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The Black Lotus Magic Card Coaster

There is a card game called Magic the Gathering that’s been around for many years. I’m sure an actual player could describe it better than I, but I think of it as a variation on D&D with cards dictating what abilities you have, the circumstances you face, and the outcomes of your encounters.

As they determine everything about the game, Magic cards are actively collected by its players. And just as with almost anything of interest to collectors, the rarer cards can be quite valuable. One of the most expensive of the rare cards is the Black Lotus, which, at the time I’m writing this, is worth about USD $40,000.

My nephew is an avid Magic card player and collector. During one of my weekend visits to his father’s place a few years ago, my nephew brought out his massive Magic card collection and we all helped him sort the cards.

Early the next morning, waking up to the table covered with cards and being up hours before everyone else, I embarked on a fun photo editing project. After first making sure that it was clean and dry, I set a coffee cup on one of his cards, as if I were using it as a coaster, then took this photo:

Next I found a high-res image online of the Black Lotus card, and I carefully edited it into the image, taking care even to edit the refracted reflection in the cup:

The resulting image was incredibly convincing, if I do say so myself:

I emailed the image to my nephew, and waited. Of course he knew that he didn’t actually own the Black Lotus card, but I succeeded in stopping him in his tracks for several seconds.