Tuesday 23 June 2020

Conversion of Assets VI

During the recent inventorying of a collection of ‘Magic: The Gathering’ cards a number of rare and valuable items were discovered. After much discussion, the decision was made that two of these items should be put on the auction block with the intent of raising funds for diversify the collection. The first card selected was Enlightened Tutor, a powerful Tutor from the Mirage expansion set released in 1997 that included Vampiric Tutor, Mystical Tutor, and Worldy Tutor. The second card selected was Force of Will from Alliances, an expansion released in 1996 as the second set in the ‘Ice Age’ block. Commentators have argued that Force of Will may be the best counter-spell ever printed with its ability to be cast even with all the player’s mana tapped. The Enlightened Tutor was able to net a total of $35.51 CAD, and the Force of Will $101.91 CAD, for a combined sale of $137.42!
Those funds were immediately used to procure a 1/25 ounce 99.99% pure gold coin issued by the Royal Canadian Mint. This coin, though a mere 13.92mm in diameter, is intricately-engraved and displays the famous fishing schooner, the Bluenose, Canada’s quintessential symbol of speed and grace on the open sea. This is the same vessel depicted on Canada’s 10-cent circulation coin since 1935. The gold ‘Bluenose’ comes accompanied by a serialized certificate, and is encapsulated and presented in a maroon flock-lined clamshell case. The Royal Canadian Mint is a Canadian Crown Corporation that produces all of Canada's circulation coins. They are renowned for their high purity bullion coins as the Mint operates refineries to melt, assay and refine gold, silver and other precious metals. The total cost of this purchase was $135.50 CAD, with the remaining $1.92 from the sale of the cards spent on a celebratory coffee!

Saturday 16 May 2020

‘Magic: The Gathering’ Cards

During a recent inventory a forgotten box was brought to light, and inside an old collection of ‘Magic: The Gathering’ cards was discovered. ‘Magic: The Gathering’ is a collectible card game created by Richard Garfield, and first released in 1993 by Wizards of the Coast. In each game of ‘Magic’ the players represent a battle between wizards who cast spells, use artifacts, and summon creatures as depicted on individual cards in order to defeat their opponents. The success of the initial edition prompted a reissue later in 1993, along with expansions to the game. Arabian Nights was the first expansion set released in December 1993, and new expansions and revisions of the base game have since been released on a semi-regular basis. By the end of 1994, the game had printed over a billion cards.

There is an active secondary market in individual cards among players and game shops. The secondary market started with comic book stores, and hobby shops displaying and selling cards, with the cards' values determined somewhat arbitrarily by the employees of the store. Today, uncommon cards and weak rare cards typically sell from 10¢ up to $1, with more expensive cards typically priced between $1 and $25. A few of the older cards, however, due to smaller printing runs and limited distribution, are highly valued and rare. Some, such as the Lion’s Eye Diamond from the Mirage expansion, which happened to be amongst the cards uncovered and is featured in the photograph above, can retail in excess of $100. Today, the secondary market is so large and complex, it has become an area of study for consumer research.