CGC Trading Cards Certifies Several Pristine 10 Beta Magic Cards

Posted on 12/27/2022

These CGC Pristine 10 cards include a Beta Ancestral Recall, one of the Power 9.

In addition to the recent certification of a Limited Edition Beta Black Lotus graded CGC Pristine 10, CGC Trading Cards® has certified four other early Magic: The Gathering cards that each received grades of CGC Pristine 10. These include an Ancestral Recall, a Berserk, a Gaea's Liege and a Wheel of Fortune, each from the 1993 Limited Edition Beta set. Each card received a grade of CGC Pristine 10; the highest grade in the CGC Trading Cards Population Report, with no other Limited Edition Beta cards graded higher.

Click images to enlarge.

Magic: The Gathering’s Limited Edition Beta set was the third edition of Magic’s original 1993 trading card game to be created in English, following the Gamma Playtest set and the Limited Edition Alpha set. Aside from the addition of two cards — Volcanic Island and Circle of Protection — and a few small error revisions, the differences between Limited Edition Alpha and Limited Edition Beta were intended to be indiscernible.

The largest difference between the two sets was a result of the manufacturing process. Beta cards were meant to receive the same broad corner cut as Alpha cards but received a tighter corner instead. These new cards were favored by players and were used with later sets. Beta sold out incredibly quickly, even with a print run three times the size of Alpha. This equated to around 3,300 copies of each rare being printed, including these four featured cards and the coveted Black Lotus.

Locating high-grade examples of any Beta rare is a daunting task because the cards are nearly three decades old. Sleeving cards was not practiced in the early days of Magic, so it’s likely that many examples of these early cards were either damaged or heavily played.

CGC-certified Pristine 10 cards must have perfect centering and no evidence of any manufacturing or handling defects. Corners must appear perfect to the naked eye and Gem Mint under 10x magnification. Meanwhile, the surface of the card must be free of print spots while displaying perfect gloss.

The Limited Edition Beta Berserk received sub-grades of 9.5 for Centering, 10 for Surface, 10 for Corners and 10 for Edges. The Limited Edition Beta Ancestral Recall received sub-grades of 10 for Centering, 10 for Surface, 10 for Corners and 9.5 for Edges. The Limited Edition Beta Wheel of Fortune received sub-grades of 9.5 for Centering, 10 for Surface, 10 for Corners and 10 for Edges. Meanwhile, the Limited Edition Beta Gaea’s Liege did not receive sub-grades.

To receive a CGC Perfect 10 grade, cards must achieve all of the requirements for a CGC Pristine 10 grade and have perfect 10s in all sub-grades.

High grades on cards this old are rare. As of mid-November 2022, CGC Trading Cards has graded over 120 Gamma Playtest cards, none of them Perfect 10 or Pristine 10. CGC Trading Cards has graded more than 8,400 Limited Edition Alpha cards, none of them Perfect 10 and only three of them Pristine 10. CSG Trading Cards has graded more than 6,700 Limited Edition Beta cards, with no Perfect 10s and only five Pristine 10s.

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