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Magic: The Gathering’s one-of-a-kind The One Ring has been found and graded

PSA gave the highly coveted card from Tales of Middle-earth a Mint 9 rating.

Magic: The Gathering's 1/1 The One Ring in a PSA grading box
Image credit: PSA

Time to stop feverishly cracking overpriced collector booster packs because Magic: The Gathering’s one-of-a-kind The One Ring card has been pulled and submitted to PSA for an official authentication. The grading company awarded the card a Mint 9 rating, nearly at the top of its perfection scale (but not quite).

Wall Street Journal first reported the news on June 30th, and a tweet from PSA’s official Twitter account confirmed that the most sought after card from the recent Tales of Middle-earth set had been found, submitted to them and effectively graded.

The lucky player apparently wishes to remain anonymous, and for good reason - the bounty on the card depicting the most famous piece of jewellery from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings fantasy novel trilogy first skyrocketed to $1 million thanks to US collectibles seller Dave & Adam’s Card World. That hefty bid was then doubled by Spain-based hobby shop Gremio de Dragones, which threw a home-cooked paella on as garnish.

Time to stop cracking overpriced packs and return to playing Commander.Watch on YouTube

Demand for collector booster packs and boxes dramatically inflated for Tales of Middle-earth, compared to past MTG sets, thanks to the zealous searching for the serialised one-of-one card. While the crossover set contains plenty other limited quantity serialised treatments, publisher Wizards of the Coast promised that only one foil-treated, full-art The One Ring printed in the Black Speech of Mordor would ever exist.

Why the card was graded at Mint 9 and not a Gem Mint 10 - the highest possible - remains an open question. PSA did not immediately reply for comment, and the photo in the company’s tweet doesn’t show any noticeable damage. One theory might be that the foil treatment has already caused the card to curl - or “pringle” in the hobby parlance - due to humidity changes or print quality. Some players claimed you could already see curling in promotional videos produced in the weeks leading up to the set’s release.

Regardless of quality and how much paella the anonymous owner plans to eat, removing The One Ring from the pool of card possibilities will hopefully prick the ballooning price of collector booster packs and other MTG products where it might have lurked - collector booster boxes peaked at $500 for 12 packs on Amazon. The marketing ploy worked for Wizards of the Coast, and I’m sure we will be hearing Hasbro president Chris Cocks congratulating Magic: the Gathering for once again topping its quarterly revenue and cementing its legacy as the toy giant’s most profitable billion-dollar brand.

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Chase Carter avatar

Chase Carter

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Chase is a freelance journalist and media critic. He enjoys the company of his two cats and always wants to hear more about that thing you love. Follow him on Twitter for photos of said cats and retweeted opinions from smarter folks.
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