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Magic: The Gathering's Black Lotus Sells For Record-Breaking $540,000

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A pristine Black Lotus, Magic: The Gathering's most powerful and sought-after card, has once again proven to be the Game's most expensive after a recent auction hit a record-breaking price of $540,000.

The Black Lotus, prized among collectors and players alike, came from Magic's earliest edition and was graded a perfect ten by Professional Sports Authenticators. Its protective case was even signed by Christopher Rush, the original artist who first painted the Black Lotus for Wizards of the Coast. This extremely rare card was already expected to fetch over half a million dollars as a similar example sold for a then record-breaking $511,000 on eBay two years ago.

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Earlier today, that record was broken after this signed Black Lotus sold for $540,000, making it the highest-priced Magic card ever to sell at auction. Note that's not the most anyone has ever paid for a Black Lotus, but we're not counting private sales.

"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 PWCC Marketplace vice president Jesse Craig, who personally oversaw the auction (via Polygon).

"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," he added. "They will remain under lock and key and treated as the museum-caliber pieces they are."

Magic collectors value the Black Lotus largely for two reasons. First, it's extremely powerful, providing players with access to more mana in the early Game than Magic otherwise allows. That power proved too great for the Health of the Game, and Wizards both stopped printing the Black Lotus and later banned it from most tournament play. And second, the fact that very few Black Lotuses still exist makes each copy a rare find, and pristine examples rarer still.

Rarity, nostalgia, and Magic's continuing popularity have pushed prices of Black Lotus cards to new heights, but not all is well in the world of Magic. Release fatigue and Hasbro's habit of reprinting rare cards have some Magic fans concerned for the continuing value of their collection, with no guarantee even the vaunted Black Lotus will remain a half-million dollar card into the future.

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