Last updated on March 20, 2023

Medallion cycle (Commander 2014) - Illustrations by Daniel Ljunggren

Medallion cycle (Commander 2014) | Illustrations by Daniel Ljunggren

Have you ever heard of Medallions? They're an iconic part of the game's history and have become highly sought-after collectibles among players and collectors.

When did they join the meta, and how playable have they been? Why are they so highly valued today? Spoiler alert, if you enjoy Commander games, you don't want to miss out!

What Are Medallions?

Pearl Medallion - Illustration by Daniel Ljunggren

Pearl Medallion | Illustration by Daniel Ljunggren

Medallions are a cycle of artifacts first introduced in the Tempest expansion, released in 1997. The original cycle included five Medallions, each corresponding to a different color of mana.

I know very little about the other four, but the one I know saw tons of play way back in the day was Sapphire Medallion. It featured in a Legacy deck called Spring Tide where it was paired with cards like High Tide and Merchant Scroll to generate absurd amounts of blue mana and finish your opponents with spells like Blue Sun's Zenith (or Mind Spring at the time).

These artifacts quickly became popular among players, particularly in multiplayer formats like Commander, where their cost reduction could help players cast multiple spells in a single turn. As a result, the Medallions have since been reprinted in just a few sets, including Commander precons and Masters sets. The Sprint Tide Archetype has started to see play again with the introduction of cards like Spellseeker, and Sapphire Medallion is becoming a critical part of it.

As for the other four, they’re still relegated to Commander in some specific decks. Probably the one that sees the least play is Emerald Medallion since green often does an excellent job of ramping without needing a mana reduction effect.

Ruby Medallion is often seen in mono-red decks like goblins, and Pearl Medallion sees play from time to time in Tax strategies or big white pseudo-control decks.

Jet Medallion is the priciest of the bunch because mono-black commanders tend to do some silly stuff involving Necropotence. Jet Medallion is key to accelerating your mana to cast tutors that can search for combo pieces

How Many Medallions Are There?

There are currently five Medallions, one for each color of mana.

Why Are Medallions So Expensive?

The Medallions were printed in limited quantities and are, therefore, rare. For example, the original cycle of Medallions from Tempest was only printed in that set and hasn’t been reprinted with the old border in a long time.

As far as playability goes, some Medallions are popular in specific formats and see a lot of play. This can increase the card's price, mainly if used in one or many popular or successful decks. For example, Sapphire Medallion is a staple of many mono-blue combo decks, contributing to its relatively high price.

Getting your hands on near-mint versions of these cards can prove to be challenging, especially if you try to get your hands on the older ones. They undoubtedly cost more if you try to get them in this condition.

Overall the price of the Medallions is determined by a combination of their rarity, playability, age, and condition.

Where to Buy


CardKingdom is a reputable online retailer for MTG cards and accessories in Seattle. They offer a wide range of products including singles, booster boxes, preconstructed decks, accessories, and a grading system for used cards. They also provide a buy list service for customers to sell their Magic cards for cash or store credit and are well known for its outstanding customer service and competitive prices.

The cheapest Medallion I could find was Emerald Medallion from Commander 2014 as Near Mint, with only one copy available when I found it. But there are multiple other copies in other versions and other Medallions despite their general rarity.

Star City Games

Star City Games is a popular and well-respected company in the Magic community, known for its extensive selection of products, high-quality content, and top-notch tournament organization. They’ve become a go-to destination for players and collectors looking to stay up to date on the latest MTG news and products, and it’s the standard for many LGS card prices.

Star City Games has more of the Medallions in stock and a wider variety of versions compared to CardKingdom, and they're listed for a few dollars cheaper.


TCGPlayer has become a popular destination for collectible card game players and collectors. It offers a wide range of products from individual sellers, storefronts, and tools for retailers to manage their online sales. Their buyer protection program also provides peace of mind for customers, making them a reliable and trusted platform for buying and selling collectible card game products (not just MTG).

Compared to the previous two, it's even cheaper to get Medallions from them.


Like the others, CoolStuffInc is a popular card retailer that stands above the others for its reward and preorder program. They offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount.

Regarding prices, it’s case by case. The green Medallion is a bit pricier than the other retailers, but the blue one is probably one of the cheapest options you can find considering it's in Near Mint condition.

Wrap Up

Emerald Medallion - Illustration by Daniel Ljunggren

Emerald Medallion | Illustration by Daniel Ljunggren

Medallions are a unique and valuable part of the game's history. They’re precious collectible items, have a significant role in multiple formats, and hold sentimental and nostalgic value for many players that have been around since 1997. As a result they’ve become highly sought-after by collectors and enthusiasts.

Owning at least one copy of each Medallion can be valuable to your collection, not only as a rare and unique piece but also as a connection to the game's past. At the end of the day old border cards are rare, and their price will only keep increasing over time if you get your hands on the Tempest ones.

Which Medallion is your favorite? Do you have a copy of any of the original Tempest Medallions? Let me know in the comments below or over on Draftsim's official Twitter.

Until next time, take care!

Follow Draftsim for awesome articles and set updates:

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *