Back in the 90s, Pokémon was all the rage. Every kid would play Pokémon masters, using the cards to create their own make-believe world. You didn’t think much of their value then. However, with alternative investment and NFTs becoming more and more popular, you are probably wondering if Pokémon cards are worth anything.
Chances are that they may be. Some cards are even worth millions. However, this depends on their rarity and demand. If you are planning to invest in Pokémon cards, you need to choose the pieces properly.
What are the most expensive pokemon cards?
The Pokémon world has a variety of expensive cards, all of which are growing in value with each passing day. Some of them are very rare, which is why they are so expensive. Here are some of the most expensive ones so far:
1. Pikachu Illustrator Card
The most expensive Pokémon card in the world is the PSA 10 Pikachu illustrator card, which is the only known card of this type in the world. The card was purchased for 5 million by wrestler and YouTube star Paul Logan, who proudly wore the card at his neck during WrestleMania 2022. The card was in pristine condition upon purchase, which is why it fetched such a high price.
2. First Edition 1999 Shadowless Charizard
First edition Pokémon cards are often the most expensive ones, but the first edition holographic Charizard card from 1999 is likely at the top. What makes this card so special is that there is no shadow beneath Charizard. It was a printing error back in ’99, but before the printing company fixed the mistake, several cards were already made. This unique point made them desirable, which is why one of these cards was sold at $420,000 during a 2020 auction.
3. Blastoise Galaxy Star Hologram Presentation Card
Blastoise is among the most popular Pokémons in the game – and from what this card shows us, one of the most expensive. This particular card was created by Wizards of the Coast, the original publisher of Pokémon. It was created back in 1998, and only two of them are known to exist. This card was meant to be a “presentation” for Nintendo Japan, to convince them that the Pokémon cards should be made in English too. They now fetch about $360,000 each.
4. Signed GX Black Star Ishihara Promo Card
Depicting the president of Pokémon throwing a master pokeball with Roton next to him, this card fetched $247,230 at the last auction. Tsunekazu Ishihara gave this card to a number of his employees, to celebrate his birthday. That being said, since it was signed by the president himself, this particular card is much more valuable.
5. Kangaskhan-Holo Family Event Trophy Card #115
This card was first introduced in 1998, to be used in the Parent/Child Mega Battle Tournament. The parent and child team that won the most tournaments would win this card. Since only a handful of these cards were made, it was turned into a desirable acquisition that fetched more than $150,000.
What are the 10 rarest cards?
The most expensive Pokémon cards are among the rarest ones as well. The Pikachu Illustrator, the Shadowless Charizard, the presentation Blastoise, the Black Star Ishihara, and the Kangaskhan-Holo are the rarest cards to ever be sold. Still, there are other cards with exceptional rarity, which fetch a very high price:
1. 25th Anniversary Celebrity Collaborator Cards
When the 25th anniversary of Pokémon turned a corner, three celebrities (Katy Perry, Post Malone, and J Balvin) contributed with the official Pokémon creators. Each celebrity received a one-of-a-kind card, featuring them next to Pokémon. The cards were given as gifts and were never sold, but it’s expected they fetch a very high price for collectors.
2. Japanese Tropical Mega Battle Promo Card
A total of 12 cards were made for the yearly Pokémon Trading Card Game tournament, which in 1999 took place in Hawaii. They were distributed among the lucky few at the event. Considering how long ago this was, there are likely very few in mint condition, which makes them extremely valuable.
3. PSA 10 Neo Genesis First Edition Holo Lugia
Neo Genesis is a second-generation Pokémon, and as such, the first editions were marred with mistakes. Only 43 cards from this base set were made, which is why they are so valuable to collectors.
4. 1998 Trophy Pikachu Gold (and Bronze)
A set of cards was made for the winners of the Pokémon Lizardon tournament in Japan, in 1998. Each depicted Pikachu holding its respective trophy. Only 7 cards were made for the bronze and gold winners, which makes them so valuable for collectors.
5. Pokémon Promo No. 2 Trainer World Championships
At the 2006 World Championship of Anaheim, California, each of the three finalists received a copy of this card. Since they are so rare, each card sells for at least six figures, even if it isn’t in pristine condition.
6. Super Secret Battle No. 1 Trainer
Made for the Super Secret Battle finals of 1999, in Tokyo, only 7 of these cards are known to be in existence. Since they are so rare, they are coveted by collectors all over the world, their value increasing every year.
7. 1998 Silver Trophy Pikachu
Made for the Lizardon Tournament, unlike the bronze and gold cards, this particular batch only had 3 cards. They have never been sold, but their rarity makes them special, and estimated to be around $84,000 each.
8. Mew Victory Orb Trophy at the Summer Battle Road
A total of 27 Mew Victory Orb cards were made in 1998, to be given as trophies for the winners. Due to their honor symbolism and their limited number, they are very valuable to collectors.
9. Tamamushi University Magikarp
Made for a campaign at Shogakukan's Celadon University, 1000 of these cards were awarded to those who became “Pokémon Professors.” Their surviving number is unknown, but they are rare enough to be valuable.
10. PSA 10 Torchic Gold Star Holo EX Team Rocket Returns
While this card was made in the early 2000s, only 17 of them were released to the public. This makes them exceptionally rare and highly appreciated by collectors.
Are old Pokémon cards worth anything?
With alternative investments booming, you are probably thinking about whether your childhood hobby could become profitable or not. Depending on the cards that you have, it might.
The average Pokémon cards (the ones you can find at any corner) will not get you much. This is especially the case if they are fakes. When it comes to common cards, you will only be able to sell them for $1 or less. Holographic cards go for a higher price – and the older they are, the better.
Their worth is often heavily influenced by their condition. If they are in perfect condition, then you will likely be able to get the full price for them. If they have been sitting on your shelf for a while, their value definitely increased.
A deciding factor on how valuable the card would be is its scarcity. For example, as a kid, you may have come across rare cards that were easier to obtain at the time. However, throughout the years, those cards were lost or destroyed – and the remaining ones are in more demand. As a result, their price increases.
Check their rarity to determine exactly how much they are worth. You can find that at the bottom left of the card. Common cards have a circle, and they have little value. Uncommon cards featuring a diamond will cost more, but they won’t make you rich. The rare cards featuring a star will likely bring you more profit, especially if we’re talking about a limited-edition vintage piece.
Which Pokémon cards are worth money 2023
For the most part, high-class card sets are the ones that are worth the money. If you are a beginner investor, you could invest in a limited edition that will likely increase in value over the next years. Here are the cards you should be looking for:
- 1st edition cards
- Vintage cards (1995-2003)
- Holographic cards
- High-graded cards by Becket or PSA
- Low-population high-graded cards
- Limited editions of popular Pokémon
- Cards signed by their creators
- Misprinted or Error Cards
There are thousands of cards out there, so deciding on a specific card to invest in would take time. Usually, the rarer the card is, the worthier it will become in the future.
Amazing Rares are great investments, but cards such as the Original Charizard will also go up in value. Look for the rarity symbol on the card, and then you will know whether it is worth the investment or not.
With Pokémon cards still being made to this day, limited edition or vintage cards are increasing more and more in value. They serve as a great alternative investment for those who wish to place their money on physical assets.
There has never been a better time than now to invest in Pokémon cards. You may use Investables to choose the best Pokémon card investments. Find the best cards to buy, create your portfolio, and watch their value grow over the years.