This card is the mother-load of ALL Starbucks Cards. It was the FIRST Starbucks Card ever produced.
In February 2001 at the Starbucks annual partner (employee) conference this card and Sleeve set were given to the invitees in order to get them excited about this new never-before-heard-of Starbucks Card thing.
This card was produced before they had decided what the overall card design and naming theme was going to be. Because of this, you'll notice they call it a 'Gift Card', a term they avoid today. You'll notice too that this card was produced prior to their deciding on the clear strip on the right. This is a very special card.
These cards DO NOT actually work at Starbucks and never did. It was produced as a promotional item almost a full year before the card program actually launched. Because attendance at the 2001 conference was about 3000 people, it's assumed there were about 3000 produced. More than likely many of these cards were tossed because they had no usefulness.
It says on the back: Sample Only The card you hold in your hand is a very special limited edition of the new Starbucks Gift card, a wonderfully easy way to give and receive the gift of Starbucks.
Considered MEGA-RARE, this card will fetch top-dollar, however; FAKES are coming out of Asia during late 2011 and early 2012. This has hurt the pricing of the real issues.