The world of trading card games may have seen a huge spike in interest in recent months, but long before YouTubers and Twitch streamers started opening boxes of Pokemon trading cards in the hope of striking it big, one vintage Magic: The Gathering card was the darling of collectors. We’re talking, of course, about Black Lotus – more specifically, the Black Lotus that was released as part of Magic’s original Alpha set.
Black Lotus has been a highly sought-after card for years and years, and it routinely nets a significant sum of cash at auction. This week, an Alpha Black Lotus with a PSA rating of 10 Gem Mint – which means the card is in perfect condition – sold for more money than any other Black Lotus that came before it in an auction on eBay.
As reported by Polygon, the Black Lotus in question managed to net a final price of $511,100 in its eBay auction, which ended late last night. This is the most anyone has ever paid for a Black Lotus, and it’s more than triple what was paid for a BGS 9.5 Gem Mint Black Lotus in February 2019 (that card sold for a still-impressive $166,100).
So, what’s the difference between that Black Lotus and this one that sold for so much more? For starters, there’s the difference in quality ratings from PSA. Though there isn’t a vast difference in quality between a GM 9.5 and a GM 10, the card that sold in 2019 was graded by Beckett Grading Services while the one that sold last night was graded by Professional Sports Authenticator. Collectors tend to value cards graded by PSA more, and GM 10 ratings from PSA are exceedingly rare (particularly for cards that released as long as an the Alpha Black Lotus did).
This Black Lotus was also signed by the card’s artist, Christopher Rush, who passed away in 2016. That signature combined with the GM 10 rating from PSA inflated the card’s value significantly, getting us to its final, recording breaking price of more than half a million dollars (plus $250 for shipping). Whether or not we’ll see Black Lotus cards go for this much in the future is unknown, but we doubt we’ll see many GM 10 cards signed by the artist himself in the future.