Where do you draw the line when it comes to cutting up game-worn jerseys and game-used equipment for use in modern era trading cards?
At a specific moment in time the cutting up was worth it insofar as relic cards significantly expanded the market (I'm obviously assuming they are all real, which they probably aren't). As we all know, capitalism requires the infinite expansion of markets, so this was a BIG win.
The market is now over saturated, however, so we're well on the other side of the curve of relic cards being "worth" cutting up historic jerseys for this purpose. Eventually even the prices of Ruth relics will start falling if only because the supply is greater every few years. Inversely, the supply of Ruth bats will decline, so their prices will slowly increase. At this point even relic cards of HOFers go for $2-$5. Low-numbered cards are the exception, but they're an investment bubble waiting to happen if you are in this for the money.
The question now: will something else come along to drive the expansion of the market or will we see a long period of stagnation (a la the late-90s).
That's a bit long-winded but that's my take. Great question!
The cutting up of game-used equipment and game-worn jerseys is just another example of how low the card industry has fallen. The two biggest problems is that most cards are over priced and over saturated, and until that is fixed and cards are made affordable for "KIDS" again and not Big Kids( you know who you are!), I dont see the card industry coming back