Once In A Lifetime: Million Euro Magic Collection Appraised by Cardmarket

Commander's Herald • October 19, 2022

Five Mox worth €50,000

Cardmarket has just finished appraising a Magic collection worth one million euro. George Settnik, head of Cardmarket Grading, says it's "truly a once in a lifetime collection".

The German Magic player behind the cardboard has chosen to remain anonymous, but says he started his collection in 1995. So how do you come to own a million euro Magic collection? One set at a time.

"I wasn't wealthy. It wasn't high income. It was more that I had little expenses otherwise, and I could and would treat myself this way. whenever my finances allowed, I ordered one of the sets from a friend who was able to get them from the United States."

The highlight of the collection is not one, not two, but three complete sets of Limited Edition Beta. If you don't know your Magic history, Beta is the second edition of the first set of cards ever released. It contains all nine of the power nine, the most powerful cards ever printed.

Million Euro Magic Collection: The 9 most expensive cards in MTG in one place
The "power nine". From left to right: Mox Sapphire, Time Walk, Ancestral Recall, Mox Ruby, Black Lotus, Mox Pearl, Timetwister, Mox Emeral, Mox Jet

Printed back in October of 1993, Magic had significantly smaller print runs at the time. It's estimated that only 3,000 copies of Black Lotus - the most valuable card from the set - were ever printed. The remaining number is unknown, but presumably much lower courtesy the passage of time. Regardless, this mystery collector has three of them, the best one graded at 8.5 out of 10.

Million Euro Magic Collection: 3 Beta Black Lotus, the middle one worth at least €45,000
Three Black Lotus from Beta. The one in the middle is worth at least €45,000. Credit: Cardmarket

Three Black Lotus[/el graded at 8.5 were sold on eBay in 2021, they went for between $42,000 and $49,000. Each. It is by far the most sought after card in the history of Magic and the vast majority of players will never see a real one. These cards have been "reprinted" recently by way of 30th Anniversary Edition, the value of the originals will always be higher.

While the collector knew he had an impressive collection, but didn't realise just how valuable it was.

"I knew that prices had risen, particularly during Covid when people had more spare money, but when I got the report I was shocked. I never expected that."

Veteran card grader George Settnik was shocked, hardly able to believe the value of the collection.

"In the past twelve years of grading, most trading cards we grade are for financial but also nostalgic reasons. The first card you pulled from a booster pack, a card you find beautiful, or a gift for a friend. It is not unusual to see high-value cards, but an entire Beta collection is something you never see. To have three full Beta set collections? That is truly a once in a lifetime collection."

Million Euro Magic Collection: George Settnik with the entire collection
George Settnik poses with the once in a lifetime collection. Credit: Cardmarket
Million Euro Magic Collection: €45,000 for must-have land cards
€45,000 worth of dual lands.
Million Euro Magic Collection: €10,000 worth of powerful cards
€10,000 worth of artifacts.

About Cardmarket: With over 1 million users, Cardmarket is Europe's largest peer-to-peer online marketplace that specialises in the buying and selling of trading card products In 2021 Cardmarket paired with Guard and Grading Solution, which has established both a quality of service and accuracy that has been officially recognized by the DguSV, a state-certified group of professional appraisers. As of the date of writing they are the only officially certified grading and appraiser specialist for trading card games in Europe.