A Black Lotus, arguably the most sought after card in Magic: The Gathering, has sold for a record-breaking price of $540,000 at a recent auction.
As reported by Polygon, the Black Lotus has been topping its own record each time it's been available for auction. In 2019, a Black Lotus sold for $166,000 on eBay, followed by another purchase just two years later in 2021 for $511,100 — more than triple the price. Now, with the recent auction held by PWCC Marketplace, the Black Lotus cements its position as the most expensive Magic: The Gathering card ever sold.
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“This record sale reinforces the Alpha Black Lotus as an investment-quality asset, fortifies its claim as a true work of art, and shows exactly how important Magic: The Gathering is to the culture of gaming and trading card games," said Jesse Craig, Vice President of Sales at PWCC Marketplace. "It’s extremely unlikely we see one of these signed copies available for purchase again in the near future. They are crown jewels for a collection. They will remain under lock and key and treated as the museum-caliber pieces they are,” Craig said, perhaps with only slight overstatement.
Originally printed in 1993, The Black Lotus is considered one of the "Power Nine," a limited set of MTG cards that are banned from competitive play due to their powerful abilities. In the case of Black Lotus, you would be able to generate three mana of any color for free, allowing you to play powerful cards or spells early in the game.
Despite claiming to never reprint these broken cards so as not to devalue them, Wizards of the Coast released a special 30th Anniversary set last year for a whopping $999 that contained a number of out-of-print cards (albeit not tournament legal) including – yep, you guessed it – the coveted Black Lotus, which understandably caused an uproar in the MTG community. Although, as of this writing, the 30th Anniversary set is still out of stock on the Wizards of the Coast website.
Even after 30 years, Magic: The Gathering continues to be a cultural touchstone, recently expanding its universe to include crossovers with popular franchises such as Final Fantasy and Assassin's Creed, Warhammer 40K, and most recently, The Lord of the Rings.