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.