Magic the Gathering jumps from coins to foils to broaden appeal to card players

The selection of subjects appearing on the relatively new silver foil format continues to increase with the arrival of cult card game Magic the Gathering. The New Zealand Mint has previously issued two 1oz silver coins, with a considerable gap between them, but neither seem to have set the market on fire with their popularity. Given the game is all about images on cards, perhaps the mint will have more success with the cheaper and more appealing banknote-style foils.

Of the mints three main silver foil sizes, Magic the Gathering goes with the smallest of them, employing the 150 x 70mm five-gram size. Looking at the designs below, it seems a good choice. Each of the five foils on offer showcases one of the games colours, each of which has representative strengths and weaknesses based on the style of magic it represents. It’s a complex game, more than we can cover here, but the players play as ‘Planeswalkers’ and some of the most popular ones are depicted on these five foils.

Whatever your opinion of the game, these are attractive issues, using some of the wide selection of quality fantasy art associated with MtG. Even the obverse has clearly had more attention spent on it, displaying a lot of detail. Each is sealed for protection, and presented in a box that converts to make display easy, as you can see further down. The NZ Mint has chosen to provide each issue in individual packaging, rather than replicate the album approach used for the Star Wars and Star Trek series of similar sized foils. The price remains the same, but which you prefer is a matter of opinion – both are decent enough.

Since its debut back in 1993, Magic the Gathering has picked up literally millions of players and it continues to be popular to this day. With the foils retailing at $39.00 USD, rather than the frankly excessive $120.00 the 1oz coins sell for, and the foil having a physical similarity to the cards, we can see these being a bit more popular, even with a 25,000 per design mintage. Available now.

BLACK

Black looks on the world and sees just a plain reality: Power controls. Power says who rules, and who dies. And whether the weak can see it or not, they are no more than slaves for the powerful. The essence of Black is to see one’s own ego as so supremely invaluable, that this prospect of enslavement, of subordinating that ego to another, is utterly inadmissible. So, to be in accord with its perceptions and beliefs, Black simply must discard all obligations but to acquire power for itself. It can be no less than the one supreme being who is subordinate to no other, the possessor of all power in the universe – it must become omnipotent.

The legendary Planeswalker, Liliana Vess, takes centre stage alongside Planeswalkers, Vraska and Ashiok.

GREEN

Green is the colour most in tune with nature. Whereas the other colours seek to modify the world around them, green believes that the best course of action is to simply allow nature to take its course. Thus, green is often seen as the least confrontational of the colours: it does not seek to impose its values on others; it just wants to coexist as peacefully as possible. This does not mean that green will not defend itself when it feels threatened, but it generally will not seek to impose its opinion on others.

The elven Planeswalker, Nissa Revane, wields green magic as Vivien Reid and Garruk Wildspeaker stand guard beside her.

WHITE

White puts value in the group, the community, and its civilization as a whole. White’s ultimate goal is peace—a world where everyone gets along, and no one seeks to disturb the safety and unity that White had worked so long to forge. To govern and protect its community, White makes use of and puts value in a number of broad concepts; morality (ethics, religion), order (law, discipline), uniformity (conformity), and structure (government, planning).

This new 5g silver coin note features Planeswalkers, Gideon Jura, Ajani Goldmane and Nahiri.

RED

Red looks on the world and sees adventure. Life is a chance to experience something – many things – and for Red, there is no more worthwhile endeavour than to enjoy life by the adventure it offers. Experiences are what life is about, and to appreciate the full range of life’s experiences, Red lives by emotion. What makes one laugh, what makes one cry, what one hates and what one loves, these make up what a person is. A person can look only to these, believes Red, to find one’s wishes and desires in life. Deny these, and life is meaningless.

The confident, ardent and defiant, Chandra Nalaar, stands proudly alongside fellow Planeswalkers, Rowan Kenrith and Ral Zarek.

BLUE

Blue’s philosophy, like that of each colour, is determined by its world view. To blue, the world is opportunity. Within it, hide wonders and possibilities most fantastic: the stuff of dreams. Blue is characterized by the desire to know the world’s secrets and to make those possibilities real. The belief that dreams can be reality—to which blue holds fast—is belief in tabula rasa, the blank slate.

Jace Beleren, a human planeswalker from Vryn who is adept with blue magic, features alongside Planeswalkers, Tezzeret and Teferi.

OBVERSE

Bold Precious Metals
SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $1 New Zealand (Niue)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 5.0 grams
DIMENSIONS 150 x 70 mm
FINISH Brilliant uncirculated
MODIFICATIONS Colour
MINTAGE 25,000 per design
BOX / COA Yes / on-coin
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NEW ZEALAND MINT