Rare MTG Black Lotus card sells for record-breaking $540k at auction

Joel Loynds
Magic's Black Lotus

One of Magic: The Gathering’s most coveted cards, Black Lotus, has sold at auction for a record-breaking $540,000.

Magic: The Gathering’s illustrious card, Black Lotus, recently went to auction and sold for a record-breaking $540,000. The card, which was graded at a Gem Mint, or a 10/10, was up for auction before the hammer came down.

A Black Lotus sold a couple of years ago in 2021 for $500,000, which was an exponentially massive growth over the one sold in 2019, at $166,100 at a 9.5.

The 2021 sale was unique due to its perfection and the signature adorned on it. Signed by the artist, Christopher Rush, the card is incredibly unique. Rush died in 2016, aged 50.

According to TCGPlayer, only seven Gem Mint and 10/10 cards are known today.

Black Lotus is one of Magic’s most famous cards and an incredibly hard find. Analysis of the first two sets, Alpha and Beta, revealed that there are an estimated 1008 and 3025 prints of the card, respectively.

After this, Unlimited launched to fight against the ongoing scarcity of products. This saw another 17,700 Black Lotus cards get printed.

Why is Black Lotus so expensive?

Black Lotus – even back in 1994 – was incredibly expensive. Unlike collectors of Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic’s prices are rarely determined by much other than playability and rarity. While restricted in certain formats, Black Lotus ultimately remains at the top of the pile because of its usefulness in the game.

To play a Charizard from the original set of Pokémon TCG cards against modern-day decks would be a fool’s errand. Black Lotus on turn one of a Magic game can immediately secure a win in some Vintage decks.

Magic’s rarest cards will never see reprints

Power Nine cards featuring Black Lotus

With the prices deteriorating in the 90s and worries that ultra-rare cards would diminish in value over time, the Reserved List was born.

Outside of the recent 30th-anniversary set and Magic Online, these cards, including Black Lotus, will never be reprinted for legal play. The 30th Anniversary packs all feature non-legal cards, only for use in pre-approved casual games.

The card is also part of the Power Nine. These nine cards are some of Magic’s strongest and are either all banned or heavily restricted within deck building.

There’s currently a gold rush for The One Ring card coming with The Lord of the Rings set later this year, as it has been confirmed to be the only type of this card to be printed.