Conjured Currency #18: Turning Tokens into Treasure

Note on last week: Welcome back, new buyers and sellers of bulk shipping supplies! Before I go on this week’s  rant, I want to take a moment of reflection on last week, and bring up a comment that Reddit User and store owner TheCardNexus brought to my attention. I showed you guys a place to order mass amounts of toploaders (, but neglected to mention that you should always consider the size of the toploader, and how many cards each one can safely hold. The website I directed you to sells ones that will safely and easily hold two cards in one soft sleeve; anything more than that is a stretch. One method of packaging with toploaders that I have used in the past for larger orders is to use one soft sleeve per two cards, then sandwich the sleeves in between two empty toploaders. Lastly, wrap them up nice and safely with tape. I go for the sandwich route if the order is at least 6+ cards, but you can decide your own method that works for you. As long as the cards don’t move at all in transit, you should be fine.

Diamonds in the Rough

Magic players have a divided opinion on everything. The Reserved List, what deck is strong in a given metagame, fetch land reprints, and personal EDH banned lists. However, this week’s piece is going to discuss a certain subset of players who want to make their decks pretty, while also helping to clear up board staes. Some players are content to use coins, scraps of paper, or the back side of a draft common to represent their Spirits, Soldiers, and Angels. Others prefer to make their own tokens, as evidenced by the hundreds of custom-made [card]Voice of Resurgence[/card] Elementals on eBay right now:

Voice Tokens

Then there are the players who want the exact token from the original set featuring the token-maker. They want to use the blindfolded halo Angels from Zendikar for their [card]Luminarch Ascension[/card] (those are the best Angel tokens, by the way), original Wurms from Scars of Mirrodin for their [card]Wurmcoil Engine[/card]s, and the official 9/9 Kraken for [card]Kiora, the Crashing Wave[/card]. Some of these tokens are harder to come by than others, and therefore they cost money. If other people are willing to drop cash on tokens, then there’s definitely money in it for us to dig out the good, the bad, and even the ugly ones (seriously though, you couldn’t pay me to use a Scars of Mirrodin Goblin). Today, let’s learn something about token finance.

SOM Goblin

So ugly

What am I Looking For?

Traditionally, tokens that have been made by rare or mythic cards are harder to come by in the token slot. The previously mentioned [card]Voice of Resurgence[/card] Elemental is bought by SCG and Card Kingdom at $2.00 cash, and you can probably slide it in your trade binder and have people biting at a $4 price tag. Kiora’s Kraken goes for $1.20 to Card Kingdom, and the Wurmcoil twins sell for around $1 each, but I can always ship these in trades at $3. Another  good marker to go by for token value is whether the token is unique. There are many different variants of the 1/1 white Soldier, but there’s only one printing of the 1/1 lifelink Vampire from Dark Ascension, so it’s worth around a dollar.

However, it never hurts to check and be thorough with your search. Some stores are willing to buy random tokens for more than what you would expect. Card Kingdom is buying Modern Masters Elspeth Soldiers for $.54 each, which seems great considering that’s not even new 1/1 white Soldier art. Just off the top of my head, SCG, Card Kingdom, and ABUgames all have tokens on their buylists. I know SCG is infamous for being the “lowest of the low,” but I’m perfectly fine with dumping an infinite number of 1/0 water ponies from [card]Master of Waves[/card] on them for a quarter each.

Promo and Old Tokens

After scanning a couple of stores’ buylists, it looks like even more recent promo tokens from events like the Magic League can have value. That Sliver token from M14 looks absolutely amazing, and if you have zero interest in owning it, it can be turned into 50 cents cash very easily. Centaurs were handed out at the Return to Ravnica prerelease and birds for Dragon’s Maze, so it wouldn’t hurt to go around collecting any of the spares that players don’t care about at future prereleases. If you happen to own any of the older Unglued tokens, or perhaps some promos from years ago sitting in a box, I highly recommend you dig those out and look up some of the values. [card]Squirrel’s Nest[/card] just got a reprint, and some of those squirrel players will be wanting the old Odyssey token to pimp out their decks. As a general rule of thumb: If your token is old-bordered, it’s worth at least a few dollars.


Also found in the token slot of some packs, the right planeswalker emblems can fetch a pretty penny. Elspeth’s [card]Indestructibility[/card] emblem from Modern Masters sells for almost $4.00 to Card Kingdom! If you leave the other emblems in your binder close to their respective planeswalkers, you can get a dollar or two extra out of a trade by offering the emblem to go with it (depending on the emblem, of course). Liliana’s [card]Lake of the Dead[/card] emblem might be worth less than a quarter to a buylist, but there are definitely other ways to find non-monetary value out of it. Sometimes when I sell a planeswalker over Facebook or TCGplayer, I include the emblem with the order as a special gift/surprise. A small amount of effort and care leads to some of the nicest feedback on my TCGplayer store, which leads to customers being more likely to do business with me in the future. I’ve also hidden emblems in the sleeve behind the respective ‘walker in my binder, so the person I’m trading with gets a pleasant surprise when she unsleeves it to put in her deck.

Other Alternatives

While eBay recently took down its option of free “Buy It Now” listings for those of us who aren’t large-scale sellers, there are still other options. Instead of posting a Craigslist ad of bulk commons and uncommons, try making one for tokens instead and see if you get any bites. Mix up a thousand random tokens after picking out the gems, and name a price you’re comfortable with getting per creature. Facebook very rarely lets me down when I’m trying to move something, and though I haven’t tried using it for selling tokens, it doesn’t hurt to make some lots and post on your groups to find the token enthusiasts of your community.

Closing Words

Normally I’d post about a card or two that I think is a strong pickup going forward. In the spirit of the theme this week, I’m going to suggest a couple of tokens to scavenge from your draft tables throughout the remaining time of Theros block. There are two gods who make tokens ([card]Heliod, God of the Sun[/card] and [card]Pharika, God of Affliction[/card]), and the Cleric and Snake seem to fit into their respective sets as a “rare” token. Don’t be surprised if a year from now these two enchantment creatures are among the ranks of Wurmcoil Wurms. The gods will always see EDH and casual play, and these two are in the three strongest token colors.

Thanks for reading!

About the Author
@Rose0fthorns     -     Email     -     Articles Douglas Johnson is a 20-year-old MTG player who goes to college courtesy of a scholarship from Gamers Helping Gamers. He is currently found writing a weekly finance column at, and you can always feel free to contact him on Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit.

47 comments on Conjured Currency #18: Turning Tokens into Treasure

  1. Corbin says:

    Really enjoyed this, and I admit that this is something I was definitely not an expert on coming in.

    Nice article!

  2. Mason says:

    I liked this article a lot. I often try to collect sets of emblems and tokens. They can be useful when playing EDH or for trade fodder. One LGS near me will often have a box of tokens sitting out for 10 cents per card after every set release. There’s always value to be found there if you get to it early enough.

    1. Douglas Johnson says:

      Thanks! This is exactly what I had in mind when I wrote the article. I’ve watched people open packs, complain about getting a bulk rare, then leave a Voice/Kiora token on the table and walk away. There’s always value to be had when other people don’t bother to look :)

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