The "Black Lotus" card is widely considered to be the most powerful Magic: The Gathering card ever; it's so powerful that it's actually been banned from use in most official tournaments. It's also, thanks to very limited print runs, extremely rare. Only 1,100 copies of the Alpha release of the card were ever printed, and only 3,300 of the Beta. Among Magic players, collectors and dealers, it's the Holy Grail, so sought-after that an Alpha version with a 9.5 grading sold for $27,302 last year.
Now Washington-based Pristine Comics -- the same company that sold that record-breaking copy of Action Comics #1 earlier this year -- has put a Beta Black Lotus card with a perfect 10 grade up for sale with an asking price of $100,000. If you've been paying attention, you might already be asking why a Beta Black Lotus with a 10 grade is worth so much more than an Alpha Black Lotus with a 9.5, considering that the Alpha was part of a printing only one-third the size of the Beta. Well, according to Pristine Comics, it comes down to who graded the card. Their Beta was graded by Beckett Grading Services (BGS), a company that reportedly employs much stricter grading practices than companies like Professional Sports Authenticators (PSA) or the Sportscard Guaranty Company (SGC).
“To compare, there is only one BGS-10 Beta Black Lotus,” Pristine writes in the card's description. “There are 34 PSA-10’s of this same card. An ungraded NM/Mint Beta Black Lotus lists for about $2400.00. PSA-10 sells for about $10,000. By comparison the BGS-10 Beta Black Lotus should command an asking price of $230,000 (when compared to the PSA-10), Or nearly a million dollars when compared to its ungraded counterpart.”
Of course, that 9.5 Alpha Black Lotus we talked about earlier was also graded by Beckett, but even if you don't agree with asking price for this one, Pristine's definitely building a strong case for its rarity.
Fortunately, you might not have to pay full price if you know how to barter. The company's also offering a "Make An Offer" option on the card's eBay page, and nearly 500 people have already given that a shot. So if you're really into Magic: The Gathering, or you've got the kind of cash lying around that would allow you to buy this in the hope that it will make you more money in a couple of decades, head over there and check the card out.