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Early ‘90s collectible gaming card sells for $27k on eBay

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Black Lotus
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Black Lotus

We all know baseball cards can be worth insane amounts of money, but geekier trading-card fare is moving up in value too.

Pictured above is the ‘Alpha’ Black Lotus from the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering. Dubbed ‘Alpha’ because it was published in the game’s first edition back in 1993, the Black Lotus was printed in a run of only 1100, and is now on the game’s ‘Reserved List’ of cards that will never be reissued. It’s typically considered the most valuable Magic card ever printed -- but a recent eBay auction, which concluded on November 17, sets a new standard at $27,302.

The unusually high asking price may be a result of the card’s fine condition – a 9.5 on the 1-10 scale of professional sports card authentication. This qualifies the card as ‘Gem Mint’ – or practically perfect in every way, as Mary Poppins might put it.

Back in 1993, an 8-card 'booster pack' -- which might have contained a Black Lotus if you were lucky -- cost $2.45.

In gameplay, the Black Lotus is considered quite powerful, because it allows players to acquire large amounts of the essential ‘mana’ resource very rapidly. In fact, it’s made lists of the most overpowered Magic cards. Still, it’s unlikely this card’s proud new owner is planning to shuffle it into a deck and dull those beautiful Gem Mint edges.

Want your own Gem Mint Black Lotus? Break open the piggy bank – as we write this, there’s another one for sale on eBay. The asking price? A mere $37,888.

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