non-authentic jersey patches are definetly disappointing.
    YT- vancouver bears

  13. I really hope they would stop making manufactured patch cards for such expensive product...

    YT: Edward Chan

  14. Way to expensive for only one auto. Cheaper products are out there where you can get multiple.

    YouTube- Seagull Halo

  15. I liked Black diamond better how it was before but still it is a nice product. Nice break!

    YouTube: Josh Bittner

  16. nice leafs pull...

    mahudh aslam

  17. not a buy from me!

    yt: thesens8

  18. Great break as always, you need to upload more hockey.

  19. Honestly dont like the product

    Yt codiachobby

  20. Ouch. Not worth the gamble.

    Yt: ryannturnaa

  21. I said it last year and I will continue to say it I am not a fan of the new one pack expensive product. For the price they are asking it is not worth to buy when you can buy a few other products instead. Manufactured patches are bad but the rest of the cards look alright. Great Video!

    Youtube: Brayden Morgan

  22. I think that the cards definitely do need more of a ‘bling’ to them because they do look pretty basic. Also, they should never even have fake patches in these higher end products because that’s just isn’t right. For the money you’re paying you should be getting authentic materials and autographs. Probably won’t be picking up a box.
    YT- MasonJar7

  23. The Black Diamond cards look really slick, but aren't to special. I feel that you don't get your money's worth anymore. I'm not really a fan of it becoming a "higher end product." I also don't feel that the manufactured patches are that cool, the teams name written in it throws me off. I most likely will not be purchasing it this year, which kind of sucks because I was gonna pick one up for Christmas. Thanks for the break!

  24. Cards look really great! But I feel that box wasn't all that great. Plus they really gotta stop with the manufactured patch cards..

    YouTube: Brennan Osinski

  25. Thanks for sharing your break Luke. It's unfortunate that they have the manufactured patches in the product to serve as "a hit" to some degree. I would understand their inclusion if it was at a similar price point (or a tad higher) to O-Pee-Chee which has their fair share of manufactured content. It's a little sad that their promo Exquisite pack yielded a better patch pull (albeit from a promo jersey) than the box itself.

    YT/SCF: McBones

  26. Why would anyone want a manufactured patch?

    Yt: Justin Lee

  27. I preferred old Black Diamond. I liked the aesthetic and I tended to collect it more than Series 1/2. Can't say I'm a big fan of that huge dead space at the bottom of those base cards. Manufactured patches, and dud autos remind me why I got out.

  28. i really liked it:
    yt:nick brady

  29. I like the inserts, but cost too much and I want Black Diamond to go back like they were in the past.
    YT: Hawksfan 50

  30. Good looking product but too expensive 🤷‍♂️
    Yt: cardcapitals 29

  31. Yes I want to participate so much !!!!!!

  32. Black diamond has and still is my least favorite high end... still. some nice hits

    YT: EmKayBe

  33. I would say the Exquisite card out shines the actual Black Diamond you pulled. Manufactured patches are of no value to me. How many different sets have to have old retired players in it. I want to open a pack and look forward to the price of the card change as the player goes through their career

    YT:Michael Martin

  34. Nice break and video!I like the Sanderson card, dont know if thats a subset or not, but its cool. Personally, I'm waiting for Christmas time to buy artifacts 17/18. Solid review overall as always and good luck on future breaks:)

    YT: OilersHobby123

  35. BD Card are cool but really expensive. Great video!

    YT : Julien Bouchard

  36. I like the card designs but you definitely didnt get your moneys worth.


  37. Ahoy there, great review of Black Diamond 17-18. The designs like slick but the price hurts this brand so much. Being in Canada doesn't help. If they added one more auto and cut the price to a third then for sure it would get at least 8.5/10.

    Youtube user name: sapphirecore

  38. dang i didnt know they change ud black diamond to a single pack i remeber collecting the base sets of it been awhile since i check out some the higher stuff since mainly get retail anymore, also seem like a nice box,
    my yt is ironjeep58

  39. Exquisite can do no wrong for me, I love those cards! The actual Black Diamond set is really hit-and-miss, especially considering what you pay and end up getting. And "Black" is just around the corner....

    YT name: dboutic617

  40. This product is soo overpriced for what you get. Its really a hit or miss... with a 90% of missing.

    YouTube: Paul Courcelles

  41. Love the look of the cards! Nice Ho-Sang pull too!

    Youtube: Mike Gallagher

  42. It is very disappointing when you get ripped of on boxes like that. I am not huge on card value, and what my collection is worth, but if you make an investment you should get some decent hits. I will stick to lower end sets.
    SCF: Adams64

  43. Box should be $125

    YT: Jeeparooooo

  44. ice Nolan Patrick love it
    youtube bunbunli

  45. solid box for what ive seen lol
    youtube bunbunli

  46. Thanks for the break

    YT - Flames Fan14

  47. Looks better than the years before. Especially with that exquisite stuff but i guess thats what they have to do when its a weaker rc class.
    SCF: 22canucksfan33
    Yt: 22canucksfan33

  48. You got some nice names there! Great review.

  49. Unfortunately the cards were a little disappointing... prefer last year's, the championship rings this year are not as well designed, for one.

  50. Nice break, thanks for the review!

    YT: CY Lam

  51. Nicest black diamond card designs up to date,unfortunately their is a lack of good hits for the the price of a box also manufactured is dissapointing


  52. I honestly for sorry for you... you were clearly ripped off here by upper deck.

    YT: Matt Gauthier

  53. Like the look, but not as much bang for your buck as it should be.

    Instagram - @fuelledbypassioncollectibles

  54. Black Diamond is a lot less loaded this year compared to other 1-pack products (Ultimate, Black, Cup, etc.). In my opinion, this is definitely not worth its price.

    YT: ZeroWolfGiven

  55. + Nice Exquisite design.
    + Cool to include real diamonds.

    - Manufactured patches... Sure, do it in OPC, but not in a high-end product.
    - Of all the high-end breaks I have watched over the years, Black Diamond is probably the product with the least exciting hits.

    Youtube: Majlfp

  56. the ho-sang booklet is so cool, same its just single jersey color inside

    youtube is hahamansr

  57. Solid review. Thanks!

    YT - Mark Siuda

  58. Awesome box and amazing review!