Michael is a partner in a New York law firm. He’s been playing Magic: The Gathering since the mid-1990s – he thinks 1996 Alliance was his first card set. Recently returned to the stock market. As he watched the value of his investments rise and fall, he realized that, compared to these stocks, the old cards that he and his friends had had only increased in value. So, after sharing a bottle of wine with his partner one evening, he took roughly the same amount of money he was investing in stocks and bought an unopened card pack from Magic: The Gathering’s Beta set. He didn’t say exactly what that was, but they go anywhere from $ 7,000 to $ 15,000 depending on the source and status. What happened next for Michael was a surprising experience that he never intended to experience. In fact, it was an accident.
The best cards from the first two sets of Magic, Alpha and Beta, are worth tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s listed on Magic’s Reserved List, which means it will never be reprinted. The Black Lotus pita, which could appear in Michael’s package, goes for a lot less, but it’s still a lot of money: maybe as much as $ 60K, and the value has been rising all the time. It is not a terrible investment. But there is clearly no guarantee that you will find one in a pack from that era, and a bad deck of cards is worth a lot, much less than the price of an unopened package. Bad withdrawals can knock out 80 percent of your thousands of dollars in investment. (Alpha Black Lotus was purchased in a rare and perfect condition – Magic’s best-selling card – recently Over $ 500,000.)
The package arrived later. “Visit Fantasy Beaches,” read the slogan at the top. He had a price tag that a store employee put in in 1993 or 1994: $ 2.45.
Michael told me in an email: “When I woke up Sunday, I started really questioning my investment.” A little feverish, he began trying to figure out the actual value of what he had bought. He resorted to an old trick of the most unscrupulous early Magic players: searching the pack. The plastic wrappers in the first two editions of Magic: The Gathering are so thin and so thin that sometimes you can see what’s inside with proper lighting and some very precise use of a delicate tool to move the cards. “I’ve read that you can search for a package and see its contents without opening,” said Michael. “I wanted to look for it and if it had good cards, then I’d open it. If I weren’t going to keep it and let it value it as a sealed booster or keep it as a piece of history.”
When he couldn’t figure out how to find the package, he was I switched to RedditAnd they did their best to help him. Reddit was pessimistic. “The man that bag was searched to death,” the top comment said. Michael tried what people said to look at the box, but it didn’t work. He wrote to me, “I am convinced it cannot be done with the PETA.”
The next morning, Michael decides to look again, worried, his eyes cloudy and still wearing his underwear. He spent time trying subtly to click the card out of alignment with the rest. The worst happened: “I made a last effort to search and accidentally broke the seal on the back of the package at the seam, leaving me no choice but to open it,” he said. His hands trembled, scrolling the cards one by one.
The last card was the Black Lotus. The only rare card in his package was the most valuable possible card. “I stared at it literally blank for a few seconds. My brain was full of loading screen,” Michael said, “The first coherent thought I remember was,” No. This is fake. This must be fake. There is impossible … ”
He shouted. “After that, I felt blurry trying to find my card bag that had bags in it, and screaming for my partner to get away from the table,” he said. “I thought something was wrong based on how I looked. You have to realize, I’ve literally been in my underwear running around the house trying to find a case to put that thing on!”
Michael W. Updated I responded to the situation. He put in the title “I’m shivering and my friend thinks I’m crazy.” Spread else Updated a few hours later, for unbelievers, with a better shot of the lotus.
Beta Black Lotus pulled something north of $ 5,000 if classified as in poor condition. The print quality of early Magic’s collections is not consistent, so even mint out of the box card can be a relatively “bad” look. Until then, card manufacturers PSA It tracked the win ranked Beta Black Lotus on the lower end of the scale, Very Good 3, which sold for $ 22,796 earlier this year. The “Near Mint 8.5” card sold for $ 32.001 last year. The PSA website estimates that the highest quality Beta Black Lotus, “Gem,” or “Mint 10,” should sell for at least $ 60K.
Michael says he is making a comfortable living. Money does not change the course of a life, but it is “definitely too much for me”. Plan to obtain the card in quality condition and place it in a bank vault so that a professional card developer can access it.
This does not stop some of the doubts. There are a lot of people on Reddit saying it’s kind of a scam, that Michael Jammeh is trying to drive up the price of unopened packages, and more. I was able to verify Michael’s identity, as well as some details of his story, and that doesn’t seem to be the case. Either way, it promises to update Reddit, and I hope we too, when there’s more to say.
A few hours after his first update, someone returned to their first Reddit post and responded to the top comment. remember this? “The man in that bag was searched to death,” she said.
The response read, “Well, this comment did not age well.”