Magic the Gathering Rarities: Celebration Card Trinity on Trade Group
A few weeks ago, I came across something extraordinary in the local trader community, and today, I thought it would be best to share my experience and knowledge of what I saw that day.
Under ordinary circumstances, I wouldn’t be mentioning a post from another trade group. However, something like this is another landmark in MTG history, second only to the 1996 World Champion Trophy and sale for the original art, it deserves to be shared, and these stories should be known by everybody.
This is Raphael Puleo. He runs a humble MTG store known as Magic Bazar in France. He’s also the proud owner of 3 of the world’s rarest and richest pieces of MTG history, spanning back to the beginning of this game.
In his hand, he holds a copy of Splendid Genesis, Fraternal Exaltation, and Proposal. To many, these are names that are vague, even unknown. However, try to understand that three cards are an infinitely important part of Magic The Gathering History, as these are the three cards that Richard Garfield created to celebrate various periods in his life. Make no mistake, these cards are well worth more than Power 9 (Excluding Alpha/Beta Lotuses), and the stories behind each of them are incredibly touching.
I’m also going to explain why Proposal appears to be covered up later on, since some people might ask.
Of the existing celebration cards in MTG, Splendid Genesis is probably the most well-known card, having been listed on eBay and seen in auction houses a number of times over the years. Printed to commemorate the birth of his first child, only 110 copies were ever made and sent out to incredibly close friends and well known employees at Wizards. It was also drawn by Monique Thirifay (an early WotC employee), and to date, is the only card she has ever produced. The card effect is also wholesome and makes me feel happy.
For this card alone, the current market value is an estimated $10,000, which is an amazing price to behold, but probably worth it for something so unique.
Fun fact, Mark Rosewater is also a proud owner of one of these, if my information is correct, which makes a lot of sense.
Fraternal Exaltation was a card done in the same fashion, printed to commemorate the birth of Garfield’s second child. However, the amount released this time around was 220, a significant increase, and perhaps a sign of Wizards increasing growth as a company? Or Garfield had more friends, who knows.
This card however, was drawn by Susan Garfield, Richards sister and for me, personally, owning a celebration card drawn by your own sibling is far more amazing than just another Black Lotus.
Given that the print run for this card was significantly larger, the price is lower as a result, but prices still range from $3-$5,000, with those copies having been sold out already.
And of course, comes the best for last.
What follows is one of my favorite romance stories and the most feelgood MTG tale I’ve ever heard.
In October 1993, Garfield enlisted the aid of Dave Howell, and the late Quinton Hoover to create a unique and special card. Using this one of a kind piece, Richard was going to propose to his then-girlfriend, Lily Wu.
All together, a single
sheet of 9 cards were produced, with one being used for a very
“According to Richard, he put just put one in the all-white deck he was playing. As luck would have it, the first three games the pair played, he didn’t draw the card. He did finally find it in the fourth game, but was losing. At one point, Lily asked if he wanted to concede because, as a playtester, she didn’t think any card he could play would allow him to win. Shortly after, Richard played the now-famous card” ~ MTG Librarities
So, they did get married, and the 8 remaining copies were sent to family memebers, and Dave and Quinton. Unfortunately, Quinton’s copy was stolen at some point, but it has been verified that this is not that copy.
The most unique thing about this card, is that Richard and Lily told all of the owners never to reveal the original artwork to preserve the memory. That image up there? It’s not the actual art, it has never been revealed to this day, and because of that, it is the greatest mystery in MTG history (there’s another fake image out there too). Hence why Ralph has it covered up. As a result, it’s no surprise that the only copy currently being sold is being offered at an astounding $35,000.
I could build a vintage deck with that kind of money. A good one too….
Altogether, the three cards are being sold off for a staggering $55,000. But for 2 cards that barely register in the 3 digit population, and another with just 9 copies in existence, and with all 3 of these being such an important part of MTG history, the price tag is well deserving. It’s still a shame though, that we’ll never see the original art for Proposal, but perhaps its best to keep it unique like this…..
I hope you all enjoyed the wonderful story behind these cards, and hope you’ll retell it to other players as well.
If you wish to check out the original listing, feel free to check out the Misprints, Oddities, Rarities for Magic the Gathering Facebook group. There’s always something amazing being listed there.