Alpha Black Lotus Sold For Record-Breaking $3 Million

Josh Nelson • April 30, 2024

Image Credit: CGC Cards

Move over, 1-of-1 Ring: the king of expensive cardboard is back on its throne.

According to CGC Cards, the company that graded it, a Grade-10 copy of Black Lotus from Limited Edition Alpha sold for a whopping $3 Million.

This sale surpasses CGC's most valuable trading card transaction, a 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Type 1 baseball card, which sold for over $1.2 Million in December of 2022. Furthermore, it exceeds the value of the previous record-holding trading card transaction, which was for the "1-of-1 Ring", now owned by Post Malone, who paid $2 Million for it.

The seller, Adam Cai of Pristine Collectibles, sold the exquisite card to an undisclosed buyer. Cai had this to say about the Black Lotus:

This is one of the most amazing Alpha Black Lotuses I've ever seen, [...] It would undoubtedly be the centerpiece of anyone's TCG collection.

Meanwhile CGC Vice President Matt Quinn said this about the sale:

We graded this Alpha Black Lotus as part of a CrossOver submission in 2023, and now it's become the highest-selling Magic card to date, [...] I am honored to have been part of this card's journey -- and to see it sell with the CGC Cards Pristine 10 label. The tremendous amount commanded by this Alpha Lotus is reflective of the trust that collectors and dealers place in CGC Cards.

Other Sales Of Expensive Trading Cards

This copy of the iconic Black Lotus is not the first one to make waves in recent years. A PSA-graded Gem Mint 10 copy of Black Lotus found its way to auction last year. The Gem Mint Black Lotus was notable as it was in a case signed by the late artist Christopher Rush. This came courtesy of PWCC, an online auction house, on March 3rd, 2023.

Interestingly, this copy of Black Lotus was also from Limited Edition Alpha. However, PSA lists its population at a mere six copies. Therefore, this card (signed case notwithstanding) is not quite as rare as the CGC Lotus. Similarly, another PSA-graded Gem Mint 10 Black Lotus also sold at auction at $511,100 on eBay in 2021. That card's case, interestingly enough, was also signed.

A PSA Gem Mint 10 copy of Black Lotus from Limited Edition Alpha sold in 2021 on eBay for $511,100. Artist Christopher Rush signed the case.
A PSA Gem Mint 10 copy of Black Lotus from Limited Edition Alpha sold in 2021 on eBay for $511,100. Artist Christopher Rush signed the case.
While interesting to note, the CGC Lotus isn't even in the Top 10 most expensive trading cards ever sold. The news of cards like the PSA Gem Mint Lotuses above does not lessen the impact of this CGC Lotus. This is important because it is now the most expensive Magic: The Gathering card ever sold.

According to the website Sotheby's, the most expensive trading card ever sold is, notably, another copy of Topps Mickey Mantle #311. However, CGC did not sell that particular trading card, which sold for $12.6 Million. While this card misses the Top 10 most expensive trading cards, it is still a huge deal for Magic.


Josh Nelson wears many hats. They are a music journalist when not writing gaming news. Beyond this, they're a scholar of the Sweeney Todd urban legend, a fan of monster-taming RPGs, and a filthy Aristocrats player. Josh has been playing Magic since 2001 and attributes their tenure to nostalgia, effort, and "aesthetic".