A single card from the world’s first trading card game is expected to fetch up to £50,000 ($64,000 USD) at an auction.
The Black Lotus Beta card, from the classic trading card game Magic The Gathering, is in almost mint condition 30 years after its release, experts say.
Magic The Gathering is considered the world’s first trading card game and is believed to have been played by over 40 million people since its release in 1993.
The Black Lotus Beta is the most iconic card of the “Power Nine” in the game and is to go under the hammer on Friday, July 28, with an estimate of £38,000 – £50,000 ($50,000 to $64,000).
“To put it in context, the Black Lotus is the Mona Lisa of collecting cards from these games,” said the Auctioneer Andrew Ewbank.
“It’s fantastic to be able to sell such a valuable item, but when you see what those rare artist proofs can make, £50,000 sound a bit of a bargain really.”
Magic The Gathering is the original tabletop and digital collectible card game, created by Richard Garfield and released in 1993.
It predates the Japanese game Pokémon by three years.
The Black Lotus card, which dates from the first set released, Limited Edition Alpha, is considered the Holy Grail for collectors.
It was only created in Alpha and Beta form, with only around 1,000 ever produced.
And 30 years after its release, vanishingly few examples in good condition survive, auctioneers say.
In January 2021, a mint-condition autographed Black Lotus sold on eBay for $511,100 (£397,909).
In March 2022 another Gem Mint 10 copy of the Alpha Black Lotus carrying creator Christopher Rush’s signature sold for $540,000 (£420,408).
Then, just a week later, a Limited Edition Beta artist-proof ‘white back’ Black Lotus took $615,000 at auction.
Last June, rapper Post Malone paid $800,000 (£622,828) for a Limited Edition Beta artist proof “white back” Black Lotus card, a world record for a single card from the game.
An Alpha Mint condition graded at 9.5 by Beckett is currently on sale for $1 million (£778,535) on eBay.
“When you consider that Magic The Gathering has somewhere between 40 and 50 million players worldwide, while Pokémon Go has over 70 million users and generates over a billion downloads annually, it’s easy to see how massive the market potential for these cards is,” said Andrew Ewbank.
“Add to that the fact that the first generation who grew up playing these games include wealthy collectors now in their thirties and forties, and you have the perfect storm for a boom market.”
The Black Lotus is not the only rare single card in the sale, which will take place at Ewbank’s auctioneers in Surrey.
A Magic The Gathering TCG Mox Jet Beta card in excellent condition has an estimate of £6,000-10,000, while four other cards are expected to sell for up to £8,000 each.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager