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Ultimate Mosaic Parallel Guide

Female hands with mosaic closeup

Mosaic originally launched as a basketball product. However, it has since expanded into football, soccer, and baseball. The popular product has gained favor with collectors worldwide – and from several sports. Therefore, we will look at the Mosaic rainbow in the ultimate Mosaic parallel guide.

What Is Mosaic

Mosaic Basketball was released for the first time as a standalone product in 2019-20. With Zion Williamson plastered on the box, it was a product that had many collectors camping out in their local Walmart. From the design to the number of nice parallels, it was a solid opti-chrome product for both hobby and blaster products.

“Mosaic” cards trace roots back to 2015-16 and the release of “Prizm Mosaic” basketball boxes, which were released from then until 2018-19. Those boxes contained 3 packs of ten cards. They didn’t guarantee an autograph but offered the big-pull potential for several Mosaic inserts. However, it was a (somewhat strange) sub-brand of Prizm at the time.

As Mosaic takes on new forms in new sports, the sky is the limit (or at least, the sky is the limit as long as Panini has the brand).

The original Mosaic box (get one on eBay)

What Are Parallels?

Thankfully, the Mosaic parallels are very straightforward, which helps when writing the ultimate Mosaic parallel guide. Basically, they are colored base card variations. In opti-chrome cards look like the standard base version of the card, except they have colored borders. There are various colors of parallels, and some are rarer than others. Often they are numbered as well.

Opti-chrome card parallels can be traced back to the Topps Chrome Refractor. And here’s a bit of history: The Topps Company, Inc. registered a trademark for their brainchild to prevent other companies from copycatting it.

Of course, other companies still mimicked the rainbow-foil, but they couldn’t legally call them refractors. So, therefore, Panini started calling them “prizm” cards. So, when we talk about Mosaic parallels, we’re talking about Mosaic “prizms,” technically.

Telling Parallels From Other Cards

The prizms are easy to identify because they refract light from Mosaic. In other words, if you shine a bright light down on the surface of a base card, it will look silver.

On the other hand, if you shine a light down on the color of a prizm (parallel), it will shine with a rainbow wave of color. They are great-looking cards – no doubt about it.

That’s only with the “silver” prizm, though. The rest of the Mosaic Prizms are even easier to identify because they have a refractive, box-like pattern in the background. Mosaic, possibly more than any other opti-chrome brand, has parallels that are easy to pick out.

Mosaic parallels are easy to identify (look for them on eBay)

Parallels In Mosaic

The official line-up of colors for the 2020-21 basketball set has yet to be announced. However, it will presumably be close to the products already released.

With that in mind, here’s a look at the parallels you can pull and where you’ll find them:


  • Red
  • Blue #/99
  • Purple #/49
  • White #/25
  • Pink Swirl (FOTL) #/11
  • Gold #/10
  • Green Swirl (FOTL) #/10
  • Black 1/1.


  • Camo Pink
  • Genesis
  • Green
  • Reactive Blue
  • Reactive Orange
  • Orange Fluorescent #/25
  • Blue Fluorescent #/15


  • Peacock SSP
  • Fusion Red #/88
  • Black Gold #/8
  • Nebula 1/1

The Nebula is an awesome 1/1 (get one on eBay)


  • Silver
  • Blue #/85
  • Purple #/50
  • Pink #/20
  • Gold #/10
  • Black 1/1


  • Red Wave
  • Gold Wave

From what we know of the 2021 releases, our expectations should be similar.

Ultimate Mosaic Parallel Guide To Value

One of the best ways to rank brands is to compare the value of parallels between brands. So that’s what we’re going to do here.

First, we take a comp from a PSA Mosaic Ja Morant Card, and then we’ll compare it with the value of similar cards from different products.

Let’s give it a look.

Remember, these cards are all Ja Morant PSA 10’s

Card Value Prizm Value Optic Value
Base $60 Base $220 Base $125
Silver $400 Silver $1,800 Holo $750
Green $145 Green $600 Blue Velocity $350
Blue /99 $800 Blue Ice /99 $18,300 Red /99 $2500
Red /88 $1000 Red Fusion /88 $2800
Average $481   $5,230   $1,305

First, a few notes:

There’s no Prizm /88, so I left it blank because no comps exist.

Also, with Optic, I chose to do the Blue Velocity because it’s the same kind on the non-numbered retail insert as the Green Mosaic and Prizm.

The Ja Morant Blue Ice Prizm holds the most value (get one on eBay)

Bottomline Of The Ultimate Mosaic Parallel Guide

The numbers surprised me here – I’ll be the first to admit it.

I’ve always thought of Prizm as the brand that’s easily ahead of the rest. So I assumed that Select, Optic, and Mosaic are nestled together with pretty similar comps.

That’s not the case. In this sample – which is admittedly small but should at least give us pretty good grounds for comparison – Optic cards proved to be THREE TIMES more valuable than similar Mosaic parallels.

And we mustn’t overlook that Prizm was over TEN TIMES as valuable as Mosaic. That is a staggering number!

Note that Optic Hobby boxes from 2019-20 sell for about $1100. Meanwhile, Mosaics only sell for about $900, but the cards themselves are worth a lot more in Optic than Mosaic.

So, here’s your takeaway: if you want the most bang for your buck, always pass on Mosaic and pick up a similarly priced Optic product.

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes

Jesse Haynes is the co-founder of Solaro Shades, an Amazon #1 Bestselling novelist, and a lifelong sports card collector. His nonfiction work has been featured in Forbes, Inc., MarketWatch and more. At CardLines, Jesse’s specialties are basketball and football cards, not to mention making informative video and Instagram content.
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